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Friday, March 08, 2013 - Dark comedy "Dead Man's Cell Phone" wrestles with technology

Fresh on the heels of three consecutive, sold-out theatrical runs, the theatre program at Oakland University will present the imaginative and dark-edged comedy "Dead Man's Cell Phone" starting on Thursday, March 14.

Written by MacArthur "Genius" Award winner Sarah Ruhl, the play introduces audiences to an incessantly ringing cell phone, the owner of which is dead. When a woman finally answers the phone, she is drawn into the dead man's family and his business.

Production director Anthony Guest describes the play as a contemporary love story presented by actors and designers training to become professionals in their fields.

"As with all love stories, there is a journey filled with unforeseen obstacles," he said. "An all-student design team … has created an environment where the themes of human communication are tested … continually filtered through technology with the advent of social media."

The audience will be engaged from the moment they enter the theatre, invited to tweet to the Twitter account @deadmanscellou until the show begins. Follow the conversation at #OUDeadMan.

"Dead Man's Cell Phone" will run through Sunday, March 24, in the Varner Studio Theatre. A shadow-signed performance by Terp Theatre will take place at 8 p.m.on Saturday, March 23.

The Studio Theatre is in Varner Hall on the OU campus and is surrounded by ample free parking. Maps of the campus are available at or by searching for "Varner Hall" on a smart phone.

Tickets are $14 for general admission, and $8 for students and all admission for a 10 a.m. matinee performance. Tickets can be purchased in advance with no service fees at or by phone at (800) 585-3737. They can also be purchased at the Center for Student Activities Service Window in the Oakland Center or at the Varner Hall Box Office. Complete ticket information is available at

For more information visit or call (248) 370-2030.

The full run of "Dead Man's Cell Phone" includes performances on:

  • Thursday, March 14, at 8 p.m.;
  • Friday, March 15, at 8 p.m.;
  • Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m.;
  • Sunday, March 17, at 2 p.m.;
  • Thursday, March 21, at 8 p.m.;
  • Friday, March 22, at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.;
  • Saturday, March 23, at 8 p.m.;
  • Sunday, March 24, at 2 p.m.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 265 academic degree programs. To learn more about programs, events, and achievements at OU, visit the news site at and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News