Olivia, a thirty nine year old broke and obscure novelist has retreated to a secluded bed and breakfast in rural Michigan. Enter Ethan, fast-talking twenty eight year old, social media celebrity and best-selling author. A blizzard rages outside, and there is no wi-fi. Free from technology’s distraction, they argue, they drink, they flirt and they have sex… a lot of sex. A relationship begins, but can it survive the internet?
Technology has profoundly changed the dating game. Awkward phone calls have been replaced with text messages and emails. Private break ups and intimate moments become public, and someone ‘better’ is only a swipe away. What hasn’t changed from Shakespeare to now however, is our need to connect and desire for intimacy, which compulsively conflicts with our habit of going to extraordinary lengths to prove that we don’t. Laura Eason captures this universal internal struggle beautifully in Sex With Strangers.
“Laura Eason endeavoured to take a risk with this play. She wanted to explore what it means to be intimate, exposed, naked and known. I see this play as an intimate discourse of ideas that arouses some exposing questions,” says Director Gabriella Rose-Carter. “Boy, can I relate to Laura Eason when she says “there’s something about this mode of communication [social media] I’m uneasy with.”
“To explore the importance of communication and the human need for connection is at times excruciating and exhilarating. Eason wrote these two characters ten years apart. The older woman and the younger man. Their age difference represents a crucial interval in the larger cultural landscape and a generational divide. Those who learned the mode of communication [technology] and those who were born into it. A universal prevailing that fascinates me.”
Laura Eason is an award-winning author of twenty plays, original work and adaptation, a musical book writer and screenwriter. Selected theatre works include: Sex With Strangers, The Undeniable Sound of Right Now; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; and Around the World in 80 Days. Eason wrote the book for the musicals, Days Like Today and Summerland, and as a screenwriter, she has written for the popular Netflix drama, House of Cards.
“A twisty and timely two character drama about lust, love and the complex nature of identity in our digital dominated era” – The New York Times
Director: Gabriella Rose-Carter Featuring: Carissa McAllen, Will Atkinson
Sex With Strangers
Q44 Theatre, 550 Swan St, Richmond
Season: 17 August – 3 September 2016
Information and Bookings: www.q44.com.au
Image: Carissa McAllen and Will Atkinson feature in Sex With Strangers (supplied)