The Comrades, a non-Equity theatre company, today announced its cast for DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE, by Wilmette-born Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl. Ruhl’s play premiered in 2007 at Washington D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre and enjoyed high-profile productions the following year at Playwrights Horizons in New York and Steppenwolf in Chicago. In this sometimes-surreal comedy, a young woman annoyedly answers the ringing cell of the man sitting next to her in a café, only to find the reason he failed to answer it himself is that he has just died. The woman becomes involved in the dead man’s just-departed life and even in his afterlife. The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE said, “It's a joyride through the absurdity of trying to make simple connections in a world overwhelmed with interconnectivity.”
Arianna Soloway, who recently directed a site-specific production of PINE by Jacqui Honess-Martin and CARRIE & FRANCINE with Haven Theatre Company, will direct. Soloway is a 2013 Columbia College graduate who has assistant directed such high-profile productions as LINDA at Steep Theatre, HOW TO USE A KNIFE at Shattered Globe, PILLARS OF THE COMMUNITY at Strawdog, ROZ AND RAY at Victory Gardens, RED HANDED OTTER at A Red Orchid Theatre, A SMALL FIRE at Steep Theatre, SEMINAR at Haven Theatre Company, and INTELLIGENCE at Arena Stage (Through the SDC observership program).
Playing Jean, the young woman who retrieves the phone and makes a new, albeit deceased, friend will be Cydney Moody, whose 2018 credits include THE WOLVES at Goodman and DOWNSTATE at Steppenwolf. Chicago veteran actress and theatre professor Caroline Latta, recently seen in 2017’s BY THE BOG OF CATS with The Artistic Home, will play the dead man’s domineering mother, Mrs. Gottlieb. Also in the cast are Bryan Breau (Gordon, the dead man), Lynnette Li (Hermia, Gordon’s widow), Mike Newquist (Dwight, Gordon’s brother) and Valeria Rosero (Other Woman/Stranger). Alex Nolen will understudy the roles of Jean and Hermia.
The DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE production team includes Sydney Achler (Scenic Designer), Kelsey Cox (Costume Designer), Mike McShane (Lighting Designer), Eric Backus (Composer/Sound Designer), Claire Yearman (Fight Choreographer), Becca Venable (Technical Director), and Melanie Kulas (Production Stage Manager). Derek Bertelsen is The Comrades’ Artistic Director.
Performances will be Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave, DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE will open Saturday, February 9 at 8 pm, following previews February 7 and 8. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.greenhousetheater.org/ or by phone at 773-404-7336.
DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE
By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Arianna Soloway
February 7 – March 10, 2019
Previews Thursday, February 7 and Friday, February 8
Press Opening Saturday, February 9
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm.,
Tickets range from $15-$20 with discount for industry and students
Tickets available at : https://www.greenhousetheater.org/ or by phone at 773-404-7336.
Performances at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
For more information, www.the-comrades.com/
An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man – with a lot of loose ends. So begins DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE, a wildly imaginative new comedy by MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl. A work about how we memorialize the dead – and how that remembering changes us – it is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.
Arianna Soloway (Director) Originally from Atlanta, GA, Arianna graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2013 with a BFA in directing for theater. She recently directed a site-specific production of PINE by Jacqui Honess-Martin, CARRIE & FRANCINE with Haven Theatre Company, and GUARDIANS at Mary Arrchie Theatre as well as short plays for the Women's Theatre Alliance, Bechdel Fest at Broken Nose Theatre, Paragon Play Festival at Otherworld Theatre Company, and Ripped: The Living Newspaper Festival at American Blues Theater.
She assistant directed LINDA at Steep Theatre, HOW TO USE A KNIFE at Shattered Globe, PILLARS OF THE COMMUNITY at Strawdog, ROZ AND RAY at Victory Gardens, RED HANDED OTTER at A Red Orchid Theatre, A SMALL FIRE at Steep Theatre, SEMINAR at Haven Theatre Company, and INTELLIGENCE at Arena Stage (Through the SDC observership program). Arianna serves as the Literary Manager at Route 66 Theatre and is an Associate Member of the SDC.
Sarah Ruhl (Playwright) Plays include HOW TO TRANSCEND A HAPPY MARRIAGE, FOR PETER PAN ON HER 70TH BIRTHDAY, THE OLDEST BOY, IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY, THE CLEAN HOUSE, ORLANDO, LATE: A COWBOY SONG, DEAR ELIZABETH and STAGE KISS. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony Award nominee. Her plays have been produced regionally all over the country and have also been produced internationally and translated into over twelve languages.
She has received the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright award, the Susan Smith Blackburn award, the Whiting award, the Lily Award, a PEN award for mid-career playwrights, and the MacArthur "genius" award.
ABOUT THE COMRADES
The Comrades were founded in January 2016. They are an ensemble-based theater company who create fun, vibrant, and engaging theater with a focus on revitalizing classics and producing area premieres that are relevant in today’s world. They are a resident company at the Greenhouse Theater Center.
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