Review of “Avatar” - Byron Bay Steiner School

September 20th

Anna and I went to check out this internet themed play and it was a fun night. I don’t think I’ve seen a school play since.. well since I was at school probably. As the lights dimmed the narrator asked the audience to please turn their phones off “including iPhones, yes I mean you in the¬†stripy¬†shirt”, singling me out! Well it takes a nerd to know a nerd and there were plenty of nerdy references throughout the night to make me happy. The play’s premise was that the protagonist, a young girl, is literally sucked into her computer and into “the internet”.

Firefox and Safari were both introduced early, but to my surprise the writers chose to portray safari as a slow, featureless and incompatible browser compared to firefox (portrayed as a quick, spam free, racey girl in a “foxy” red dress). Hopefully they can check out my browser speed results sometime!

In the intermission as the lights came on the audience chuckled at a possum who had climbed down to prime viewing position in front of the projected visuals. It was a fitting contrast to the technical themes in the production.

What surprised me though, especially as macs (and safari) featured throughout the play, was that the students set “Google” as an omniscient voice and evil overlord of the internet. In many regards they portrayed “him” as being the internet itself, and when google was ultimately destroyed the internet unravelled. Further, a central helping and lovable character was an aging windows 95 computer.

It was interesting to see this youthful perspective on the internet and google *being* the internet. I guess it must really seem that way to a younger generation. I was also most appreciative of the other visual gags throughout the play that referenced spam, porn sites, geeks in chat rooms, terms and conditions, html code and other themes close to my heart. It was also just great to get out and see a live, local performance even at a high school level. I must remember to see more theatre.

Good Job Byron Bay Rudolf Steiner School!

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