The UTC Department of Theatre and Speech offers Dead Man’s Cell Phone, written by Sara Ruhl and directed by Theatre Professor Gaye Jeffers (read about Jeffers’ new play).

Dead Man’s Cell Phone runs Oct. 1, 2, and 6, 7, 8, and 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre. Lighting design is by John Burgess, costumes are designed by Sydney Roberts, and scenic design is by Steve Ray.

This comedy is about a woman who answers a stranger’s incessantly ringing cell phone only to discover that he is dead and she is suddenly holding the battery powered link between the isolation of life and the inclusiveness of death.

Sarah Ruhl was awarded the MacArthur Genius Fellowship in 2006 for “creating theatrical works that poignantly juxtapose the mundane aspects of daily life with mythic themes of love and war.”

Ruhl’s latest play, In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) opened on Broadway in 2009 and was nominated for the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play.

Director Gaye Jeffers finds the comedic spark of Sarah Ruhl fresh and intriguing. “I am always drawn to plays that some might categorize as quirky and questioning. When I began to read the plays of Sarah Ruhl, I knew that her voice was a unique one, and one that our audience should experience. Dead Man’s Cell Phone is a dark comedy that examines some fascinating ideas about what truly connects us and what loose ends we all leave behind.”

The cast of Dead Man’s Cell Phone features UTC students Savannah Daigle, Jennifer Ervin, Grace Holtz, Kaleb Moran, John Moser, and Grace Wright. Lesli Crowe, Madeline Homrich, Gregory Jackson, Will Park, Erin Skelly, and Alex Whittle portray the “Singers and Cell Phone Ballet Movers.”

The production will be in Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre, UTC Fine Arts Center, at the corner of Vine and Palmetto.

Free parking is available in the university lots nearby.

Tickets are $10 for students and seniors, $8 for UTC students and $12 for everybody else. Call the UTC Fine Arts Center box office at 425-4269 for reservations.

For more information please contact Patrick Sweetman in the UTC Theatre Department at 425-4639 or email Patrick-Sweetman@utc.edu

Theatre Professor Gaye Jeffers Premieres New Play

UTC Theatre Professor Gaye Jeffers premiers her new play Philo at the Center for Excellence for the Creative Arts at Austin Peay State University.

Inspired by Sophocles’ tragic play Philoctetes, this contemporary retelling follows the journey of a death row inmate and his search for redemption.

“Behind the walls of Lemnos Maximum Security Prison, Philo is haunted by the bloody ghosts of three young women murdered in an act of gang retaliation.  As the prison clock ticks away his final hours, Philo battles two former foes, a story-hungry reporter and a grieving mother in a last ditch effort to rejoin the present in order to correct the violent events of his past,” explains Jeffers.

Philo is directed by Austin Peay Theatre Professor, B. Christopher Hardin and will be performed September 29 – October 2 at 7:30 p.m. and October 3 at 2 p.m. in the Trahern Theatre on the Austin Peay State University campus in Clarksville, Tennessee.

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