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Linfield theatre presents ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’

Linfield College theatre students will take audience members on a rollercoaster ride of unforeseen encounters with death, relationships and technology in the upcoming production, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone.”

The production will be performed April 12-14 and 19-21 at 7:30 p.m., and April 15 at 2 p.m. in the Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall at Linfield.

“Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” written by Sarah Ruhl, is a thought-provoking comedy about the human capacity to connect. The story begins with a woman, Jean, sitting in a café when a cell phone rings. As the man across the way ignores his ringing phone, Jean grows quietly outraged and answers it. She soon finds out the man is dead and she has become the last link between him and the people in his life. Interacting with his overbearing mother, emotionally estranged wife, mysterious mistress, lonely brother and sinister career associate, Jean develops a desire to bring them comfort even when it means lying. Through her attempt to bring redemption to the man, Jean is forced to confront her own assumptions about morality and her need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.

According to Janet Gupton, associate professor of theatre arts who will direct the play, the production will explore the way technology touches everyday life.

“While it allows us to send instantaneous messages and connect to people all over the world in a matter of seconds, it also allows us to disconnect from the person sitting right in the next room,” she said.

The cast consists of 11 members in addition to several Linfield students participating in the design elements, including juniors Laura Haspel and Chris Forrer; and seniors Katie Grainey, Will Bailey and Ebonee Atkins.

Cast members include freshman Nicholas Granato; juniors Paige Keith, Jacob Priester and Daphne Dossett; and seniors Bailey Anne Maxwell and Grace Beckett. The dance ensemble includes freshmen Allison Halley and Daniel Bradley; sophomores Timothy Marl and Whitney Weber; and senior Kanon Havens. Scenic design is by Ty Marshall, professor of theatre arts. Stage management is by junior Meagan Gear. Costume design is by Alethia Moore-Del Monaco, instructional associate, costume designer and shop manager. Sound design and technical direction is by Rob Vaughn, instructional associate and theatre technical director.

“The chance to work behind the scenes always benefits the students,” said Gupton, “and the actors in the show get a chance to do a contemporary play that speaks to the ‘Gen Tech’ generation.

“I always enjoy working with students on shows because each student brings a different energy to the rehearsal process and the community we create over the rehearsal weeks lasts for the remainder of their college time,” she added.

Tickets for “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” go on sale Tuesday, April 3. Tickets are $9 for full price; $7 for seniors (62+) and Linfield faculty and staff; and $5 for students; with a $2 discount on all tickets on opening night. Seating is reserved. Tickets are available at www.linfield.edu/culture, by phone or at the Marshall Theatre Box Office. Located in the lobby of Ford Hall, the box office is open Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m., and until 7:30 p.m. on performance days. The box office will also be open April 14 and 21 from 3 to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 15, from noon to 2 p.m. The box office is closed on Mondays.

The Marshall Theatre is fully accessible. For more information, call 503-883-2292.