Rachel Bublitz

Writer

Aug 14, 2012

DEAD MAN'S CELL PHONE by Sarah Ruhl

Finished a non-theatre book today (KURT VONNEGUT, The Last Interview and Other Conversations), which for the record is both heart warming and crushingly depressing) and so I picked up Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl. I haven’t been doing a ton of reading lately (hello, I’ve been writing 31 plays!) so my mind sucked it all up and I read it in a snap.

The thing I found most interesting about the play was that I spent the play not asking what does Jean (the main character) want, I desperately wanted to know why she was doing what she was doing. Which, I suppose could be thought of as the same thing, but I am not yet convinced. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Jean is next to a man who dies at a cafe, and ends up with his cell phone trying to make him a good person in death. Soon it is revealed that the dead man, Gordon, was in the illegal buying and selling or organs business, and pretty terrible to most of the people in his life. I was surprised at how much Jean was sucked up into this man’s life. I know that she had a clear objective, and was going for it vigorously, but I still want to know why. Maybe it’s because most of the people (me included) around me wouldn’t put that much effort into making their own live’s better, let alone someone else’s. I’m babbling… I know. I really did like this play though, it was quite charming in the end. And even though I was puzzled with the why, it was that that kept me so engaged. Now, what play to read next?