"Call me when you get this"
An inspired troupe of 17 young artists, including nine UMass Amherst alumni, have turned the hardship of life during COVID-19 into an opportunity to produce a new, immersive theatrical work. Their play, call me when you get this, can be seen live on Zoom on November 13, 14, and 15.
Both relevant and relatable, the play revolves around a group of 20-somethings dating online in 2020. According to Garrett Sager ’19, producer, “It explores the pitfalls of miscommunication, distance, and the lengths we go for unrequited love.”
Led by director Irisdelia Garcia, an Amherst College grad, the cast and crew collaborated to expand and adapt the production from a two-character 1915 play called Enigma, written by early feminist Floyd Dell.
Cast member Jordan Reed ’17 called the writing process “a super, super collaboration.” Reed says, “It was refreshing. We were supportive of each other and gave each other creative safe space. We weren’t afraid to be honest in our reactions to one another’s contributions.”
The production virtually united far-flung Five College alumni, living and working everywhere from Brooklyn and the Bronx to Hudson, New York, to Greater Boston, California, and Toronto. “We have a wonderfully diverse cast from many cultural backgrounds,” points out Sager. “This was a beautiful result of the pandemic; it wouldn’t have been possible to bring this group together under conventional circumstances.”
Circumstances also called for creativity in the work’s format. The production artfully employs Zoom features, including the opportunity to share original sonic compositions via Zoom’s screen-sharing function, and the ability to see actors on their phone and computer cameras simultaneously. “We’re exploring the idea of surveillance,” says Sager. “It’s truly an immersive work.”
Reed is thrilled to be reunited with her UMass friend Garrett and to meet other alumni. “Working on this project gave me solace in a time of isolation,” she says. “The creative process allowed me to imagine myself in another universe.”
Says Sager, “I’ve worked on several projects with friends from UMass. I remember Judyie Al-Bilali, one of my theater professors, telling us to look around at our classmates. She said, ‘These are the people you are going to be collaborating with.’ And she was so right.”
The cast and crew of call me when you get this:
Director: Irisdelia Garcia ’18 (Amherst College)
Stage Manager: Afrikah Smith ’19
Producer / Dramaturg: Garrett Sager ’19
Assistant Stage Manager: Rain
Sound Designer: Cami Dominguez ’18 (Amherst College)
Featuring: Nick Baker ’16, Black Lavender ’18 (Amherst College), Cindy Dzib, Lily Filippatos ’17, Sabine Jacques ’18, ’21G, Erik Long ’17, Danielle Samar McPhaul, Brandon Medina ’19 (Amherst College), Jordan Reed ’17, Amber-Nicole Rodriguez ’18, Sandra Seoane-Serí ’19, and Angel Zeas ’16 (Hampshire College)
Performances (Eastern Time):
November 13, 6:30 and 9 pm
November 14, 6:30 and 9 pm
November 15, 3 and 9 pm