YSU Theater dials up comedy with 'Dead Man's Cell Phone'

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

Youngstown State University Theater will open its season Friday with the comedy “Dead Man’s Cell Phone.” The comedy, written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Matthew Mazuroski, will run for six performances over two consecutive weekends in Spotlight Theater, inside Bliss Hall.

As the show begins, a cellphone is incessantly ringing in a quiet cafe. When a stranger at the next table answers it, she is taken in by the many loose ends the deceased man left.

The play examines how we memorialize the dead – and how that remembering changes us. It is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.

The playwright creates a world of ordinary people living extraordinary lives and small coincidences opening into quirky metaphysical conundrums. It explores the paradox of modern technology’s ability to both unite and isolate people in the digital age.

The cast includes Mason Edmunds of Poland; Abigail Kremm, Sharpsville, Pa.; Theresa Leonard, Youngstown; Elena Loedding, Sharpsville, Pa.; Molly Lukehart, Mineral Ridge; and Jack Rusk, West Chester, Ohio.

Todd Dicken is the scenic designer; Dicken and Jon Zelezniak are the lighting designers; Chuck Kettering is the production manager; Katherine N. Garlick is the costume designer; and Wendy Akers is costume shop supervisor.

“This production will showcase a major upgrade in the lighting system in Spotlight Theatre that allows us a far greater artistic use of light and gives our students the opportunity to learn about this state-of-the-art equipment,” said Mazuroski, the director. “We are also using a student projection designer who is helping to create the imaginative, visual landscape for this production. Audiences will be in for a real treat with these quirky characters and delightful world we are creating.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the box office, by phone at 330-941-3105 and at ysu.tix.com.

Parking is available in the M30 Wick Avenue parking deck via Walnut Street for a nominal fee. GPS directions are 100 Wade Street, Youngstown OH 44502.