The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Poll

This poll has ended.

Do you treat student evaluations seriously?

Loading...

Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Advertisement
Loading Recent Classifieds...

‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’ to premiere at EIU

The+Pulitzer+Prize+finalist+play+%E2%80%9CDead+Man%E2%80%99s+Cell+Phone%E2%80%9D+by+Sarah+Ruhl+is+coming+to+Eastern+Thursday+and+will+play+until+Sunday.+
Cam’ron Hardy
The Pulitzer Prize finalist play “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” by Sarah Ruhl is coming to Eastern Thursday and will play until Sunday.

The Pulitzer Prize finalist play “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” by Sarah Ruhl is coming to Eastern Thursday. 

Anne Thibault is not only the director of the play but also teaches acting and directing in the theatre department at Eastern. 

As director, Thibault said one of the main objectives she focused on was allowing the student actors to build “complex relationships.” 

Thibault said the play is “wacky” but also explores avenues such as death, grief and the afterlife. 

“I like to do plays that really get deep and that really get into the psychology of humans. This play allows for that,” Thibault said. 

Several students in the play are also students that she teaches. She said she enjoys seeing their growth. 

“It’s so exciting for me to see that growth in those students to be able to do the exploration work they’re doing,” Thibault said. “The classroom is a laboratory, so I encourage them to try new things, to get crazy and to fail. We know when we’re putting on a play, there is a laboratory aspect in rehearsal, but ultimately, we have to make some decisions.” 

One of the biggest challenges she’s faced with directing the play is battling the non-linear aspects of the play without revealing too much to the audience, she said. 

Additionally, the youthfulness of the cast has also been something she’s had to work with. Most of the cast are freshmen and sophomores. For some, this is their first time on stage. 

Sophomore theatre majors Joseph “JP” Percy and Olivia Enlow are the leads for the play. Even though they are young, Thibault said, they both “[stepped] up to the plate.” 

“JP has a very long monologue at the beginning of Act 2, 17 minutes long, that’s just him onstage, and he’s captivating. I think he’s amazing,” Thibault said. “Liv Enlow, who plays Gene, the woman who finds the cell phone, is onstage for 97% of the play. She does not get to leave the stage for two hours.” 

Auditions were held at the end of November 2023, and rehearsals began the first week of the semester. 

One of the things that Thibault looked for when casting was potential for growth, how different personalities could work together and who had a strong work ethic. 

She is able to work with students outside of set and said she is able to get to know the students alongside their work. 

Thibault also said she enjoyed seeing new faces at the auditions. 

“I have a brand-new actor I’ve never worked with before, and one of the other leads, Mason Tegeler, who I’m just taking a chance on just from reading him in the room at the audition. He’s phenomenal,” Thibault said. 

Thibault said that the play is unlike most plays and is a dark comedy, with emphasis on the dark. 

“Dead Man’s Cell Phone” premieres Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on the Doudna Fine Arts Center website. 

  

Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Cam’ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest