Dead Man’s Cell Phone

By Sarah Ruhl

Directed by David M. Jenkins

Extended! Jun. 3 – 27, 2010

Thu. – Sat. 8pm, Sun. 4pm

Tickets: $24.50

Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. A dead man with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative new comedy by playwright Sarah Ruhl, recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and Pulitzer Prize finalist for her play The Clean House.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone is an odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.

Jean (Meg Heimstead, who stunned Bay area audiences last year in Rabbit Hole) is sleepwalking through her life until she answers a dead man’s (Steve Garland, 2007 Best of the Bay – Best Actor) cell phone.

… beguiling new comedy … Ms. Ruhl’s work blends the mundane and the metaphysical, the blunt and the obscure, the patently bizarre and the bizarrely moving.

It turns out to be a wake-up call that sends her to an uncomfortable encounter with the dead man’s mother (Elizabeth Fendrick, making her Jobsite debut), a date with his brother (Michael C. McGreevy, most recently seen as Sgt. Match in What the Butler Saw), a drinking binge with his wife (Katrina Stevenson, 2004 Best of the Bay – Best Actress), and a mysterious rendezvous with a strange woman (Summer Bohnenkamp, who just completed Jobsite’s run of boom! as the pink-coiffed museum docent), not to mention trips to the afterlife and the black market. In this quirky modern adventure, Jean reconnects to her own spirit and learns that life is for the living.

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.

Meg Heimstead in Jobsite's Dead Man's Cell Phone.
Steve Garland and Meg Heimstead in Jobsite's Dead Man's Cell Phone. (Photo by Brian Smallheer.)


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Do It Today, Theater Edition: Jobsite’s Dead Man’s Cell PhoneCreative Loafing

Cast & Crew

  • David M. Jenkins – Director
  • Xylina Golding – Stage Manager


  • Summer Bohnenkamp – Mystery Woman
  • Elizabeth Fendrick – Mrs. Gottlieb
  • Steve Garland – Gordon
  • Meg Heimstead – Jean
  • Michael C. McGreevy – Dwight
  • Katrina Stevenson – Hermia


  • Greg Newcomb – Graphic Designer
  • Shawn Paonessa – Video Engineer
  • Brian M. Smallheer – Scenic, Lighting & Video Designer
  • Krystalle Voecks – Asst. Stage Manager

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