Long ago in 2019, when Facebook was just called Facebook and hand sanitizer wasn’t a valuable resource, playwright Hannah Kalil envisioned a dystopian future where human interaction took place only through computer screens. I wrote a story about
Khalil called the play metaverseand since its inception it has become increasingly relevant and, unfortunately, prescient, as Corrib Theater’s new production (directed by Holly Griffiths) proves.
Our story takes place in an unnamed future society. There, her mother (Wynee Hu) is hard at work on a mysterious project for a tech giant, and her only respite is her weekly VR calls with her daughter (Annabel Cantor). But it’s possible there’s something else going on at the company, something ominous that her mother’s colleague (Jerilyn Armstrong) may or may not be involved. makes the heroine of .. doubt the true nature of her reality.
Of course, this is the familiar cornerstone of speculative fiction. The genre is littered with stories about the dangers of an artificially constructed world and the mechanization of human abilities, including relationships. metaverse Can’t help but feel like an episode in the middle black mirrorThe question is whether this play adds enough to a familiar genre to be worth your time.
In a nutshell, yes. metaverse has made the wise move of building its story not on advanced technology, but on the impact that technology has on people. It is based on her mother’s struggles, relationships, and her all-too-human desire to finish her work and reunite with her daughter.
Hu proves capable enough to sell that longing and desperation. Her performance anchors the story to true emotion and makes it worth following.
This proves to be a necessary step. metaverse I have no interest in creating a fully fleshed out future. The nature of what layered the world is never explained, and the characters on stage are never given real name distinctions.
The set consists of a single light-up desk and a bright white angular arch, as if Fritz Lang had designed an Apple store. The music provides eerie guitar sounds from Quinn Mulligan, who occasionally joins the cast as the subject of his mother’s experiments.
All of this creates an eerie minimalism that doesn’t quite subtly inform the audience how distant and unrecognizable this future is (in some respects), but the play does give its relationship and its mother’s emotional journey a sense of purpose. Her creeping paranoia comes from the world of spyware and Google Analytics and is understandable.
metaverse It’s a smaller story than you’d expect from science fiction, but it’s still a personal tale of isolation, fear, and an unwavering need for human connection that we all share. It’s a fascinating trip into a dystopia not as far away as one might hope.
Watch it: metaverse Performed at 21ten Theater, 2110 SE 10th Ave., 503-389-0579 corribtheatre.orgThursday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm through December 18th. $15-$35.