Copy Editor/Staff Writer
In the age of cyberspace, things like memes, internet stalking, and internet hate are regular occurrences. Surplus-Value Theatre brings these issues to life in Half Girl/Half Face. The play was workshopped in Montreal in August of last year, and has now started its run in Toronto.
Half Girl/Half Face, directed and written by Zoë Erwin-Longstaff, tells the story of YOUNG-GIRL (Arlen Aguayo Stewart), who becomes victim to internet stalking after a photo of her face goes viral on Facebook. YOUNG-GIRL is recording a YouTube video in response to those who have projected assumptions onto her, based on the Facebook photo. The 60-minute rant allows her to tell both the YouTube-viewing public and the audience that the picture of her face does not depict who she really is. It is only one small aspect of who she is. YOUNG-GIRL is taking control of the situation and letting people know that she will not let this meme define her.
The play is funny and very relatable, especially with Stewart’s overuse of the word “like” to describe, like, everything. Half Girl/Half Face tackles themes of gender, identity and alienation, with YOUNG-GIRL touching upon the many fake personae that were created by other people pretending to be her, online.
The set was very minimalistic, but effective. Stewart sat in front of a computer, and the video she was making was projected onto a screen. The spotlight was on Stewart for the entire duration of the play. However, with the minimally lit stage, it sometimes became difficult to see Stewart’s face.
Overall, the play was entertaining to watch even if the rant became a bit redundant at times. Half Girl/Half Face serves as a reminder to young girls everywhere that there are dangers to posting personal pictures and information online.
Half Girl/ Half Face is part of SummerWorks Festival and is playing at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace until August 15. For more information please visit http://summerworks.ca/2014/portfolio/half-girlhalf-face-2/