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‘In a World where Play is a Button and Life is a Box’

It truly scares me. Often when I wake up, I silence my phone’s alarm, roll over and begin to scroll through feed after virtual feed. When I’m done, I feel like I’ve just binged on salty food and my eyes kind of hurt.

When I see families out to eat with their kids, often the kids are face planted into rubber-cased tablets, utterly pacified while their parents chat and drink.

I went on vacation last month and watched a group of tourists with their Selfie Sticks (yes, multiple) taking pictures of themselves in silence while a beautiful sunset flared and then dissipated behind them, captured as a thousand digital memories half experienced. It was funny and then disturbing.

How do we keep our relationship with the things we “share” and the screens we sit in front of a healthy one? Are we really becoming more connected and more knowledgeable or are we distancing ourselves through filters and saturating ourselves with information? What is our responsibility as adults and how do we want to set examples for technological use amongst kids?

Signal evolved out of these questions and observations. It is a vehicle for addressing the weird balancing act that we do daily with technology. Signal is a highly physical theatre piece that tracks the adventure of Hero as Hero descends into “The Slick-Screen Realm” to save those who have been lost. It is the fantastical story of our relationship with technology and what happens when that relationship becomes toxic and unbalanced. Signal leans on theatrical storytelling tools to create an adventure with one foot in reality and another in the world of children’s storytelling and fantasy. The piece aims to magnify and distort symptoms of technological dependence in our current world and place them into the container of epic, adventurous, contemporary myth. In a world where Play Is A Button and Life Is A Box, will Hero be able to restore balance and find the true meaning of connection?

Signal is being developed by In The Water Theatre Company through a residency with Barn Arts Collective out of a great need to understand these new technological tools that are available to us, especially amongst the younger generation. Keep your eyes peeled (on your screens, ironically enough) for more regarding Signal’s development. We are very excited about the trajectory of this project and hope to find a way to make it very accessible for young audiences.

Kristian Sorensen

📸 Joseph Bacca and Kristian Sorensen in Signal at Double Edge Theatre (Photo by Milena Dabova)


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