Avital Ronnell

NYT loves “Telephone,” the new play by Ariana Reines

What are those distant, garbled voices on the line? What is the significance of that wavery technological hum that bears an alarming resemblance to heavy breathing? In such moments it feels as if there’s nothing lonelier than being alone on a phone. Reach out and touch someone? Ha.

“Telephone,” the inspired and utterly original new tone poem of a play at the Cherry Lane Theater, probes such feelings with the sensitivity and detachment of a heart surgeon.

The play is an adaptation of Avital Ronnell’s The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia, Electric Speech, a critical theory text which, according to that same NYT critic, was “created at the height of Derrida-style deconstructionism and laid out (by the graphic designer Richard Eckersley) in the style of a Dadaist phone book… Under the direction of Ken Rus Schmoll, a cast of three and a sharp-eyed design team turn what might have come across as gobbledygook into a stylish and stimulating show.”

So cheers, Ariana, and to everyone in NYC, the show is playing at Cherry Lane Theatre through February 28th (even though there doesn’t seem to be anything written about it on CLT’s website) so catch it while you can.


The Cow which won Fence’s Alberta Prize, was published in 2006.

Coeur de Lion was published by mal-o-mar editions in 2008. I wrote about Coeur de Lion (and Katy Lederer’s The Heaven-Sent Leaf) in my FLAUNT magazine column (print only- it appeared in issue #100).

The Agriculture Reader #3, the magazine I co-edit, contains a new piece of prose by Ariana Reines.

Ariana Reines poems at Coconut Poetry.

The real deal. To the real deal's immediate right (photographer's left), wearing his signature green hoodie, basically not in the photograph, is yours truly. - Stain Bar, Brooklyn, 2008.

Author News / 14 Comments
February 22nd, 2009 / 5:52 pm