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ARIANA REINES
Telephone

Theater | $14.95
Publication Date: May 2018

B     Watson?
W    yes bell.
B     it seems we might not have undertaken this properly.
W    i think we’re managing reasonably well.
B     you do?
W    i came, did i not?
B     yes you did.
W    so it was intelligible. you wanted me to come, right?
B     yes i did. silence so. we have made history.

Telephone is a theatrical triptych inspired by Avital Ronell’s The Telephone Book, an epic work that draws upon history, philosophy, psychoanalysis and literature to explore the nature of communication in the age of technology. Like the book, Reines’ play operates like a switchboard, connecting people and places across time and space.

Telephone is an uncanny parcel of theater in which the wishes of humans to speak with the dead meet the limits or the aspirations of technology. A woman wrapped in language is deemed insane and the lonely pastness of our present walks around calling for itself. Telephone is a wild and visionary piece of art that announced to me a poet to me who is always tearing the future open like a trapped animal—their eyes reflect us. Don’t look! We must. Bless you and love you Ariana for this great work.
—Eileen Myles

There are phone lines to the living and others for calling the dead. Telephone by Ariana Reines is a network for riveting acts of speech, and silence, and listening. I saw the play and never forgot it. The audience was lit like a switchboard by its storms of courage and mystical love.
—Rachel Kushner

I have been WAITING FOR THIS BOOK! When I saw it in the theater every word and motion fell into magic stride, utterly taxing the soul with its accuracy and mystery. The next night I was at the box office with a different friend and needing to return to my job is the only thing that kept me from the theater a third night. Examine for yourself the bewitching and sometimes misshapen communicative powers of life with the poetry goddess of the stage, Ariana Reines!
—CA Conrad