GENERATION [BU]Y

Genre: Drama, Kids, Other
Written & Directed by Philip Suraci

It's the second play by-kids-for-adults to be directed by Philip Suraci at Theater for the New City. In the true spirit of "activist" theater, it's a testimonial by an affected class of people (our kids) that's aimed at the ears of the class that needs to hear it the most (their parents). While pursuing a master's degree in educational theater (NYU 2004), Suraci was deeply impressed by the depth and complexity of thought of relatively young people (ages 10-13). When these students and their words were placed in a dramatic context, Suraci found the result to be powerful, provocative and beautiful. Society pays little heed to the personal beliefs of children. Though children are often unencumbered by fears and obstacles encountered by adults, their views, their purity of thought and purpose, are disregarded by the jaded, realist perspectives of their elders. In this sense, children are the most ordinary of people whose voices overwhelmed by society's power structure.

In the play, a 13 year-old girl is in crisis. She is suffering from anxiety and subject to angry outbursts at school. Her grades are suffering. Her mother has sent her to therapy. Through her sessions with her therapist, the audience comes to learn about the source of her distress: the pressure to conform to what she feels others wish her to be and her perceived inability to meet those expectations (as conveyed by her peers and media). The dialogue between the therapist and the girl introduces scenes where kids meet, like at school, the mall, a birthday party, or a bad dream. Interspersed with these are conversations between a consultant specializing in marketing to children and a prospective client. The marketer is "selling" her expertise while explaining to her client (and the audience) how marketers target Generation Y--those born between 1980 and 2000. The play is contains both dialogue and songs. In the end, the girl develops a liberating understanding of herself and is transformed to a more aware and confident state of being. The audience is charged with the responsibility to value children as human beings rather than as sources of commerce and profit.

The play thus born examines the predicament of growing up well (or from the parent's perspective, raising children well) in the face of mass marketing. As a dramatic scenario, it is informed by certain "new realities" of the marketplace. A major thrust of marketing to children is the interposition of the marketer between the parent and the child. Marketers create utopian spaces free of parents and advertisements actually position the marketer with the child against the parent. The result of this is not harmless. Studies have shown that higher levels of consumer involvement result in worse relationships with parents. As relationships with parents deteriorate, there is negative effect on children's well being. Relating poorly to parents can lead to depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem and more psychosomatic complaints.

The play thus born examines the predicament of growing up well (or from the parent's perspective, raising children well) in the face of mass marketing. As a dramatic scenario, it is informed by certain "new realities" of the marketplace. A major thrust of marketing to children is the interposition of the marketer between the parent and the child. Marketers create utopian spaces free of parents and advertisements actually position the marketer with the child against the parent. The result of this is not harmless. Studies have shown that higher levels of consumer involvement result in worse relationships with parents. As relationships with parents deteriorate, there is negative effect on children's well being. Relating poorly to parents can lead to depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem and more psychosomatic complaints.

Open:   05/06/10
Close:   05/16/10

Schedule:
Thurs through Sat at 8:00 pm
Sundays at 3:00 pm
Theater:   Theater for the New City
Address:   155 First Avenue
New York,
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Cost:Tickets: Adults $15
Seniors, Teachers and Students $5
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Ovation Tickets at 866-811-4111