Do It Today, Theater Edition: Jobsite's Dead Man's Cell Phone, Gorilla's Young Dramatists Project, USF's Melancholy Play and Samuel French's Night of One-Acts @620

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When Gorilla Theatre began its Young Dramatists Project 10 years ago, this year’s winners were probably just learning to put pen to paper, much less composing full-fledged works of art. Here’s the gist: Gorilla picks five original plays by local teens for the star treatment: a full-scale production, with professional directors and actors (among this year’s local luminaries are Bridget Bean, Ami Sallee Corley and David Mann) and a paid membership into the Dramatists’ Guild. Don’t expect themes of prom-date woes and stale summer jobs, though: subjects include everything from Zacharia Hartman’s take on four men coming to terms with the disappointments of adulthood in Pugilist, to the story of a man who’s had an estranged relationship with his mother his whole life, but finds himself in charge of her funeral in Michael Kefeyalew’s The String That Fell. June 3-13, 7 p.m. Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 3 and 7 p.m. Sun., Gorilla Theatre, 4419 N. Hubert Avenue, Tampa, $20-$25, $10-$20 students and seniors, --Franki Weddington

[image-1]MacArthur “Genius” Grant-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl has been staging a silent coup of local theaters lately, garnering praise along the way from CL theater critic Mark Leib. The students in USF’s Honors Theatre continue the trend with Ruhl’s Melancholy Play (pictured), which wonders: Why do we expect to be happy? Ruhl’s expertise is evident because the show isn’t somber at all — it’s a lighthearted, laugh-out-loud jest that simultaneously questions the idea that we deserve constant bliss, all the while reminding us that life ain’t so bad, after all. June 3-6, 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., USF Theater Center, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa, $12-$15, $8-$10 students and seniors, --Franki Weddington

620 ends its season with Samuel French: A Night of One-Acts. One Night In the Warehouse is a straight-outta-SAW story about two guys trapped together and forced to decide which one of them should die for the unknown crimes they've committed. Writer's Block, though it sounds like less macabre fare, is nevertheless a darkly comic look at a suicidal children's author who, after attempting to overdose on pain meds, sees visions of Dr. Seuss. June 3-6, 7:30 p.m. Thurs.; 6:30 p.m. Fri.; 3 and 7 p.m. Sat.-Sun., The [email protected], St. Petersburg, $15-$25.

When it comes to quirky, thought-provoking theater, the folks at Jobsite rarely disappoint, and their latest production looks to be right in their aesthetic wheelhouse. Written by Sarah Ruhl, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Clean House, Dead Man’s Cell Phone centers on a woman who answers the cell phone of — you guessed it — a man sitting in rigor mortis in a cafe. In carrying out this deceptively simple act, she insinuates herself into the lives of the man’s friends and family, crafting for the survivors comforting memories of the departed. David Jenkins directs the usual suspects in Dead Man’s Cell Phone, including Michael C. McGreevy, Steve Garland and Summer Bohnenkamp-Jenkins, who recently earned kudos from Creative Loafing theater critic Mark E. Leib for her turn in boom! Ruhl, by the way, is quite in vogue in Tampa Bay this season; read more about her work in Leib’s preview. (Pictured: Meg Heimstead and Steve Garland.  Photo by Krystalle Voecks) June 3-20, 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 4 p.m. Sun., Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa,$24.50,

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