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September 13, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

Theatre presents 'Dead Man's Cell Phone'

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -The Slippery Rock theatre department launches the 2013-14 season with "Dead Man's Cell Phone," a comedy thriller that explores the paradox of technology's ability to unite and isolate people.

The play opens Sept. 27 and will be presented six times Sept. 29-Oct. 3. All performances are in SRU's University Union. Laura Smiley, SRU associate professor of theatre, is the director.

"Dead Man's Cell Phone," written by Sarah Ruhl, premiered in 2007. The play examines the mysteries behind our obsession with technology, human character and the inevitability of death despite technology advances.

The story's main character is Jean. The story begins when an unanswered cell phone ringing in a sleepy café annoys her. After discovering that a man, Gordon, sitting next to her has died, Jean hijacks his phone and attempts to pick up the pieces of his life.

Naïve to the fact he wasn't the sweet and innocent man she assumed, she's in for more than she bargained for when the cell phone becomes a conduit to love, family dysfunction and a self-revelation she never could have anticipated.

"Death and romance coexist like never before in this surreal comedy thriller that guides a peculiar young woman on a journey with surprising consequences," Smiley said.

The cast includes Meg Rodgers, an SRU psychology major from Bruin, as Jean; Luke Chamberlain, a student affairs graduate student from Latrobe, as Gordon; Amber Mikec, a senior secondary history education major from Strabane, as Mrs. Gottlieb; Stephanie Skinger, a journalism major from Pittsburgh, as Hermia; Cole Vecchio, a theatre major from Bradford, as Dwight; Emily Daning, an art major from Bartonsville, as the other woman/the stranger; Cindy Brennan, a theatre major from Duncansville; Joe Karl, a theatre major from Baden, Emily Watson, an undeclared from Pittsburgh, Randy Kerr, a theatre major from Carlisle and Kaitlin Cliber, an art education major from Plum, as the stagehand angels.

Gordon Phetteplace, SRU associate professor of theatre, is the production's lighting designer and Michael Boone, technical director for the theatre department, is the technical director.

Margaret Rial, a theatre administration major from Erie, is the production's stage manager; Malic Williams, a theatre major from Aliquippa, is assistant stage manager and public relations coordinator; Alyssa Valentino, a theatre major from Elizabeth, is assistant stage manager; Samantha Kuchta, a communication major from Lower Burrell, is the set designer and properties mistress; Kyle Andreas, a theatre design major from Bethlehem, is the sound designer, and Kayla Boulton, a theatre major from Youngstown, Ohio, is the costume and make-up designer.

The show opens at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 27, and will be presented at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Sept. 29, and at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30-Oct. 3. Tickets, $7 for students and $12 for general admission, may be purchased in advance at the Smith Student Center Information Desk or at the door one hour before curtain. For Contact the SRU Theatre Box Office at 724.738.2645 for more information.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.