Taking a look at the digital, Girl in the Machine is a dystopian piece of work written by Stef Smith back in 2017. Although written almost five years ago, the themes of this piece ring true today. The more time passes, and the further we blur the line between the digital and the real, the more hard-hitting this play will be.
With immaculate light design and an amazingly simplistic set, Girl in the Machine, which was shown at Spajzu Kreattiv truly takes you on the journey faced by both characters.
Actors Tina Rizzo and Gianni Selvaggi played the characters of Polly and Owen. The message of the play comes across as real and raw. You could feel their emotions, making the themes of the piece hit hard to home.
Being the digital heart and soul of the piece, the black box is what kickstarts all of this action. When Owen gives this gift to Polly, he has unknowingly gifted her demise and slow descent into digital madness.
During an episode of the podcast entitled The Next Stage, Tina and Gianni discuss the process behind this production. They even go so far as to argue that the two-hander play can be considered to have three characters, Polly, Owen, and the black box itself.
Who knew that an act of love to save their relationship would be the very thing to end it?
The flashing lights which become synonymous with the black box perfectly reflect the inner turmoil that Polly is going through. The warmer tones used in the design reflect how Owen was always rooted in reality.
Considering that this whole work is aimed to make us think about just how invasive and addictive social media can be, it relied heavily on lights. But, the balance between reality lighting and digital lighting is handled beautifully by light designer Matthew Gellel.
The way that director and producer Micheal Richardson was able to create such a cohesively fragmented experience meant that audience members could go on the rollercoaster with Polly and Owen. The only difference is that the audience doesn’t have to deal with the aftermath of the extreme digital world that the characters found themselves in.
Using the Spajzu Kreattiv theatre meant that the audience members were literally on the stage as the action was happening. With no distance between spectators and actors, the audience members could really get sucked into the story.
A look inside, alienating effects, and a heart-wrenching story are all ways you can describe Girl in the Machine.
Taking the audience on a journey where we slowly see just how much technology has a grasp on all of us, this piece really does hit close to home. With everyone being so social media obsessed, and constantly having our phones glued to our hands, Girl in the Machine reminds us that sometimes we need to unplug.
Tag someone who’s addicted to their phone!