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I enjoy when I get the chance to return back to my old high school to catch the talented drama club do a new show. Last night, the Reading Memorial High School Drama Club performed a powerful student-run production titled Selfie.
Selfie is a short play written by Bradley Hayward. The story centers around the lives of eight high school students facing their own insecurities. The play also influences the dangers of social media and how it can become a world of compatibility. Upon posting a selfie on the internet, although that photo shows a smile, on the inside, it hides much darker secrets.
Directed by student Ryan Norton, Class of 2019, the small cast made a strong impact on the stage of RMHS. High school is a very important time. Students learn to connect with others, gain an understanding of what they’re passionate about, but most importantly, to love yourself.
Norton jumped at the opportunity to direct his own show. He chose to direct Selfie because he was drawn to the story and because “The material is so real on a new level and it has allowed the company to connect to a multitude of topics and scenarios presented in the show.”
Many powerful topics were conveyed through actors performing as contrasting people who fought their own eternal battles. Some issues that were touched upon were the feelings of being uncomfortable with your body, becoming gravely ill, and of the pressures of school. How we react to our stresses is the most important question.
Norton did an incredible job setting up the stage working closely with cast members. I could tell that the cast wanted to sell this message to audiences. I remember tearing up, gasping, and even smiling, too. I was not alone. Audiences were quiet while taking in the heavy words of wisdom. The most powerful aspect about theatre is audience response.
A gigantic prop cell phone sat in the middle of the stage creating a fun, yet startling set piece. I also really liked the lighting, and how it metaphorically states that we should never lose ourselves to the darkness and stay together.
Gradually, the characters start to abandon social media and come together to physically connect, holding each other in support. Barely anyone does that anymore. Physical communication helps our own social skills and strengthens our relationships.
Selfie derives the eerie feeling of how technology has taken over all communication. We have become addicted to social media. We post our life story for not just our friends, but even strangers to see. In a matter of time, social media has taken over our lives distract us from forming connections and creating a life of our own. Instead of sitting with our friends at lunch, our eyes are glued to our devices paying no attention to new friendships.
I applaud the cast and crew of Selfie for a memorable evening. We have to set our phones aside and accept our society, ourselves, and form bonds. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Being different is a given.
The theater is all about confidence. It is mandatory to put away your phones in the theatre to work together to listen to a director and create a show for audiences. The cast of young high school actors proved themselves as they worked together. Theatre means trust and is the greatest "I can" objective.
Selfie was a beautiful eye-opening piece that I will forever cherish. Wonderful job again to Ryan Norton and his cast and crew for a thought-provoking evening. You never know what secrets are behind that selfie posted to social media.