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USD Theatre dials up laughs, thrills with ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre presents the contemporary comedy “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” by Sarah Ruhl, Oct. 31 through Nov. 4, at the Arena Theatre of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.

In “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” Ruhl explores technology, relationships and the disconnect people are experiencing in the digital age. She does this by fashioning a humorous, yet poignant and fantastical journey for Jean, played by Brooke Grassby of Rapid City, S.D., a quiet and lonely woman who answers the incessantly ringing cellphone of a dead man. By answering the dead man’s cell phone, Jean begins her incredible and entertaining odyssey into the life of Gordon (Brain Muldoon of Sioux Falls, S.D.), the dead man. Through the course of the play Jean encounters Gordon’s family and observes how they are dealing with his death. The family includes Gordon’s over-protective mother, Mrs. Gottlieb, played by Lizzy Wetering of Worthington, Minn., his awkward and shy brother Dwight, played by Caleb Olson of Centerville, S.D., and his trophy-wife, now widow, Hermia, who is played by Jamie Fields of Bellevue, Neb. Jean even comes across a mysterious woman, played by Emily Dorsett of Sioux City, Iowa, who was a co-worker with Gordon.

“Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” which contains mature themes and language, performs at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31 through Saturday, Nov. 3 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens (62+), $10 for K-12 & non-USD students with ID, and $5 for USD students with an ID. Tickets for Saturday's performance is a "Date Night" special for USD students: two tickets for the price of one with USD student ID.

Tickets can be reserved online at or from noon to 5 p.m. starting Oct. 24 by calling the USD Theatre Box Office at (605) 677-5400.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Hanna DeLange
USD News