By Jada Butler
A young woman named Jean sits in a café and hears a man’s cell phone ringing at the table next to her. After listening to its endless ringing, she decides to find out why the man won’t answer his phone. That’s when she discovers that he is dead. Jean decides to answer the phone, and the journey that follows changes her entire life.
“Technology outlives us, all that is left are memories, and this cell phone that seems to be alive after he is gone,” Michaela Fox, a sophomore musical theater major and Mrs. Gottlieb, said. “It’s a satire on technology and our absorption with it,” she said.
The play, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” written by Sarah Ruhl, is directed by MFA student Chamila Priyanka. The small cast of six sophomore and junior musical theatre majors each play a large role in portraying a dark and comedic perspective on contemporary issues.
“I like the structure of the play. It’s not a realistic play, it’s kind of absurd,” Priyanka said. “It is a powerful artistic statement of the current society.”
Priyanka has directed four one-act plays at Post and a four-act play in his home country of Sri Lanka. “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” is his first time directing a full-length show.
Priyanka praises his cast for having many talents. “They have good training here. So it is very easy to work with them,” he said. The cast all helped with creating multiple elements of the performance, and they were heavily involved with contributing ideas, according to Fox. “It was just a bunch of creative minds working together,” she said.
“The collaboration is an essential part of this business,” Priyanka said. “My cast helped me so much when I rehearsed those scenes. Everyone gave me their ideas. It is amazing.”
“[Chamila] is really fun. It’s fun to watch him grow and develop as he learns things from us and we learn things from him,” Fox said about working with Priyanka. “He’s one of the better directors I’ve worked with here [at Post],” she said.
Priyanka hopes that the theme of the play reaches his audience. “This play is a kind of statement of current society. We are moving from the tangible world to the intangible world because of digital technology,” he said. “Our souls and bodies don’t want to be together anymore.”
Performances take place on the Little Theatre mainstage on Saturday, March 24, Wednesday, March 28, and Saturday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors, and $10 for students. They can be purchased at the Little Theatre box office or at www.tix55.com/ptc700/