SCDA One-act: #Likes

February 20, 2016 | By | Reply More

Teen life online

New company Production Lines finishes off this year’s Edinburgh District round of the SCDA One Act Festival with a brand new play: #Likes.

Written by Claire Wood, #Likes delves right into the heart of life online for the current teenage generation, the first to have a direct line to the rest of the world at their fingertips day and night. And finds that maybe we are all still teenagers in some ways.

Miriam Thomson (Nina) and Penny Adams (Rosie). Photo: Judith Fieldhouse Photography

Miriam Thomson (Nina) and Penny Adams (Rosie). Photo: Judith Fieldhouse Photography

Teenagers have always worried about how they look. Even before there were teenagers, they were worrying about it. And this much has not changed.

What is new is the instant access to an online world. Most teenagers have mobiles and social media profiles, Wood points out. And while they can share everything immediately, they can just as quickly be judged by their image-obsessed peers.

#Likes explores what life is like for teenagers today, growing up with an inbuilt need to curate their lives online through Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, as Wood explains.

She says: “When I started writing, I was fascinated by the way that teenagers think about social media – and the inordinate number of pouting selfies posted by teenage girls who should know better.”

In #Likes, Nina and Rosie are best friends turned YouTube rivals. They started out on Instagram and found themselves competing for ‘likes’. Not to be deterred, they graduated to YouTube and became vloggers, each with their own unique angle, but find themselves in the same battle for subscribers.

willing to feed the beast

The play sets out on the day that local TV celebrity, Lily Lancaster, is sent to Craighill School to interview the girls following their inclusion in an exhibition of portraits by internationally renowned photographer, Christian Donizetti.

Production Lines worked with local photographer, Judith Fieldhouse to curate their own collection of photographs for this multimedia production. Scrolling incessantly above the stage is a collection of images produced ‘by’ Christian alongside Nina and Rosie’s selfies.

This is a reminder of the gulf between the kids who grew up online and the adults who didn’t, according to Wood, who says that she soon realised that adult behaviour isn’t so different from teenage behaviour online.

She continues: “Social media has created a whole new audience – sort of – and plenty of us are more than willing to feed the beast. At the end of the day, this is a play about popularity, the eternal quest for beauty and the need to be loved.

“Even when that’s ‘only’ expressed in #likes.”

Listing

SCDA One Act Festival
Church Hill Theatre, 33a Morningside Road, EH10 4DR
Saturday 20 February 2016
Evenings: 7pm.

NB: The Scottish Final of the SCDA One Act Festival will be at the Church Hill Theatre from 21 to 23 April 2016

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