Friday, August 24, through Sunday, September 9
QC Theatre Workshop, 1730 Wilkes Avenue, Davenport IA
Described by the New York Times as “a hallucinatory poetic fantasy that blends the mundane and the metaphysical, the blunt and the obscure, the patently bizarre and the bizarrely moving,” Tony Award nominee Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone will enjoy its area debut at Davenport's QC Theatre Workshop August 24 through September 9, Ruhl's funny and thoughtful comedy inspiring SFGate.com to laud the author's “gifts of probing humor, vivid imagination, and poignant humanity.”
With Ruhl's stage works including Eurydice, the Tony-nominated In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), and Pulitzer Prize finalist The Clean House, Dead Man's Cell Phone opens on a single woman, Jean, sitting alone in a café, and growing increasingly irritated by a nearby customer's endlessly ringing phone. After repeated requests for him to answer it, however, Jean discovers that the patron has died, and decides to answer the call herself. What results is an alternately odd, hilarious, and romantic odyssey involving Jean's encounters with the dead man's mother, brother, wife, mysterious friend, and even the deceased Gordon himself – a work that led Variety magazine to rave, “Ruhl's zany probe of the razor-thin line between life and death delivers a fresh and humorous look at the times we live in.”
Directing the QC Theatre Workshop's Dead Man's Cell Phone is Thomas Alan Taylor, who also helmed 2013's How I Learned to Drive for the venue and starred in such Workshop productions as A Green River, RED, and The Pillowman. Jessica Taylor, Thomas' recent stage partner in Venus in Fur, portrays Jean, her additional Workshop credits including Interiors, Tribes, and Broken. The production's ensemble, meanwhile, boasts venue veterans in Susan Perrin-Sallak (True West) and Reader employee Mike Schulz (Peter & the Starcatcher), plus five area performers making their Workshop debuts: Abbie Carpenter (an alumna of Davenport Junior Theatre); Joshua Kahn (emcee for Bottom's Up Quad City Burlesque), Antoinette Nebinger (Circa '21's Sister Act: The Musical), Jake Pecaut (New Ground Theatre's Elephant's Graveyard), and Maggie Woolley (the Prenzie Players' Lear).
Dead Man's Cell Phone will be performed Fridays at Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. August 24 through September 9, admission is “Pay What It's Worth” ticket pricing, and more information and reservations are available by calling (563)823-8893 or visiting QCTheatreWorkshop.org.