Katherine Catmull story plays out on your phone

 

Although some people grouse that text messaging is an impersonal way of talking to others, esteemed local playwright Steve Moore thinks the truth is a little more nuanced.

newsengin-17648366_physicalplant_sosg_02

The new text-message-based story from Physical Plant Theater features surreal photographs from photographer Annie Gunn.

“Oddly, I think we talk less but communicate more — more frequently but also more complexly,” he tells me via text. “I think most people get to be funnier, smarter and more sincere over text than they can typically be in person.”

Case in point as we swap messages back and forth: I feel at ease chatting through a medium that lets me think through a response before sending it. It doesn’t feel strange to send a near-complete stranger an emoji, either, which expresses my point more succinctly than words ever can.

The peculiar dichotomy of text message as simultaneously intimate and impartial is again at the center of one of Moore’s projects. His curiosity about the distinctly 21st-century mode of communication inspired him to create a play in 2014 that unfolded entirely over text messages. Called “Computer Simulation of the Ocean,” the six-month-long endeavor was a big departure from the usual theater pieces he’s done for the past couple of decades. It didn’t need a set, a stage or actors.

Moore is at it once more, but with “Sister of Shattering Glass” he’s hoping to attract a younger audience — exactly the sort of people who might not find it strange to receive a story incrementally on their phones. To pull in that age group, he reached out to young adult novelist and local actress Katherine Catmull, who’s written a couple of fantasy books grounded in magical realism. She created the story based on young characters from one of her novels. …

Starting to bring Austin Arts blog up to date with recent and still relevant arts stories.

This is a sample from Arianna Auber’s story about a play sent through text messages.


View Comments 0