Ariana Reines’ TELEPHONE is a theatrical triptych inspired by Avital Ronell’s The Telephone Book; an epic piece that, like Ronell’s book, 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 in the dark 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 & Creative Producer:
Sunder Ganglani

2009 : Performed at the Cherry Lane Theater



Written by Ariana Reines         
Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll
Dramaturg:  Sunder Ganglani

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

A.G.Bell: You know something Watson? It’s labor to maintain one’s integrity the whole length of life. you know. Just to be a single person. It’s. Exhausting. How do people do it. How do they. Remain themselves. I mean. I had to get ill all the time, didn’t I. And take the airs. Convalesce. Just to remain the same person. To become a person and to remain one. To be an uncontaminated person. I mean, one minute you’re settling down into yourself. And the next you are consumed by. By. Some phenomenon. (gesturing at the telephone) I don’t even like the thing. Clumsy.



“TELEPHONE is an inspired and utterly original new tone poem of a play.”…  
The New York Times

“With TELEPHONE, Reines has vaulted into a distinctly uncrowded category of next-generational thinkers.” Variety

A bona fide tour de force… that Ms. Huppuch delivers with symphonic variety and deliberateness.”  The New York Times



Winner of 2 OBIE Awards:

Best Direction: Ken Rus Schmoll
Best Performance: Birgit Huppuch