Photo taken by Vivian Reed
In the past, the Pinewood Performing Arts program has brought one small, intimate play to life every chilly autumn. Moving from this tradition, directors Katie Linza and Doug Eivers have gifted us with two shows this fall: “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” by Sarah Ruhl and “Distracted,” by
“Dead Man’s Cell Phone” is a drama with a unique, magical tone. The story follows Jean (sophomore Vivian Reed), an ordinary woman who embarks on a dark adventure uncovering the mysterious past of a dead man (junior Maxam Lemmon), all through his cellphone. Directed by Linza, the play comes to life through the intricacies of each moment, be it dialogue or silence.
Linza gave insight into how the actors have been developing their skills. “We have been using an acting and directing technique called Viewpoints and Composition to craft special moments and build character — we also used it for last year’s play, Metamorphoses— and I’m always so thrilled to watch the creativity of the actors develop and their fearlessness as they embrace the work,” Linza said.
She also commented on something the audience has to look forward to: the style of the comedy.
“Comedy that is born of pain and is grounded in truthfulness can
be so difficult to pull off, and there are many moments in the play where we have had to resist the urge to resort to camp or schtick,” Linza said.
“Distracted,” directed by Eivers, is a frenetic narrative comedy following Mama (junior Courtney Young), the mother of Jesse (freshman Marco Calia) and his diagnosis with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This play pairs nicely with the dramatic tone of “Dead Man’s Cell Phone.”
Eivers credits his actors for their hard work, but also commented on this year’s difficulty – running two plays at the same time. “‘Distracted’ is in a classroom most of the time, but that is really no different than many theater companies … it has been difficult to balance time to handle all of the different departments such as set, props, lighting, sound, costume and projection,” said Eivers.
Eivers’ excitement for this show lies amongst the actors, all fairly new to the Pinewood theater stage. “The audience is going to have a whole new theater experience with this show. Not just the script, but the fact that they haven’t seen these actors before.”
These two plays are something entirely new to Pinewood Performing Arts, so make sure to go watch! “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” opens Nov. 1 and “Distracted” opens Nov. 8. For one play, the tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, with a $5 special for purchasing tickets to both.
For tickets and more information, visit www.pinewoodarts.com.