Issuu on Google+

proudly presents

DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE By Sarah Ruhl Directed by Alan Piotrowicz featuring

Kelly Coffey Nathanael Press Joan End Layna Davis

Luke Erikson Liz Shipe Ellen Dunphy Jeff Kriesel

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Playwrights Horizons, Inc., New York City, produced the New York Premier of “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” Off-Broadway in 2008. Originally produced June 2006 by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Washington, DC, Howard Shalwitz, Artistic Director; Kevin Moore, Managing Director. “DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons with funds provided by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Commissioning Program.”

Dead Man’s Cell Phone 1


CAST Jean, a woman.............................................................................................................. Kelly Coffey Gordon, a dead man...........................................................................................Nathanael Press Mrs. Gottlieb, Gordon’s mother.................................................................................... Joan End Hermia, Gordon’s widow...........................................................................................Layna Davis Dwight, Gordon’s brother..................................................................................... Luke Erickson The Other Woman/The Stranger.................................................................................Liz Shipe Ensemble/Understudy...........................................................................................Ellen Dunphy Ensemble/Understudy................................................................................................ Jeff Kriesel P R O D U C T I O N S TA F F Director....................................................................................................................Alan Piotrowicz Assistant Director................................................................................................Dana Gustafson Scenic Design....................................................................................................... Fjosh Redbeard Lighting Design.................................................................................................. Mike Van Dreser Costume Design......................................................................................................Eleanor Cotey Sound Design........................................................................................................... Loren Watson Stage Manager.................................................................................................... Colin Gawronski Fight Choreographer................................................................................................. David Franz There will be one fifteen-minute intermission. SPECIAL THANKS James Clark and Mystery Man Productions, Chris & Jane Flieller and In Tandem Theatre, Paul Masterson and the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, Melissa Carlson and Falls Patio Players, Next Act Theatre, Broadway Paper, Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, INdustri Cafe, This Is It, Zak’s Café Special thanks to our Fall Fundraising Campaign Contributors: Anonymous (4) BeachCory Marcia Blackman Mike Brenner William Bulck Eric Damon Walters Sarah Dolens-Moon Corey Dossett

Christian End Joan End Rita J. Erickson Angela Fingard Jen Ganson Dana Gustafson Matt and Dawn Kemple Lori Long

Denise Lubotsky Lori Muench Koren Nowak & Michael T. Black Renee Pasciak Alan Piotrowicz Anthony Rojas Juanita Schuelke

S TA F F Juanita Schuelke.................................................................... Founder & Managing Producer Matt Kemple........................................................................................................ Artistic Producer Jessica Betts................................................................................................. Production Manager Gwen Zupan................................................................................................... Company Manager James Boland.................................................................................................... Creative Manager Fjosh Redbeard.............................................. Technical Director and Marketing Assistant Board of Directors Renee Pasciak, President Alexis Hagquist, Secretary Rose Wasielewski, Treasurer 2 Pink Banana Theatre

Lori Muench Rebecca Frank Dana Gustafson Alan Piotrowicz


Save the date... June 2012! Now accepting play submissions for the

2012 One Acts! How is the world as you know it going to end? PB is looking for original short plays about 5 - 30 min in length based on this years theme:

THE END OF THE WORLD. To submit to this years one acts send your original piece as a Word doc, pdf, or plain text to submissions@pinkbananatheatre.com Don’t delay - submissions are due by the end of December!


D I R E C TO R ’ S N O T E S We live in a world of constant communication… (Ring.) Oh, excuse me… no, I’m sorry, I don’t have time for that right now. Goodbye. Sorry about that... where was I? Oh yes, our world is accompanied with the background track of clicking keys and chattering phone conver… (Ring.) Sigh… sorry, one second. Yeah, Matt? I know, I’m trying to write the director’s notes right now. Ok, thanks. Bye. Ok, sorry about that again. As I was saying, we call, text, tweet, share, and attempt to connect… (Ring.) One moment. (He throws the phone out the window.) Ok, there shouldn’t be any more interruptions. But what happens if we go before the phone – and the phone keeps ringing? It’s just such a call that begins our play, and Jean, unsuspectingly, answers that call. As she continues down the technological rabbit hole, things get “curiouser and curiouser” with each call; and in turn, we unravel a little more about the dead man’s life. It’s a slightly perverse pleasure, picking apart and piecing together the puzzle of a dead man’s world, but it begs us to ask how we are to be remembered after we go and what digital bits we will leave behind. Try fitting all of that into 140 characters or less. -Alan Piotrowicz BIOGR APHIES Sarah Ruhl (Playwrite) Sarah Ruhl’s plays include IN THE NEXT ROOM (or the vibrator play); THE CLEAN HOUSE (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2005; Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); PASSION PLAY, a cycle (Pen American Award, Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center); DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE (Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play); MELANCHOLY PLAY; DEMETER IN THE CITY (nine NAACP Image Award nominations); EURYDICE; ORLANDO; and LATE: A COWBOY SONG. Her plays have premiered at Lincoln Center Theater, the Goodman Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Arena Stage,Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company,Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Cornerstone Theater, Madison Repertory Theatre and the Piven Theatre Workshop, and have been produced across the country. Her plays have also been produced internationally and translated into Polish, Russian, Spanish, Norwegian, Korean, German and Arabic. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Ruhl received her MFA from Brown University, where she studied with Paula Vogel. In 2003, she was the recipient of the Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights 4 Pink Banana Theatre

Award and the Whiting Writers’ Award. She is a member of 13P and New Dramatists and won the MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. She is a recent recipient of the PEN CenterAward for a mid-career playwright. Kelly Coffey (Jean) is delighted to be working with Pink Banana and such a talented cast and crew. She has studied acting at Rutgers Univ., NJ and at the William Esper Studio in NY. Favorite past roles include Maggie in LEND ME A TENOR, Alice in YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, and Smee to her brother’s Captain Hook when they were kids. Much love and thanks to her husband, children, and parents for all of their support. Nathanael Press (Gordon) is thrilled to be involved with DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE. Nate is a Milwaukee Native and a graduate of the Milwaukee Public School System, as well as a graduate of Boston


B I O G R A P H I E S ( c o n t .) University’s College of Fine Arts where he received a BFA in Theatre Studies. Nate has performed on numerous stages in and around Milwaukee including, but not limited to, Bialystock & Bloom, Alchemist Theatre, Broadway Baby Dinner Theatre, Spiral Theatre and Theatrical Tendencies. Thanks to the family. Joan End (Mrs. Gottlieb) doesn’t mind at all being the only “chronologically advanced person” in this cast because she has had the incredible opportunity to work, learn, and laugh with such talented and committed young actors and crew. Thank you, Alan and Pink Banana for this great experience. Joan has performed with the Cedarburg Players, Waukesha Civic Theatre, Boulevard Theatre, Shorewood Players, Sunset Playhouse and Milwaukee Irish Arts. Her favorite role to date is Lucille in THE CEMETERY CLUB. Joan is delighted to be performing at the new Next Act Theatre space and close to home for her wonderful family and friends who support all her theatrical pursuits. Special thanks to Pat, her line coach. Layna Davis (Hermia) is proud to say that while she has been in several academic productions such as BABY WITH THE BATH WATER (Drake University) and AS IT IS IN HEAVEN (UWM), DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE is her first professional production and she is thrilled to be a member of the ever-growing theatre community in Milwaukee. She would like to thank the rest of the cast and her friends and family for their constant source of support. Layna is currently completing her degree in BFA-Acting at UWM.

Luke Erickson (Dwight) is a recent graduate of UW-Milwaukee and now holds his B.A. in Theatre Studies. He recently took on stage-managing for UWM’s THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT and was selected to direct THE LOVE TALKER for UWM’s New Direction Series. He was last seen on stage in Four Seasons Theatre’s productions of MISS SAIGON and WEST SIDE STORY. Luke would like to thank Alan and Pink Banana for this opportunity to stretch his acting legs. Liz Shipe (The Other Woman/The Stranger) is best known for shows in the Milwaukee area, including Mary Kelly in Jackie Benka’s RIPPER, Lucy in DRACULA, Chastity in Neil Haven’s WHO KILLED SANTA?, Belle in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (West Allis Players), and Kate in THE ART OF MURDER (In Tandem). She has had the opportunity to work with some amazing companies, including In Tandem, Carte Blanche, Alchemist, and Illium Theatreworks. Liz would like to thank her parents, who are the most wonderful people for putting up with her. Check out her photography series on “Urban Fairy Tales” at www.reconstructinggrimm.com. Ellen Dunphy (Ensemble/Understudy) is pleased to be a part of the ensemble for DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE. She received her BA in Theatre from Ripon College where she acted, painted, constructed, and crewed for many of the productions. Milwaukee credits include IN MY MIND’S EYE (Fools for Tragedy), ONE ACTS 2011: HIGHER EDUCATION (Pink Banana Theatre Co), Dead Man’s Cell Phone 5


B I O G R A P H I E S ( c o n t .) TAMING OF THE SHREW (Carte Blanche Studios), THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES (Milwaukee Gay Arts Center), and the Milwaukee Rep’s scenic painting internship. This December, she will play Layla Jones, cowgirl, in the interactive murder mystery WHO KILLED THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST? at the Alchemist Theatre. Jeff Kriesel (Ensemble/Understudy) makes his debut into Milwaukee theatre with this production and he is extremely thankful for the opportunity. Originally from Madison, he was very active in the theater community there. Previous recent roles include Oscar in THE ODD COUPLE, Allen in PICNIC, Juror #4 in 12 ANGRY JURORS and Mr. Smudge in HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON. Jeff would like to thank the cast and crew and his friends and family, without them this couldn’t have been possible.

Dana Gustafson (Assistant Director) moved to Milwaukee from Des Moines, IA, after graduating from Drake University with a BFA in Directing and spending a season employed as the Production Manager for StageWest Theatre Company. She is currently a Pink Banana Theatre Company board member. Previous credits include: Directing - “The Dilemma” for Higher Education (Pink Banana One-Acts 2011), Some Girl(s) (Drake University), Dying City (StageWest Scriptease); Stage Management - Almost, Maine (StageWest); Acting The Importance of Being Earnest (Drake University). She thanks Alan for this opportunity and her family, friends and Corey for their continued support.

Fjosh Redbeard Fjosh has had a cell phone, and been dead, for many years. This tech savvy zombie has been Alan Piotrowicz doing theatre for the (Director) returns to four years or so since he crawled out of Pink Banana the void that he had been buried in. following GUESS Readjusting was hard at first, when the WHO DIED? in the hunger to rip the brains out of the 2011 One Acts. Other heads of actors took hold, but he is now direction includes a much more gentle-handed director. SOME ENCHANTED EVENING for Falls Working in tech was also an adjustPatio Players, THE VAGINA MONOment, as the lights and sounds awoke LOGUES (twice) and SISTER MARY the innate zombie fears of fire and IGNATIUS EXPLAINS IT ALL FOR YOU for rednecks within him. Many runs and a the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, BILL OF few melted corpse fingers later, he’s (W)RIGHTS for UTA at UW-Madison, and finally getting the hang of using his NATURAL HOSPITALITY for the Marcia nubs for lights and sound. He would Legere Play Festival. Alan is also a like to thank Pink Banana, the food that lighting designer and has worked with helped to sustain him when he gave up Falls Patio Players (resident designer), brains (“pink and mooshy, RAR, gud First Stage, Milwaukee Chamber, Milwau- enuf”). The Mutes for enabling him to kee Rep, Next Act, and Youngblood, learn about his ancestral zombie among others. Love to Eric. brethren even using puppet shows to www.alanpiotrowicz.com do it!  He is also very excited about his delicious upcoming film project: Baby Blue Eyes, look for it within the Book of 6 Pink Banana Theatre


For the dog lover in all of us

New Season. New Home.

November 17 – December 18, 2011 255 S. Water St. www.nextact.org Box Office 414-278-0765 Don’t miss this doggone good comedy about the dog who saved a marriage. Sponsored by Polly and Giles Daeger


B I O G R A P H I E S ( c o n t .) Faces. Lastly he thanks the physiology of the dead that has allowed his beard to keep growing to such an awesome length even after the rigor mortis set in. That is all for now, as he has to go chase the chinchilla, as she just ran off with his ear. MADISON, GET BACK HERE!

has also spent five seasons with the Utah Shakespeare Festival, and has stitched for the Milwaukee Rep and American Players Theatre. Eleanor is currently working her third season with the Milwaukee Ballet Company and her first season with the Florentine Opera,

Mike Van Dreser (Lighting Design) Mike has worked with Pink Banana Theatre for four seasons including as Lighting Designer for SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, and three seasons of PINK BANANA ONE ACTS. Mike works for Next Act Theatre as Technical Director and Lighting Designer, In Tandem Theatre as Lighting Designer, and as an actor and lighting designer for Soulstice Theatre. Some of Mike’s favorite shows include THIS LITTLE LIGHT, VALUE OF NAMES, BIG BOYS, and WINTER TALES with Next Act, ART OF MURDER with In Tandem, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE and SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL with Soulstice. Mike looks forward to many more productive years with Pink Banana Theatre and any new opportunities that may come his way.

Loren Watson (Sound Design) His first show with Pink Banana Theater, DEAD MAN proves to be a production requiring numerous soundscapes and ringtones. You may have heard some his other recent designs -- ART OF MURDER and MRS. MANNERLY with In Tandem; GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES, DRIVE ME TO ARSON and FREAKSHOW with Youngblood Theater; and INTO THE WOODS with Cardinal Stritch University. Don’t miss SCROOGE IN ROUGE this December for it’s third and final run!

Eleanor Cotey (Costume Design) is glad to be working with Pink Banana for the first time. Eleanor received her BFA in Costume Production from UWM in 2009. Since graduating, Eleanor has designed for The Fireside Theatre, Youngblood Theatre Company, and In Tandem Theatre Company. She

8 Pink Banana Theatre

Colin Gawronski (Stage Management) is thrilled to be working on this production and to have had such an amazing cast and production team. Colin is a recent graduate of UW-Milwaukee, and has worked with such local companies as In Tandem, Next Act, Chamber Theatre, Your Mother Dances, and Carter Productions, as well as UWM Dance, Theatre and Opera. Favorite productions include GYPSY, THE EXONERATED, WHO KILLED SANTA?, MAURITIUS, FREAKSHOW, and NEW DANCEMAKERS. Give Love Always.


Dead Man's Cell Phone-Pink Banana's