top of page

R+J: A Telephone Play,
or Don't Drink the Milk


R + J: A Telephone Play is the performance of six new plays created through the context of a game of telephone. Telephone (also known as “don’t drink the milk”) is a game in which one person whispers a message to another person. The message is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. The original message for this particular game of telephone is the last scene of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. We created an audio recording of this scene and sent it to the first playwright in the line. The playwright listened to the recording and wrote what he/she heard in the form of a play. Then, we sent an audio recording of this new play to the next playwright in the line, and so on.

All performances of R + J: A Telephone Play are followed by a Bodysnatchers' The Historical Tragedy or Comedy of, an improvised version of your favorite Shakespeare play.

R + J: A Telephone Play was created with support from the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission.


Performing Artists

Mollie Amburgey

Cara Barresi

Will Bonfiglio

Mitch Eagles

Carl Overly, Jr.

Rachel Tibbetts


James Ryan Caldwell: Playwright, Two Character Play

Otso Huopaniemi: Playwright, Still Standing

camila le-bert: Playwright, rosaline called

William Shakespeare: Playwright, Romeo and Juliet, Act V, scene iii

John Douglas Weidner: Playwright, Number 4

Samara Weiss: Playwright, Untitled

Zhu Yi: Playwright, The Offended Audience

Production Team

Kevin Arkell: Producer

Will Bonfiglio: Producer

Lucy Cashion: Producer, Director, Scenic & Sound Design

Katrin Hackenberg: Photographer

Erik Kuhn: Lighting Design

Meredith LaBounty: Costume Design

Brooklynn McDade: Hair & Make-Up Design

Charlie Mueller: Composer, Music Arranger

Gabe Taylor: Stage Manager & Assistant Director

Production History

2016 September 13: in SIUE's Xfest at the Metcalf Student Experimental Theater

2015 April 22-May: The Chapel

*April 23’s performance is a part of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ SHAKE 38 event

Press & Recognition

Mark Bretz, "Answer the Call for 'R&J: A Telephone Play'" in Ladue News

Richard Green in Talkin' Broadway

Michelle Kenyon, "ERA’s 'R + J' Is a Worthwhile Experiment" in Snoop's Theatre Thoughts

Andrea Torrence in St. Louis Theatre Snob

bottom of page