“Dead Man’s Cell Phone”: an engaging piece of magical realism


Sofiya Melnychuk, Culture Editor

The “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” play is a serio-comedic story that follows the life of a young woman, Jean, after she decides to answer the ringing cell phone of a man who’s sitting next to her in a café.

One simple action leads Jean into a mystery as she tries to find meaningful connections in a technologically isolating world. Lindenwood’s Theatre program, along with student-actors, bring this story to life.

“At its heart, the play is a beautiful and uplifting affirmation of the value of human connection,” the play’s production director John O’Hagan said. “It reminds us to pay a little more attention to the things and people around us and it’s a really entertaining play that I believe audiences are really going to enjoy.”

The play itself, written by Sarah Ruhl, is purposely vague about certain moments in the show. Hence, one of the team’s challenges has been to envision the world of the play and put the missing pieces together.

“The piece contains elements of poetry, film noir, and a dream-like logic. And of course, at the center of it all is ever-pervasive technology,” O’Hagan said. “We’ve worked really hard to create a cohesive world that honors all of those elements.”

The rehearsing and the preparation of the play is a process that takes up to several months and requires a large team. Besides the cast of six actors, this includes a stage management team, a scenic designer, costume designer, backstage crew people, painters, electricians, and more.

Rehearsing requires true devotion to the play, both from the cast and the crew. This play’s cast is taking the play exceedingly seriously and is making progress by bringing strong dedication to every rehearsal.

“The production process for this show has been a real joy,” O’Hagan said. “Each has brought so much energy and enthusiasm. Every night in rehearsal we discover something new to explore in the play and it makes each of us all that more eager to get to opening night.”

The “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” play will take place Feb. 16-19, at 7:30 p.m., and Feb 19, at 2 p.m.

Lindenwood students, faculty, and staff members can attend the play for free.

For more information and purchasing tickets, click here.