In October of 2017, The Lab participated in Digital Eye @BlindWhino, an exciting, interactive event merging theater, film and a live game show that explored how the Digital Age is affecting our everyday lives. As technology moves towards a more intimate experience with its users, we find our private lives becoming the commodity for a global market of data-miners, phishers, and hackers. Our private selves – what we watch, what we like, where we go – can all be used overtly or covertly to determine what we do.

The two-day event included thought-provoking micro-plays and filmed performances produced by Europe’s most innovative playwrights and directed by Washington’s leading theaters, including Deburkanization, directed by Lab Co-Director Derek Goldman and featuring Felicia Curry. All four performances included a town hall with experts, curated and moderated by The Lab.

Audience members watch Surveillance State by Marioan Hosseini (Sweden), directed by Michael Dove (Forum Theatre). (Photo by Susan Green)

This hybrid cultural-political experience was part of the transatlantic theater project P3M5 (Plurality of Privacy in Five-Minute Plays), a partnership between European and American cultural organizations to engage in the changing nature of privacy in the digital age.

Making Plans by Felicia Zeller (Germany), directed by Samantha Wyer Bello (Shakespeare Theatre Company). (Photo by Susan Green)

Digital Eye @BlindWhino partners included The Lab and the Goethe-Institut WashingtonBritish CouncilAustrian Cultural Forum Washington, and the Spanish Cultural Center Washington/ AECIDEmbassy of SwedenCultural Center of the Czech RepublicEmbassy of SloveniaShakespeare Theatre CompanyStudio TheatreBaltimore Center Stage, and Forum Theatre.

Additional support for Digital Eye @BlindWhino came from the European National Institutes of Culture Cluster Fund and Friends of the Goethe-Institut.

9022131-PINK by Kenneth Lin, Commissioned by Baltimore Center Stage (Baltimore, MD, USA)

With the help of project curators James C. Nicola, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Gillian Drake, a core network of flagship regional theaters with interests in new plays and political works was chosen to commission the US project playwrights for the original P3M5 project: Alliance Theatre (Atlanta, GA),American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco, CA), Baltimore Center Stage (Baltimore, MD), New York Theatre Workshop (New York, NY), and Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle, WA). Their writers represent a cross-section of American playwriting, and will reflect varied perspectives on privacy in America.

They were connected with ten theaters across nine European countries, representing state theaters, city theaters, stages for children and youth, and a genre-defying performance group. The European theaters for the original P3M5 project are: Schauspielhaus Graz (Austria), Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg (Belgium), Théâtre de Liège (Belgium), Zapětdvanác (Czech Republic), Saarländisches Staatstheater (Germany), Weöres Sándor Színház (Hungary), Theatrul National „Marin Sorescu“ (Romania), Slovensko narodno gledališče (Slovenia), Schauspielhaus Graz (Spain), Unga Klara (Sweden), and Birmingham Repertory Theatre (UK).