Our relationship with technology is a constantly evolving one, but in summary, we can say that it has become an extension of ourselves. As the world moves steadily towards a new kind of virtual reality, our predictions of whether that’s a good idea are still premature. However, the local theatre production Girl In The Machine will provide a very vivid and possibly realistic outcome of what can come to pass if we end up preferring the virtual version of ourselves.
Dangers of addiction
We’ve quite recently made mention of the dangers of online addiction, especially in terms of social media, and as the play’s director Michael Richardson explained, the pandemic might have made things worse a lot quicker than expected. “The pandemic forced us to shift our lives. We meet, study and work online, all of which can make us feel traumatised. People will relate to the play because they use technology frequently every day. Some have had enough, and want to change, but they don’t know exactly how. Seeing this play will hopefully influence them to make a positive change in our society.”
In terms of the play itself, audiences can expect a sci-fi play that is both emotionally and intellectually intense as our relationship with technology is thoroughly examined. How many times have you asked yourself, “Am I spending too much time online? How do I stop myself? Do I want to stop?”
Girl In The Machine explores all of this when Owen, played by Gianni Selvaggi, brings home a VR headset named Black Box (nothing sinister there at all) to help Polly, Tina Rizzo, ease her stress. The seating arrangement, lighting setup, creative technical work and special effects will get viewers to engage intensely with the on-stage action. People will be drawn in, seeing every emotion up close, giving a feeling of actually being on the stage, because essentially we’re all part of this conflict.
Too farfetched? Not quite…
Plenty of dramas, whether on stage or on TV, tend to be exaggerations of real life. Whether that’s to remind people that what they’re watching is all a show or whether as a warning of things to come is debatable though. Many will be able to empathise with Polly’s addiction, maybe even see a bit of themselves in her. In summary, the play is indeed cautioning us to be wary of how much time we spend online and how we spend it.
The dangers of fake reality are both real and very present. And with Meta shaping the metaverse as a backdrop to all of this, maybe the play is not as farfetched as some people would want it to be.
Girl in the Machine opens on December 3rd and runs till December 12th at Spazju Kreattiv Theatre, St James Cavalier, Castille Place, Valletta. Performances begin at 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 7:00 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, head to the Spazju Kreattiv website. Tickets start at €15 and can be purchased here.
Disclaimer: This theatre production makes use of mature language, including swear words.
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