Nothing like death to teach about life

Jessyka Holguin

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–Three students in the cast of a play about a dead man say in the process of rehearsing, they’ve learned about life.  Audiences will see what they mean beginning Oct. 6 when Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Grossmont’s  first play of the Fall Semester, opens at the Stagehouse Theatre.

The play, following a woman who picks up a cell phone of a dead man and basically gets sucked into his life, stars Aaron Duggan as the the dead man; Laylya Stuckey as the woman who answers the call, and Adrian Brown, as the dead man’s brother.

Duggan told an interviewer that he has learned from this character as he has with every character he plays.  Every character has an internal logic, however strange it may be, he said, adding that he he tries to find good person within each character.  By  understanding the character, he said, actors can become less judgmental and more forgiving of themselves.

Playing Jean, the woman who finds the dead man’s cell phone, Laylya Stuckey said this play has taught her some things about life as well. When people have to talk about a dead man, she said, many  people may be  tempted to tell “white lies” about him. In certain situations that is fine, she said, if it makes the questioner feel better so this is exactly what her character Jean does.

Adrian Brown who plays Dwight,  the brother of the dead man, said  he learned that death can bring life to relationships. People who were close to the deceased sometimes realize what they had and how they can change their own lives for the better. Brown confided that acting in this play actually brought him out of a bad time because this play helps him reflect on how beautiful life can be.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone is directed by Martin Katz who returns to Grossmont after a hiatus, and says he is  excited to be back. He described this cast bas “open, creative and responsible.” During every rehearsal  he tells cast members “ Don’t work hard, play hard” to motivate the actors to play and  have fun, but still be responsible.  He said he wants the audience to walk away from this play by Sarah Ruhl  looking anew at their relationships and reexamining what they value. In particular, he said, audiences may want to revisit the manner they they maintain relationships through technology. One of the most important things he wants the audience to get from this play is “sixty minutes of laughter !”

The play also will be presented Oct. 7, 8, 14, 15 and 16.

Holguin is a student in Media Comm 132.  She may be contacted at [email protected]