My adaptation of Citizen Cyborg, based on the seminal work on transhumanism by James Hughes, as part of the 2015 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.
An Interview with Neal Utterback
Indie Theater Now asked Neal Utterback a few questions about this upcoming event.
Describe your show in a tweet (140 characters or less).
A hybrid smash-up of texts and styles examining emerging technologies and the delicate interplay of democracy.
How do social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. help you as an artist?
As a participant in Planet Connections Theatre Festivity (and as an artist that wholly subscribes to their mission) we strive to reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever possible. Thus, our marketing is largely social media and word of mouth.
How do technology, the internet and social media figure in your play?
Well, this is a play about technology so, from a textual standpoint, it factors in heavily. However we chose to take a rather low-tech perspective in the production to highlight the human interplay with technology. Gabriel Gould is our composer, sound designer, and performer in the show. His contribution is largely digital in nature and is comprised of the highly precise and the semi-improvised frequently responding, as a human, to the other human actors--but using technology to do so.
What was the last play or theater piece you saw that really excited you, and why?
A few years ago I took a play to the wonderful Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival (one of my all time favorite global events) and there was a two-hander by South African playwright, Philip Rademeyer. The play was titled, The View, and examined what would happen if the extreme conservative Right arrested all gays and lesbian and imprisoned them on the moon. It was expertly acted and one of the most profound emotional journeys I have ever taken in the theatre.
Writing is supposed to be a solitary pursuit, so what uses does a writer have for social media?
Well, first, I guess, writing, for me, isn't solitary. Even at its initial stages I am constantly filtering external stimuli and information. Stealing, I suppose. As with Citizen Cyborg, the cast was working on devised pieces of theatre based on James Hughes' book (by the same name) while I was working on my own version of the script. I was constantly adapting my own work in response to theirs and the final product ended up being a fusion of the two. At this point I'm not sure I could even tell you whose was whose and what was what. It is all just the play.
posted May 26, 2015