AU Theatre presents “Dead Man’s Cell Phone”

Megan Harvey

Studies show that the average person spends more time on their phone than they do sleeping. This demonstrates the amount of time people use cellphones and the prominence they have in their everyday lives.

The Ashland University Theatre Department is taking a look at the impact that this technology has in the upcoming fall play “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” marking the second show in the theatre department’s 2015-2016 season.

AU’s production of Sara Ruhl’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” opens on Nov. 5. The two-act play will take place in the intimate AU Hugo Young Center for the Performing Arts Studio Theatre. The new play is being led by AU’s theatre department’s guest artist and adjunct professor, Rachael Swartz. Swartz, the director said the play is a dark comedy.

“Jean, the primary character is at your standard, everyday coffee shop. The gentleman’s phone beside her starts ringing. As she finds out quite quickly he is no longer with us,” Swartz said. “And she becomes the guardian and therefore one responsible for all his life problems so that’s the comedy that then ensues from there on.”

With a title such as “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” audiences can expect a darker performance from the AU cast. Fear not, the show also includes lighter scenes with an array of characters.

Senior Natalyn Baisden plays the lead character, Jean, and freshman Waylon H. O’Donnell is Gordon, the title character. They tell the interesting story of what happens when we die and the strangers that affect our lives and afterlives.

The small cast also features freshman Emma Dumford, Kaylee Lhotsky , Tyler MacQueen and Ingrid Schmidt.

Tickets are on sale and can be purchased at the Ashland University Box Office. The performances run from Nov. 5 through Nov. 7 and Nov. 12 through Nov. 14, beginning at 7:30 p.m. On Nov. 8 there will also be a 2 p.m. show. Tickets for the performances are $2 for AU students with their student ID.

The theatre department has chosen a show accessible to students who can connect to this modern show by way of relevant material that they encounter on a day-to-day basis. With cellphones so prominent in everyday life, “Dead Man’s Cellphone” gives audiences a chance to look up from their iPhones and take in a live action performance.