Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Calling for Dialogue: Collecting Phone Stories at NHM

Sponsored by: New Haven Museum

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the New Haven Museum (NHM) will celebrate the phone-related careers and conversations of women as part of a larger story-collecting event on Saturday, March 18, 2017, from 1 to 4 p.m. The public, and women especially, are invited to share their phone stories with production members from New Haven’s A Broken Umbrella Theatre (ABUT) for possible inclusion in an upcoming interactive theatrical experience, “EXCHANGE.” Admission is free with the sharing of a story.

You could say that women have been essential to the telecommunications field since 1878, when New Haven telegraph office manager George Coy created the first commercial telephone exchange using his wife’s pot lids and corset wires. Known for providing more patient, polite, and efficient service than their male counterparts, and for lower wages, women dominated the field of telephone switchboard operations into the 21st century.

Inspired by Coy’s early invention, ABUT will examine the public’s relationship with the telephone, communication, and personal exchange by recording first-person stories and incorporating some of the content into dialogue, song lyrics, or soundscapes for performances of “EXCHANGE” during New Haven’s “City Wide Open Studios” in October, 2017.

According to Aric Isaacs, ABUT ensemble member and producer, “EXCHANGE” will be a multi-generational and cross-cultural look at the exchange of information by phone—from Snapchat to the rotary dial, and all points in between. He adds that almost everyone has a good phone story, whether they realize it or not. To that end, ABUT staff have some compelling questions for prompting people’s memories, such as “Did you ever get a call in the middle of the night, and, if so, what was your response?” or “Did you ever miss a call that you wished you had answered?”

Admission: free or shared story
New Haven Museum
114 Whitney Avenue,
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