Youtheatre presents an interactive theatre experience encouraging youth to explore the realities and consequences of living a life constantly connected to the internet
A new generation of children is growing up without ever having experienced life without the internet. It is easy to feel as though the virtual self is different and disconnected from the real self, hidden behind a screen and a keyboard. The creators of Delete, Michel Lefebvre and Daniel Iregui, wanted to create a fun, interactive theatre experience as a reminder that there is no divide, the virtual self and the in-person self are one and the same.
A project two years in the making, Delete is a theatre experience designed for youth aged 8-12. Kids (as part of school groups) walk through four interactive rooms after filling out an online survey which asked them questions about themselves and how they interact with others online. The experience is completely interactive, and includes a room consisting of an Xbox Kinect camera taking their photographs and compiling them into a composite, rooms playing with light, sound recording and more. The way the students answered the survey is incorporated into each feature, and each school has a completely unique experience.
The piece is part of Youtheatre, a theatre company whose mandate is to engage its audience through compelling theatre which provokes, questions, challenges and entertains. Their current area of focus is the creation, development and production of new works for young people by the finest Canadian playwrights. Michel Lefebvre, the company’s Executive Director as well as one of the devisers of Delete said: “We create projects which allow kids to be right there with the journey, more than they would be with traditional theatre. We try to push and translate theatre into an experience and an engaging event that involves more than just an audience watching.”
The piece was created as a response to the constant growth in the past decades in the ability to be consistently connected to the internet. “We as adults can sometimes be overwhelmed by the presence and amount of technology, but this is all children growing up today know.” said Michel. “We hope that after coming to Delete teachers will address the societal issues that come from such a constant state of connectivity.”
But of course, the primary goal for youth-oriented theatre is to be fun and engaging. “We hope they have a blast!” said Michel. “We are creating theatre for the 21st century, and we want them to leave thinking about all the different forms that art and theatre can take, and know that there is room for all forms of art.”