Friday & Saturday - 8 p.m.
Sunday - 2 p.m.
All Tickets are $24
February 17 - March 12
Gordon is dead, but his cell phone lives on. When Jean, an empathetic museum worker, answers his ringing phone beside her in a café, she is soon playing unwitting comforter and confessor to the man’s grieving friends and family. Before she knows it, Jean’s ensnarled in the underbelly of the dead man’s bizarre life. A wildly imaginative comedy, Dead Man’s Cell Phone is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically-obsessed world.
This magical play by Sarah Ruhl explores the paradox of modern technology's ability to both unite and isolate people in the digital age. Sometimes darkly funny, sometimes deeply profound, the play was awarded a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play when it premiered at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. in 2007. Robert Hurwitt, in reviewing a 2009 production, describes Ruhl’s world “of ordinary people living extraordinary lives and small coincidences opening into quirky metaphysical conundrums.... Ruhl's gifts of probing humor, vivid imagination and poignant humanity are alive here."
Special Thanks to:
Raine Bode, Hannah Cate, Chris Hart, Barbara Madison Hauck, Bill Hauck,
Steve Satta-Fleming, Janise Whalen and the UMBC Theatre Department
Playwrights Horizons, Inc., New York City, produced the New York Premiere of DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE Off-Broadway in 2008. Originally produced June 2006 by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Washington, DC, Howard Shalwitz, Artistic Director; Kevin Moore, Managing Director. DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons with funds provided by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Commissioning Program.
“Dead Man's Cell Phone” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com
When I first read Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl, I found the play funny, but not until the actors and I tugged it to its feet, did we appreciate its true hilarity. We still laugh at it. We still uncover hidden meaning, lurking in the flawed receptacles of Ruhl’s fully-fleshed characters who easily swing between goofiness and philosophy as they navigate complicated plot twists. We have labeled Ruhl the Beat Queen because her characters emotionally shift so regularly and rapidly; every couple of lines there’s a topic change. It’s dizzying. Yet, Ruhl returns again and again to themes of devotion: of mother; of embossed paper; of romantic partners; of lobster bisque; and of sons. Part love story, part technological commentary, part metaphysical treatise and part stand up, Ruhl’s story leaps forward as she seamlessly blends theories of a spiritual pipeline with an addiction to rib eye steak and the clamor of cell phones.
No matter what role I serve in a theatrical production, I best love creating world for the audience. Since early rehearsals, we’ve debated where we are in Ruhl’s universe: dream or memory or alternate reality or purgatory or heaven. I hope that some scenes happen on the Other Side. At deathbeds, I’ve sat close to The Veil, a blanket-soft, constantly wiggling and sometimes thin separation. Death is a door, and Ruhl helps us consider our temporality and our capacity for kindness with a giggle and a wink.
I am honored to have explored this magical play with these brilliant actors and designers.
CREATIVE TEAM CREDITS
*Indicates Member of FPCT
Kimberley Lynne* (She/Hers)
Kimberley Lynne (Director) wears many nouns: playwright, novelist, teacher, actor, producer, stage manager and scenic designer. She last directed at FPCT for the 2022 10x10x10 Festival and before that directed for ten years at Spotlight UB. Favorites include: Purgatory, Assassins, The Samaritan Project and The Vagina Monologues. Lynne is a member of Actors’ Equity and the Dramatist Guild and serves as Vice President on the FPCT board. For more, visit https://kimberleylynne.wordpress.com Thanks to the gifted cast and crew; it takes a village to make art.
Barney Thomas Rinaldi* (He/His)
Cameron Luther (They/Them)
Cameron is thrilled to be working with Fells Point Corner Theatre for their debut into the Baltimore theatre scene. Having worked in stage management since their freshman year of highschool, they are now in their final semester at UMBC, pursuing a degree in theatre design and production. They hold a deep love for stage management, props, and watching a show come to life.
Assistant Stage Manager
Jesse Lesscallette (He/His)
Marianne Gazolla Angelella* (She/Hers)
Marianne Gazzola Angelella is a Baltimore based actor and theatre educator. Marianne has been a teaching artist for nearly 30 years and has taught for the FPCT, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Performance Workshop Theatre, Spots,and Everyman Theatre. Currently she teaches theatre at the amazing Baltimore Lab School. She began her teacher training right here at FPCT with Beverly Sokal and Marley Willard.
Penelope Chan* (She/Hers)
By day, Penelope teaches middle and high school science. She spends the rest of her waking hours making theater! Penelope started in theater as a makeup artist and designer in 2006. Since then she has been involved in many plays and film projects as as an actor, director, and writer. Her most recent projects include assistant-directing High School Coven at Strand Theater Company in January, and directing 2 short plays in FPCT’s 10x10x10 Festival in 2022.
J Purnell Hargrove* (They/Them)
J Purnell Hargrove is a Baltimore based performer who has been shimmying up and down the east for more years than they care to admit. They are the co-founder of The Greasy Utterson, a podcast production company whose audio drama podcasts (including a twelve episode adaptation of THE SECRET GARDEN) can be found on all major podcatcher’s. J was last seen in the American Premier of Zelda the Musical, a show based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald and will next be seen as the title character in the world premier of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Carpe Noctem~
Laura Malkus* (She/Hers)
Laura Malkus is Baltimore-based performer, musician, songwriter, and arts management evangelist who has been a veteran of Baltimore’s small stages for the past two decades. Favorite past roles include Brooke in Other Desert Cities (FPCT), Ms. Thelma in Promenade: Baltimore (Single Carrot Theatre), Brunehilde et al in Das Barbecue (Vags) and Harper in Angels in America I & II (Axis Theatre). She attended the professional actor training program at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in NYC and received a Graduate Certificate in Arts Leadership and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. Laura currently serves as President of FPCT. Big love to Lilycat, Dan-the-man, and Larry with whom all is possible.
Morgan Stanton's previous roles include Pablo Picasso in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Ray Dooley in The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Willie Mossop in Hobson's Choice, and Cpl. Lachlan "Lachie" MacLachlan in The Hasty Heart. He dedicates his performance to the dear memory of his Aunt Marlene: ballerina, news reporter of print and TV, published mystery novelist, and hooker (of rugs and wall hangings).
Kay-Megan Washington* (She/Hers)
Kay-Megan Washington (Hermia) is thrilled to return to Fells Point Corner Theatre, where she most recently appeared as Dorothy and Carol in the Baltimore Playwrights Festival production of "Do It Now!", as Dr. Vivian Bearing in "Wit" in 2021, and as Gertrude in "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" in 2019. Other favorite roles include Madame de Volanges in "Les Liaisons Dangereuses", Grandma in "Fabulation...or the Re-education of Undine", and a trio of Sondheim divas: Joanne in "Company", The Witch in "Into the Woods", and Mrs. Lovett in "Sweeney Todd". It has been a delight to work with this exceptionally talented cast and crew on this surreal, funny, and amazing project.
Brad Norris* (He/His)
Brad Norris is a Baltimore based Scenic Artist, Sound Designer, Fight Choreographer, Director, Production Manager, and nerd who is thrilled to be working on Dead Man's Cell Phone. He is currently the Managing Director of Fells Point Corner Theatre, the Production Manager for the Performing Arts Department at CCBC, and the greatest stay-at-home dad his kids have ever known. He is passionate about justice, representation, indigenous sovereignty, reading books, playing D&D, and centering non-straight-white-cis-male stories and opinions everywhere possible. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire Brad Norris.
Karen Saar (She/Hers)
Karen Saar, costumer designer, is thrilled to part of the artistic team for Dead Man’s Cell Phone. Karen has spent many years designing, directing, and producing shows at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore. She most recently costume designed The Fantasticks at Vagabond Players.
Bernard B. Johnson (He/His)
Bernard B. Johnson is a Director and Designer, born and raised in Baltimore, MD. He attended The City College of New York prior to the Baltimore School for the Arts; where he recently returned to teach and mentor future designers. His recent credits include: Set Designer for The Thanksgiving Play (FPCT); Asst Dir. for Twelfth Night (Chesapeake Shakespeare Co.); Set Designer for Marie Antoinette and the Magical Negroes (SCT); Light Designer for The Nutcracker (Baltimore School for the Arts).
Todd Mion (He/His)
A lighting and sound designer in the Baltimore area for over thirty years, recent designs include the world premieres of Mother May I at the Strand Theater, Bad Panda with Iron Crow Theatre, To Get to the Other Side for The Baltimore Playwright’s Festival, The Return of the Fifth Sister at the Capital Fringe Festival as well as dance designs seen at The Kennedy Center, The Alvin Ailey Theatre in New York City, The Greenhouse Theatre in Chicago, and internationally at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland. Todd also designed for the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival where his work included the critically acclaimed A Dickens of a Carol as well as productions of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.
Laura Hackman (She/Her)
Laura Hackman has worked as a theatre professional for 30+ years. Her career as a theatre director and arts educator inform her more recent work in the new and necessary field of intimacy direction. Laura is passionate about creating equitable, safe, and brave spaces while supporting directors in realizing their visions. She currently lives in Atlanta and teaches theatre at Georgia State University.
Larry Malkus* (He/His)
Larry Malkus is an SAFD (Society of American Fight Directors) certified unarmed combatant. He has choreographed thirty years worth of fights for Baltimore's community theaters.
Joan Weber (She/Her)
Joan Weber has worked in Baltimore area theatres for about twenty years, most recently as a dramaturg. Her days are spent in a classroom at Glenelg Country School teaching English and art history. She is grateful to Kimberley for bringing her along for the ride.
Chris Hart* (He/His)
Chris Hart writes songs, screenplays and stories, all from Baltimore. With Mark Winemiller, he leads a number of local recording acts, including the Suitable Heirs. Chris is currently working on a musical, and will soon release the third Suitable Heirs album, Last Town: 11 Texas Songs.
Mark Winemiller (He/His)
Mark Winemiller is a Baltimore-based singer-songwriter, guitarist and prolific producer. His latest solo project, Mallory Has No Clue, offers driving rock songs steeped in melody.
Bryonna Sieck (She/Hers)
Bryonna Sieck is a bookbinding and book design teacher and artist residing in Baltimore. She believes in using book arts as a tool for empowering others creativity. You can find her work and free resources at 1134 Press on all social platforms.