Dee has recently come out to his entire school as transgender. After his former friend Riley harasses him about his trans identity on social media, Dee uses an undercover pseudonym to post embarrassing secrets about her. The revealing post quickly circulates among the student body. Soon, Dee and Riley realize they have said more than they can take back. In this interactive performance, students will be prompted to think about the unintended consequences of cyberbullying and the ways that social media can strain relationships. This show can be produced using a mix of projections, puppetry, and live actors. Approximate running time: 35 minutes.
With Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm
What inspired you to write this play?
I wanted to explore the very real impact of cyber-bullying, especially given the lack of accountability in that space. I felt it was important to look at how, when you know you can post something with little chance of it ever getting traced back to you, it is very tempting to say things about someone that are extremely hurtful – things you would never say if you were face-to-face with that person. I think this topic is particularly important to examine now, given that we’re still coming to terms with the longevity of the internet; the fact that when you post something online, it will likely be there forever.
What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
My favorite part is when the other Instagram accounts start re-posting Dee’s post without his permission. We witness something that was originally a very positive experience for Dee become twisted and get turned against him, which serves as an example of how quickly the internet can go from feeling like your best friend to your worst enemy.
Where did the characters come from? Are they based on people you know?
Dee is inspired by several trans friends of mine and a family member. Jo and Riley each take elements from a couple of friends I had in school.
What did you try to achieve with this play?
I wanted to be authentic to points-of-view different from my own. The theatre was the one place where I felt safe growing up, so I wish to help people from all sorts of backgrounds find a home in the theatre. I was also trying to find a way to depict cyber-bullying that felt theatrical and engaging.
Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Just that I hope you enjoy your time with E-SCAPE!