Over the course of the past century, technological advancements have created a monumental shift in the daily lives of human beings. The internet, GPS, smartphones, medical innovations, artificial intelligence and are helping us live longer and be more productive. But they have also brought questions about what effects this technological evolution has had on humanity.
These new ways in which we interact with the world around us are having a profound social and cultural impact on society. The idea of accelerating change contends that technological advancement will continue to increase exponentially, with each previous advancement making it possible for the next advancement to come more quickly than the last. With the ways we communicate and interact with each other changing at an increasingly rapid rate, can the human psyche keep up?
Playwright Jennifer Haley specializes in writing about the ethics of technology. In The Nether, Ms. Haley traces many of these ideas to their furthest conclusion. What happens when we are able to completely immerse ourselves in a world without consequences? Is it accurate to say that there are no consequences in a virtual world? What is the danger in indulging unethical thoughts and instincts rather than resisting them? Is it ethical to pursue the “lesser of two evils” by allowing immoral behavior, but relegating it to a virtual realm in the interest of the greater good? And if all of one’s senses are being activated, can that virtual reality actually be considered “real”?
These are just some of the many questions being explored in The Nether. As is the case with many great pieces of theatre, and certainly many plays that have been produced on Dobama’s stage over the year, many of these questions are left to ponder.
We hope you find The Nether as fascinating as we do. Be on the look-out for many exciting announcements around our upcoming 60th Anniversary and a truly incredible lineup of new plays –I think it will be the best season so far in my time at Dobama Theatre. Thank you for your ongoing support of new work and live, professional theatre.
With Love & Respect,