To see a theatrical rendition of just how much the idea of new media has permeated the minds and culture of our beloved youth, look no further than the The PossEble Theater Company, a sophisticated group of young actresses who seek to shine a light on girlhood in the 21st century.
Under the direction of Katie Cappiello and Meg McInerney – alumni of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts – the members of The PossEble Theater Company created a play titled, “Keep Your Eyes Open,” which is structured around a snarky 11-year old, Winnifred, and her very own web TV show on YouTube.
Even though these 5th and 6th graders are not quite old enough to vote, they demonstrate an advanced knowledge of contemporary socio-political issues that would put the average (adult) voter to shame.
With a mini-dv camera in hand, Winnifred chronicles the lives of her pre-teen schoolmates as they wrestle with a wide array of issues, e.g. consumer culture, global warming, women’s history, the subtleties of feminine gossip and sexist gym teachers.
The play is worth noting because it successfully introduces the idea that web 2.0 could serve as an outlet or a resource for a new generation of women who are searching for positive role models – outside of the “hot or not” crowd, as Winnifred suggests.
These characters are also not only politically aware, but tech savvy. Posting a video blog to YouTube is almost second nature, and for these elementary school girls, it’s a go-to means of expression and an instrument for change. The production is a vivid reminder that kids these days are growing up in a very different technological environment than even their young, post-college teachers.
Unfortunately, the web show only exists within the magic of the theater, but I’m told the directors have plans to put Winnifred’s video show within the play on the virtual stage.