Baylor Theatre's Production of "Dead Man's Cell Phone" Looks at Cellphone Obsession and Memorialization of the Dead

Feb. 7, 2014
Dead Man's Cell Phone

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Media contact: Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321

WACO, Texas (Feb. 7, 2014) - If you were to die today, what would you be remembered for? Nothing more than the contents of your cellphone?

Baylor Theatre's production of "Dead Man's Cell Phone," directed by Steven Pounders, associate professor of theater in the College of Arts & Sciences, poses this question and more.

The play, which received the Helen Hayes award for best new play, was written by Sarah Ruhl, lecturer in playwriting at the Yale School of Drama and in theater studies at Yale College. Though first performed in 2007, the play remains relevant to a society preoccupied with smartphones.

The opening scene is set in a café, where the cellphone of customer Gordon (Nashville junior Henry Greenberg) rings incessantly. Café patron Jean (Austin senior Jaime Lee) walks over to his table to turn it off and discovers that the man is dead.

From then on, the play follows Jean as she answers calls from his family, co-workers and mistress and even attends his funeral, fabricating a more positive persona for Gordon.

Other cast members include senior Michael Griffith of Tomball, Texas, senior Alexis German of Cypress, Texas, senior Molly Reed of Flower Mound, Texas, and senior Eliza Coleman of Houston.

Reed hopes the play will make audience members think about their lives. "What do they think about their relationships, their values and the 'what' and 'how' they communicate to the other people in their lives? Those are the questions raised," she told the Baylor Lariat.

"Dead Man's Cell Phone" runs from Feb. 11 to Feb. 16, though tickets are now only available for showings at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. Tickets may be purchased for $18, or $15 with Baylor ID, online here or by calling 254-710-1865.

by Rachel Miller, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University's oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 26 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit www.baylor.edu/artsandsciences.

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