SALT LAKE CITY — Telephone, written by Claire Stucki and produced by Comet Sweeper Theatre, was as enlightening as it was enjoyable. I left the play feeling fulfilled with added inner strength, and knowing that whatever choice is ahead, I have full power over it.
The set had one old, graffitied phone booth in the middle of nowhere that would ring for passersby, usually hikers or those who knew about the phone. Jey (played by Eliza Shoell) would greet newcomers and tell them that the phone would ring and it was always for the passerby, but not Jey. On the other line were the gods who would tell the person their fate and what they had to do—whether they liked it or not. Jey’s task was to keep the person from going against the gods because whoever disobeyed was killed. During the whole play, Jey was doing this work for the gods while waiting for her turn to get a phone call.
Suni Gigliotti directed Telephone, and I love how she enhanced different characters and who they were by their blocking and the movement from movement director Kailey Azure Green. For example, the gods sometimes moved in sync, and one would stride powerfully toward the mortal in an intimidating way, showing how authoritative they were. The lighting was a dark blue whenever they were present, and it fit the look of the gods, as they were all dressed in black. Stucki’s play was so well organized, building the fear of the gods in the story line and finally showing the results of giving in to fear. I loved the messages this show gave me. Kallie Filanda played Sibyl well and had a great use of body language, as she expressed her character’s free-thinking ideas.
I would love to see Telephone again, as it was very moving without being too stressful on my psyche. I highly recommend seeing this production before it closes next week.