Reines’ TELEPHONE a theatrical triptych inspired by Avital Ronell’s The Telephone Book, an epic work that draws upon history, philosophy, psychoanalysis and literature to explore the nature of communication in the age of technology. Like the book, Reines’ play operates like a switchboard, connecting people and places across time and space. In Act I, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson return to the stage, having first presented their history-changing invention to the public in theaters, vaudeville-style. In Part II, Miss St. (Jung’s notorious schizophrenic madwoman) takes over, suffering the slander of invisible telephones and telling the audience all about it. Part III is a succession of cell phone conversations between people who love each other. Together, the three parts add up to a tender yet ferociously poetic work that asks what it means to “take the call,” not knowing who or what will be on the other end.
Written By Ariana Reines
Directed By Ken Rus Schmoll
Dramaturg Sunder Ganglani
Featuring Gibson Frazier, Matthew Dellapina, Birgit Huppuch
Set Design Marsha Ginsberg
Costume Design Carol Bailey
Lighting Design Tyler Micoleau
Sound Design Matt Hubbs
Stage Manager Molly Minor Eustis
TELEPHONE is an inspired and utterly original new tone poem of a play. A bona fide tour de force… that Ms. Huppuch delivers with symphonic variety and deliberateness.
With TELEPHONE, Reines has vaulted into a distinctly uncrowded category of next-generational thinkers.
Winner of 2 OBIE Awards:
Best Direction & Best Performance