Steppenwolf Answers Sarah Ruhl's Cell Phone, Opening April 6 | Playbill

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News Steppenwolf Answers Sarah Ruhl's Cell Phone, Opening April 6 Steppenwolf Theatre Company opens the Chicago premiere of Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone, directed by associate artist Jessica Thebus, April 6 following previews that began March 27.
Polly Noonan in Dead Man
Polly Noonan in Dead Man Photo by Michael Brosilow

The quirky modern-day fable about connecting (not wisely, but too well) in the age of communication overload continues to July 27. The production — featuring ensemble member Molly Regan (as Mrs. Gottlieb, through June 1), and Sarah Charipar, Marilyn Dodds Frank (as Mrs. Gottlieb, June 3-July 27), Coburn Goss, Mary Beth Fisher, Marc Grapey and Polly Noonan (as Jean, the hapless woman who finds the title object) — plays Steppenwolf's Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., in Chicago. The press opening was April 5, to be followed by the official opening April 6.


In the play, which was recently Helen Hayes Award-nominated for its 2007 world premiere by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, "Jean is sleepwalking through her life until she answers a dead man's cell phone," according to Steppenwolf. "It turns out to be a wake-up call that sends her on a date with the dead man's brother, a drinking binge with his wife, and a mysterious rendez-vous with his mistress. Not to mention trips to the afterlife and the black market. In this quirky modern adventure, Jean re-connects to her own spirit and learns that life is for the living."

The play just finished its New York City premiere in a separate production by Playwrights Horizons.

Ruhl was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her play The Clean House, and also penned Eurydice and Passion Play.

The Steppenwolf design team for Dead Man's Cell Phone includes Scott Bradley (sets), Linda Roethke (costumes), James Ingalls (lights) and Andre Pleuss and Ben Sussman (sound and original music). David Perez is the assistant director. Christine D. Freeburg is the stage manager, and Michelle Medvin is the assistant stage manager.

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Coburn Goss and Polly Noonan in <i>Dead Man</i>
Coburn Goss and Polly Noonan in Dead Man Photo by Michael Brosilow

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