Jean is sleepwalking through her life until she answers a dead man’s cell phone. It turns out to be a wake-up call that sends her on a date with the dead man’s brother, a drinking binge with his wife, and a mysterious rendezvous with his mistress.
DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE is running now through November 21st at Dobama Theatre.
Performed at Dobama’s New Home on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, this is the second production of Dobama’s 51st season in the theatre’s new permanent home in Cleveland Heights at 2340 Lee Road.
The play is “A captivating new play from the award-winning Sarah Ruhl… that traces one woman’s accidental quest to make a few people feel just a little bit better about themselves.” To read an interview with Sarah Ruhl, click HERE.
Actress Tracee Patterson plays Jean, and she was gracious enough to answer some questions about her role.
Kate Miller: Tell me about your character – who is Jean?
Tracee Patterson: Well, that depends on where you are in the play, I think. I guess she starts off as a bit of a lost soul maybe- insular, self-contained, like she’s trying to take up as little space in the world as possible. But she has this child-like spirit to her… and some history, like she’s somehow both naive and ancient at the same time. She also doesn’t seem to have a lot of “agency” in her life. Someone said that the world is made up of two kinds of people – those who happen to the world and those to whom the world happens. Jean starts off as the latter, but that changes.
KM: Do you find any parallels with her life and yours?
TP: Yeah well, that depends on where you are in my life, I think! Seriously, I’ve learned something from every character I’ve ever played. I’ve always had this sense that certain roles seem to come along for a reason, to teach me some lesson perhaps, to reveal something, to make manifest something. I don’t know. So yes, I find parallels between myself and Jean, but I’m still kind of working out the details.
KM: How has it been working in Dobama’s new space?
TP: Fantastic. Being able to rehearse in the actual playing space is a real luxury – I’m so grateful to have had that opportunity for this piece.
KM: Why should people come see Dead Man’s Cell Phone at Dobama?
TP: Hmm. Well, because I think that it’s hopeful, provocative, challenging, funny, sad, difficult, rewarding, layered and mysterious. I think it calls some things into question while still leaving space for us to find our own way to some answers. I think people should come to see Dead Man’s Cell Phone because ultimately, it’s a story about a terrifically ordinary woman living a very quotidian life who chooses to take on one of life’s greatest challenges – change and personal growth. I think Jean is very courageous in that, and maybe people can be inspired by that; learn from that. Indeed, maybe that’s the “lesson” that Jean is here to teach me.
Dead Man’s Cell Phone features Dianne Boduszek, Paula Duesing*, Maryann Elder, Joel Hammer*, Tracee Patterson* and Tom Woodward*. Direction is by Scott Miller.
Tickets are available by calling the Dobama box office at (216) 932-3396, or by visiting www.dobama.org.
This year, Dobama introduces a new RUSH ticket. RUSH tickets, available to patrons 21 & younger, are $5. A limited quantity will be sold nightly no earlier than five minutes before curtain time and will be based on seat availability.
Thursday, November 11 @ 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 12 @ 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 13 @ 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 14 @ 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 18 @ 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 19 @ 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 20 @ 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 21 @ 2:30 p.m.
For more information, visit www.dobama.org.
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