By Marsha Wilson Rappaport
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
The Shirelles, Carole King, Gerry Goffin
Will You Still Love Me After a Google Search?
Sex with Strangers at Island ETC appears to offer an evening of sophisticated titillation highlighted with spikes of comedy and drama. However, a few minutes into the play, the audience realizes that the smartphones in our pockets and purses have become part of an interactive theater experience. Olivia Lago, played by Laurel Powell and Ethan Kane played by Cameron Dunbar, subtly hide the sub-text of a performance that delves very deeply into our modern obsessions with all things shiny and electronic. In fact, it hits so close to home, that despite our desperate desire to check our emails, we feel hesitant to turn our phones back on when the curtains close.
The overall plot of this play seems simple enough. Two young writers are trapped in a writers retreat during a snowstorm. The wireless is down and they are reluctant to talk to one another. Of course, they are drawn to one another and nature takes its course.
What follows however, is a brutal examination of the human costs we may be paying for our24/7 – 365-all information – all entertainment – every waking minute - tech driven culture.
Although both are young, Olivia and Ethan have a slight age gap. This play illustrates how technology, which has grown at light speed, has made that gap a lot larger than it should be.
Ethan is a 20-something, author, blogger and web millionaire. He has a view of sex, love and relationships that are compatible with his coming of age in a world of instant information and instant gratification. Olivia is also an author. But she is old school. She lives in an apartment filled with books and loves the feel of words on paper. Computers are writing tools for her. She retains a viewpoint about sex, love and relationships that includes baseline expectations of trust and respect.
At this point anyone in the audience over the age of 20-Something will have an "ah-ha" moment. Many of us, are shocked that we live in a world where teens post naked selfies that will reside in cyber-space for infinity. For many in the audience, some of that behavior and others seem both foolish and downright dangerous. Moreover, the I.D. Channel and 20/20 with their endless stories about serial killers and web stalkers appears to validate our fears. In short, real "Sex with Strangers", even in the middle of the "Swinging Sixties" did not have emerging dangers of HIV/AIDS; untreatable STD's, stronger and more deadly drugs and the grim reality of real well-groomed serial killers like Ted Bundy.
Therefore, when Ethan explains that his literary internet fortune was made by recounting his sexual exploits with a multitude of women he picked up in bars you could hear the oxygen suck out of the theater. The critical piece of his confession is the reality of the amplification of his frolics for a global audience on the internet where his legend and the naked photos will never die.
This piece also takes a look at how new technologies "brand" us. Both Ethan and Olivia indulge in the benefits and pitfalls of having a brand that can be monetized. The issue of how far either has to go before they completely sell all of their integrity acts as a unifying thread in the performance.
Laurel Powell as Olivia does a masterful job of portraying a woman torn between desire and real fears about a man so willing to do anything for fame. The audience felt her struggle as she desperately fights to keep her values while searching for a way to sell her art.
Cameron Dunbar as Ethan, despite his cavalier attitude is surprisingly sympathetic. Once again, love is the great equalizer. His need for a real connection and his need for literary respect are usually interrupted by his need to "play the game" in order to put some more money in his pocket. His abrupt switches between his "real self" and his other "real self" took some serious acting skills.
Sex With Strangers proves, once again, that Kim Mytelka understands the role of a great community theater. The staff and acting ensemble obviously feel that too, because they truly pulled things together fast after the theater was flooded by Harvey.
THAT BEING SAID:
PLEASE DONATE TO Island ETC on their YOU CARING PAGE so the repairs and renovations can be completed. The link is here:
THE SHOW CAN GO ON-WITH YOUR HELP.
SEX WITH STRANGERS
A THOUGHT-PROVOKING COMEDY
By LAURA EASON
OCTOBER 5 - OCTOBER 21, 2017
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays @ 8:00pm; Sunday matinee OCTOBER 15 @ 2:30pm
TICKETS: $30; $25 Seniors & Students
2317 Mechanic St
Galveston, Texas 77550
Highlights info row image
Sex with Strangers: An Unexpected Shock to the System
READ AND RESPOND
Rants and Podcast Interviews from the Edges
Island ETC: Season 15
By Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick
Concept Created by Seth Rudetsky & Drew Geraci
Additional Material by Drew Geraci
July 21-August 19, 2017
Sunday Matinees on July 30 and August 6
Sex With Strangers
By Laura Eason
September 15-October 2, 2017
Sunday Matinee on September 24
Love & Money
By A.R. Gurney
November 10-December 2
Sunday Matinee on November 19
Love, Loss and What I Wore
By Nora Ephron and Delia Ephron
January 19-January 27, 2018
Sunday Matinee on January 21, 2018
Book by James Rado & Gerome Ragni
Music by Galt MacDermont Lyrics by James Rado & Gerome Ragni
March 9 – April 7, 2018
Matinees on March 18 and March 25, 2018
Last of the Red Hot Lovers
By Neil Simon
May 11-May 26, 2018
Matinees on May 13 and May 20
LET'S HAVE A GOOD LAUGH
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