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Emilio Williams Smartphones Trap Door Th
a pocket size farce

Run time: 65 minutes

Cast: 2 actors/2 actresses and 1 gender indifferent

Genre: Comedy


Production History: The first dramatized reading of the text took place in the iconic “Teatro Español” in Madrid, in 2011. In 2012, the play received its world-premiere in English, produced by Trap Door Theatre, in Chicago, and directed by the playwright himself. In 2014, the play received its Spanish premiere at Teatro Lara in Madrid.  The play has its East Coast premiere at the Ambassador Theater in Washington, D.C. in 2015. In March 2016, the play premiered in Mexico City at Teatro Milan. The script has been published by the Martin E. Segal Center in NYC as part of an anthology of new Spanish plays.


Plot: What happens when our lives become more absurd than an avant-garde play? “Smartphones, a pocket-size farce” is a madcap comedy, both a parody and a tribute to the great theater of the absurd, and the surrealist films of Luis Buñuel, such as “The exterminating angel” and “The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie.”  Amelia, Bernabe, Chantal, Dagobert and their respective mobile phones impatiently await their friend Fede in a mysterious apartment. In that blurry line that separates the real world from the virtual world, nothing seems to be what it is, or is it the other way around?

“Emilio Williams’s deft, of-the-moment comedy is worth tweeting about. (…) Williams and his deft cast tweak theatrical conventions and technological obsessions with joy and, indeed, smarts.”

– Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago

“Smartphones: A Pocket-Size Farce is a smart, well-executed show with just the right ratio of mockery to substance. Recommended”

– Keith Griffith, Chicago Reader


“The production design is spectacular, evoking an mid-60s flavor.  (…) It looks fantastic, and the performances (hilariously arch) are stylized and otherwordly.”

– Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune

“Ah, what a refreshing thing a good farce can be on a hot summer day. In a nation with a drought of not just rain but quality satire, the premiere of Emilio Williams’ Smartphones: A Pocket-Size Farce delivers a quirky little comedy with a sneakily smart dose of both old and new humor.”

– Clint May, Chicago Theater Beat

“One of the funniest and cleverest pieces of absurd theater I have ever seen. (…) I laughed, I gasped, I cringed, I enjoyed every second of it. It’s theater of the absurd for the digital age.”

– Jake Lindquist, Chicago Stage Style

 “IT’S ABSURD HOW AMAZING TRAP DOOR THEATRE IS…OR IS IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND? (…) Emilio Williams is a new voice worth following.”

– Paul Kubicki, Stage and Cinema

“The cast delivers the craziness with a calculated combination of choreographed restraint and reckless abandon. (…)This show looks as good as next year’s iPhone upgrade. Recommended”

– Venus Zarris, Chicago Stage Review

“The cast is wonderful as a unit, but Jodi Kingsley (…) manages to humanize an absurdist character, and once you’ve seen that, you start to think that all absurdist comedies might be improved by such a performance. Recommended”

– Lisa Findley, Center Stage

“The author has placed a mirror between Samuel Beckett and Yasmina Reza to reflect the new realities of human relationships. (…) He has threaded together perfectly-pitched dialogues with profound thoughts and social criticism.”

– Luis Maria Anson, El Mundo


5 STARS “saw this show last nite. LMAO. 2 funny. OMG. u G2G. (…)Smartphones is one of the smartest, sharpest satires I’ve seen.”

– John Stoltenberg, DC Metro Arts

5 STARS “A smart, surreal Smartphones from Ambassador Theater (…) A must-see, wacky send-up.”

– Rosalind Lacy, DC Theatre Scene

“Spoofing cellphone addiction, to hilarious effect”

– Celia Wren, The Washington Post

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