by Matt Herzfeld
Directed by Paul Tackas
The Ladder follows Jill, a new transfer student at Tate University on her first day of the annual Phonathon, a fundraising campaign that requires students to call alumni seeking donations. Jill is confronted with disgruntled co-workers, an over the top, pushy boss, and a far too perky colleague in her attempts to attain the ultimate donation. This satirical comedy takes a closer look into the lives of students, both past and present.
Sound played a prominent role in The Ladder. The Preshow sound was an ever increasing maelstrom of phone rings, typewriters and office related noises. It grew over the course of 20 minutes into an overwhelming cacophony. The sound of phones, whether ringing, or being hung up was a constant vocabulary of the show. Transitions between scenes were a phone picking up, or slamming down on the receiver. In the sequence leading up to Jill's phone call, we hear a series of missed calls and voicemails, as the automated calling system refreshes. The calls get more and more absurd, leading to the eventual answering of a real person.