Comedy hits the Wellsboro stage | News, Sports, Jobs

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PHOTO PROVIDED “Jean”, played by Kaydee Jay, grabs the cell phone and begins to answer Gordon’s calls.

Hamilton-Gibson is currently preparing its second production in front of a live audience, “Cell phone of the dead man”, directed by Gabe Hakvaag of Wellsboro.

The cast members are rehearsing for performances at 7:30 p.m. on June 4, 5, 11, 12 and 2:30 p.m. on June 6 and 13 at the Warehouse Theater at 3 Central Ave., Wellsboro.

“The last romance”, a bittersweet romantic comedy with a twist, sold five of its six shows on the first two weekends in May, according to a press release. It didn’t matter that only a limited number of seats were available due to social distancing. It was the first time the community drama group had produced a live show since October 2020.

“This piece struck a chord of hope, art and connectivity”, said Thomas Putnam, its director, according to the press release. “Members of the audience were delighted to be able to come together for a live theatrical production. A number came a second time and brought friends with them. It was a great experience for everyone, ” Putnam said.

“Cell phone of the dead man” is a very different kind of comedy. It tells the story of John. She is in a cafe trying to enjoy her lunch but is frustrated because the cell phone of the man sitting at the next table keeps ringing but he does not answer. She rushes over, picks up the phone, and starts talking to the man’s callers, one after the other. They identify him as Gordon. Soon she realizes that Gordon is dead.

This modern fable, written by well-respected American playwright Sarah Ruhl, explores the paradox of modern technology’s ability to both unite and isolate people in the digital age.

“Ruhl’s productions are intentionally very imaginative and collaborative, and the cast members are expected to bring creative problem-solving as well as acting skills to the production,” Hakvaag said, according to the press release.

“She captures everyday actions in a mythical setting, telling stories like fables are told: this thing happened, then this and then this” Hakvaag said. “The results are both delicate and hilarious stories, simply charming but with biting teeth.”

“Cell phone of the dead man” is also about how people commemorate the dead and how remembering changes them. Through this odyssey, Jean is forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a world obsessed with technology.

Jean is played by Kadee Jay of Mansfield and Gordon by Tim Wilbourn of Wellsboro. Ellen Schaefer of Muncy Valley is Mrs. Gottlieb, Gordon’s mother. Kacy Hagan plays two characters, Hermia, Gordon’s widow and The Other Woman, a stranger. Joshua Allen is Gordon’s brother Dwight. Hagan and Allen are both from Wellsboro.

Taylor Nickerson is the choreographer and Sean Bartlett is the stage manager.

“You have to book. We are asking people to buy tickets in advance so that we can allocate seats to meet social distancing protocols and state guidelines. No tickets will be sold at the door.” Hakvaag said.

For more information, to purchase a flexible pass or to reserve and prepay, call 570-724-2079 with credit card information or prepay online at hgp.booktix.com

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