Our upcoming world premiere production of Cyrano is a funny and romantic tale about a brilliant deaf poet in love with a hearing woman. Set in a modern city, the play also dramatizes how technology helps and harms how we communicate. The influence of the internet — email, smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, texting, blogging — all play an important part in the story of Cyrano.
The new play asks some relevant questions about life and love in the Electronic Age:
- Do all of our electronic devices make us feel more connected, or more alone?
- Is it easier to text someone than have a real face-to-face conversation?
- Is the “you” on your Facebook page or website or blog the real you? Are we our avatars?
- What effect does all this technology have on our ability to have personal relationships? How does it influence our self esteem, how we see ourselves? How we perceive reality?
Since her pathbreaking The Second Self: Computers and The Human Spirit in 1984 psychologist and sociologist Sherry Turkle has been studying how technology changes not only what we do but who we are. In 1995’s Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, Turkle explored how the Internet provided new possibilities for exploring identity.
Described as “the Margaret Mead of digital cuture,” Turkle has now turned her attention to the world of social media and sociable robots. As she puts it, these are technologies that propose themselves “as the architect of our intimacies.” In her most recent book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, Turkle argues that the social media we encounter on a daily basis are confronting us with a moment of temptation. Drawn by the illusion of companionship without the demands of intimacy, we confuse postings and online sharing with authentic communication. We are drawn to sacrifice conversation for mere connection. Turkle suggests that just because we grew up with the Internet, we tend to see it as all grown up, but it is not: Digital technology is still in its infancy and there is ample time for us to reshape how we build it and use it.
Enjoy This Video, as Turkle Asks: Are We Connected, But Alone?
Cyrano April 28 – June 10 (323) 663-1525 More Info