Weekends from May 1 -17, Axial Theatre in Pleasantville is presenting Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a bright, satirical comedy that received the 2007 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play. Rachel Jones, an Axial Theatre company member (last appeared as Arkadina in Chekhov’s The Seagull) and Howard Meyer’s Acting Program instructor and Student Monologue and Performance workshop director for nearly 20 years, will direct.
Critics have greeted the play with raves. The New York Times cheered the “beguiling new comedy … [that] blends the mundane and the metaphysical…” The Washington Post praised it as an “oddball comedy” that is both “lyrical and biting;” Variety applauded its “zany probe of the razor-thin line between life and death.” Dead Man’s Cell Phone was first presented by the Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.; it has been shown Off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizons, in the U,K., and at many other venues worldwide.
Jones is glad to be directing a work by Ruhl, a MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist. She notes, “Ruhl’s hugely original take on both the feminine psyche and our tech-driven world is at once spot-on, boldly original and hilarious. Through its maze of unexpected twists and turns, the play forces us to realize that we need to rely on each other a little more and our gadgets a little less.” NYC-based Jill Woodward , stage manager, an MFA graduate of Columbia University, has worked with numerous companies including Columbia Stages and Prospect Theater Company.
The ensemble cast includes: Siobhan McKinley of Ridgefield; Lori Franzese of Carmel; Michael Boyle Jr. of Ossining; Nancy Intrator of Manhattan; Gail Greenstein of Katonah; Kristen Odell of Mount Kisco; Susan Ward of Tarrytown; and Duane Rutter of Beacon.
Axial Theatre is on the campus of St. John’s Episcopal Church, 8 Sunnyside Avenue, Pleasantville, N.Y. Dead Man’s Cell Phone will run Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 plus Saturday matinees at 2 and Sunday matinees at 4, May 1-3; May 8-10; and May 15 – 17. Tickets are $25; $20 for students and seniors. All tickets are $40 on opening night, May 2nd, which will include wine and cheese? and a talkback with the actors and director following the performance.