â€˜Sex, Lies and Nomophobiaâ€™ in Emilio Williamsâ€™ â€˜Smartphonesâ€™ at Ambassador Theater Opening Tonight
Smartphones, A Pocket-Size Farce â€“ produced byÂ and Ambassador Theater in partnership with the Embassy of Spain and Spain arts and Culture, directed by Helen Hayes Award recipient Joe Banno â€“ opens at The Mead Lab Flashpoint on October 22, 2015.
Doesnâ€™t existence seem totally absurd at times and life too restrictive? Donâ€™t we wish we were free of social norms and do as we like? Arenâ€™t we our own worst enemies at times? Emilio Williams*, the author ofÂ Smartphones, asks the same questions yet as a dramatist has the opportunity to dream our dreams and nightmares on stage. InÂ Smartphones, inspired by Samuel Beckettâ€™sÂ Waiting for Godot, the avant-garde playwright takes his privilege to the absurdist limit. Mixing the Absurd, Ridiculous and the Surreal with a layer of â€˜digital madnessâ€™, he brings human shadows and insecurities to light, making us reflect on life and to laugh, nervously at times, in the process.
Emilio Williams is a dramatist who uses his medium like a magnifying glass, bringing into focus complex aspects of our psyche challenged by todayâ€™s fast-paced existence. Just like his influences â€“ Beckett, Ludlam, Moliere, and Bunuel, he is acutely aware of what is difficult, awkward and absurd in life and chooses to talk about it using humor, farce and parody. â€œNothing is more radical than humorâ€ says Williams, whose multi-dimensional plays combine laughter with existential themes and a pertinent social satire. Smartphones, his only play that takes part in one set, one room and in real time, is also a great example of Williamsâ€™ reaction against conventions of the Realistic Theater.
â€œYour comedies tend to be silly but not stupidâ€ said Williamâ€™s friend once, and the author liked the comment. In case ofÂ Smartphones silly and serious go together. After all the play is a tribute to and a parody of the Theatre of the Absurd, as well as an example of Williamâ€™s avoidance of literalness of theater realism. Also, true to the Theater of the Ridiculous Manifesto and its canon of â€˜the free person,â€™Â Smartphonesâ€™ personas are free to act in a spontaneous and silly way whilst not compromising seriousness of the matter. â€œThe free person, as distinct from an authoritarian phony or the civilized adult, is erotic, socially self-assertive, playful and imaginativeâ€ (Brecht: 117) and so are the playâ€™s characters….TO READ MORE