Exciting Production of Dead Man’s Cell Phone for Ross Valley Players 4th Play of 88th Season

Dead Man’s Cell Phone is a play by Sarah Ruhl which combines both humor and pathos.  The play explores the paradox and price we pay for modern technology and examines how it both unites and isolates people (“from more authentic connections” according to Director Chloe Bronzan).  The play was awarded a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play.

Jean (Deborah Murphy) is sitting quietly at a cafe when she becomes increasingly frustrated at the endless ringing cell phone next to her. The owner won’t answer it and Jean soon realizes it is because he is dead.  In her panic, she begins answering the persistent calls, including one from the dead man’s mother, Mrs. Gottlieb (Christine Macomber) and finds out the man’s name is Gordon (Steve Price steals the show in this role).   As the story unfolds (there are two acts), Jean meets Gordon’s brother Dwight (Peter Warden), widow, Hermia (played by Marilyn Hughes) as well as a mystery woman (Nan Ayers).  Director Chloe Bronzan brings this story to life with humor, imagination and humanity.

Bronzan also does a fine job with her actors.  The set design by Kim Kitz is very subtle and the costumes by Michael Berg were right in tune with the play.  The lighting by Tina Johnson and Bruce Vieira’s sound design was impressive.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone runs March 1-25, 2018 at Ross Valley Players’ Barn Theater. I highly recommend the play because of the fine acting and excellent direction.

Coming up next at Ross Valley Players, April 12-29 is the Raw Festival featuring Just My Type, a new comedy–book by Charlotte Jacobs and Michael Sally, music and lyrics by Rita Abrams. The festival also includes two staged readings, Thursday April 19 and 26.  The next main production will be The Tin Woman by Sean Grennan, May 17-June 20, 2018.