By Mary Boyle
Texting is the main form of communication for high school students, these days, and the inherent loss of nuance, tone, and body language that informs a face-to-face conversation has caused plenty of problems previous generations couldn't possibly imagine. In the World Premiere play, "TXT U L8R," performed by the First Stage Young Company, a group of students are getting strange texts from people they don't know that create all kinds of chaos, but is it a clever prank, or is there something more to their digital companions than meets the eye?
Playwright, Eric Coble, has done several adaptations for the stage, including Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars, which made its world premier at First Stage in their 2014/15 season. "TXT U L8R," however, is an original that Coble wrote specifically for Young Company to perform at the 2016 New Visions/New Voices conference in Washington D.C. last May. The week-long conference, hosted by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, inspires new plays and musicals geared towards young audiences and families.
Directed by Milwaukee favorite, Matt Daniels, who also happens to be the Associate Director of the Young Company, "TXT U L8R" is Clue meets The Breakfast Club, with a little bit of Horton Hears a Who, for good measure; in other words, kids ages 12 and up are going to love this fast-paced, funny, mystery that manages to shed some light on the people we see, but don't really see, every day.
Tickets for TXT U L8R are selling fast! The remaining performances are on Saturday, March 18th, at 3:30 and 7 p.m. at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, located at 325 W. Walnut St. in Milwaukee. Tickets are $14, and can be purchased by calling (414) 267-2961, or online at http://www.firststage.org/.
About First Stage
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in the 2016-2017 season, First Stage is one of the nation’s leading theaters for young audiences and families. First Stage touches hearts, engages minds, and transforms lives by creating extraordinary theater experiences for young people and families through professional theater productions that inspire, enlighten, and entertain. Its Theater Academy, the nation’s largest high-impact theater training program for young people, fosters life skills through stage skills and serves over 2,100 students each year. As Wisconsin’s leader in arts-integrated education in schools, First Stage’s dynamic Theater in Education programs use theater to promote active learning throughout the curriculum, serving over 20,000 students throughout southeastern Wisconsin each year. In 2012, First Stage was selected to participate in the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. First Stage is the recipient of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Eureka Award in 2013 and 2015, recognizing creativity and innovation in business, education, and the arts. First Stage is a member of TYA/USA, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education, Theatre Wisconsin, and Milwaukee Arts Partners, and is a cornerstone member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF).