Tuesday, September 20, 2011


"I'm really glad they didn't have Facebook when I was a teenager," I said to my friend after a performance of Facebook Me at the Soho Playhouse. Middle and high school are tough enough without an even easier way to spread gossip and make others feel inferior. Facebook Me was written by and stars the teenage girls of the Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company, created in 2007.

Each character in the play will feel familiar--either because you knew her or were her. They deal with body images, jealousy, sexuality, fights with friends, all intensified through Facebook statuses, where everyone can see what you're doing all the time. For example, Liv (Sophie Hearn) made out with her best friend Nicky (Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart) at a party to impress a boy and a video was posted on Facebook. Now that boy won't accept Liv's "in a relationship" status and friends are shunning Nicky because they think she's gay.

Directors Katie Cappiello and Meg McInerney have done an admirable job of staging the play so that the many storylines flow. Only the beginning of the play, where everybody speaks over each other, is confusing. This is an effective way to set up the overwhelming nature of Facebook, but it goes on for too long. The talented actresses are all between the ages of 13 to 15, which adds an authenticity to the play.

Some of the behavior portrayed in the show doesn't just apply to teenagers. Stella (Eliza Price) is helping her friend Sarah (Danielle Stefania) start her first Facebook page. Sarah just wants to be herself, a girl who loves Molly Ringwald movies and The Muppets, but Stella says she needs to be a different, more adult version of herself on Facebook. How many people are guilty of creating different personas online? Everybody using social media, no matter what age, could probably learn something from this play.

Remaining performances are Sat 9/24 @ 2, Sat 9/24 @ 9:30, and Sun 9/25 @ 2 at the Soho Playhouse.

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