January 26th, 2012

A playful play that keeps on ringing: Dead Man's Cell Phone...

~Thursday~  Earlier in the week, my wonderful friend Myra invited me to join her and her husband to see this show now playing at the Raleigh Little Theater:

By Sarah Ruhl.
Co-produced with the Actors Comedy Lab.

Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre
January 20 – February 5, 2012

In a quiet cafe a cell phone rings. And rings. And rings, until the stranger at the next table has had enough. She confronts the owner of the cell phone, only to discover that he's, well…he’s dead.

She begins to answer his calls and suddenly finds herself enmeshed in his life and family. Unfortunately, the dead guy has quite a number of shady loose ends.

This surreal comic fantasy traces one woman’s accidental journey from the quiet cafe to the afterlife and back.

This is one of those plays that not only makes you think while it's happening, but afterward, too, and maybe even the next day—if you take the call. We're here all week folks; check your voice mail.

Here are some of the themes explored:

  • How connected we are now to technology.

  • Can you love someone you never even met until after they were dead?

  • How easy it is to love someone when you don't know anything about them and can project whatever you want on them.

  • Family secrets.

  • Family dysfunction.

  • Making value judgments about what is "good" or "bad."

  • Seeing something that's obviously "bad" (to you) in what someone else is doing, while simultaneously being unaware that a thing you're doing (that you think is being helpful) might might be perceived as "bad" by someone else.

  • What does "being helpful" mean anyway?

  • When is it appropriate or healthy to start forgetting (a departed love one) as opposed to remembering?

Thanks, Myra, for letting me know about this play, and inviting me to tag along!