theatre we love – #dateme: an okcupid experiment

April 2016

In the hair biz, it’s a quintessential component of any good success story to be connected with technology. Today more than ever, hairdressers and stylists all over the world are finding unique ways of gathering inspiration and sharing their own talents, and increasingly this communication is happening digitally. And Sine Qua Non is no stranger to this phenomenon! Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest all serve as creative outlets and modes of connection here at SQN, and as artists we’re always looking to grow our cyber circle. This week’s Theatre We Love post highlights just how important these technological connections are, as demonstrated by Second City‘s famed production #DateMe: An OkCupid Experimentsine-qua-non-salon-blog-post-#dateme-theatre-we-love

Based on actual events and performed in Second City‘s gorgeous Up Comedy Club, #DateMe offers a uniquely comic window into online dating, and the wacky ways people comport themselves on the internet. But with this hilarious immersion into what it takes to maintain a love life in the 21st century comes a second relationship to examine: the way humans relate to their technology. Indeed, the show itself was both immersive and interactive in terms of multimedia spectacle. Real life accounts and direct quotations of the zany sentences that pass as pickup lines found their way into the script, as did real-time, audience-inspired photos, tweets, posts, and matchups, giving the performance an improvisational edge along with everything else. Additionally, the sensory surfeit that the implementation of multiple screens, interactive musical numbers (directed by Jeff Strickland), and in-audience camerawork lent the show made for a total media extravaganza.

The show’s creator and lead character, Robyn Lynne Norris, begins her story with a mission to prove that no one is truly “undateable” – at least on the internet. Through the concoction of several fake profiles on the popular dating site OkCupid, Robyn exposes the outrageous, unpredictable, and at times off-color lengths people will go to in order to make an impression. These forms of cyber-self-expression – selfies, hashtags, messages, likes, and love letters – not only shape the way heterosexual romantic relations have evolved. They prove that at the heart of that evolution is the integral component of technology! Robyn‘s character discovers that while human beings feel more “disposable” on the ‘net, they also feel more “dateable”– because of the perspective that a virtual dating pool lends, the encouragement that spontaneous connection with otherwise-strangers fosters, and the reassurance that we get when realizing that everyone else is looking for the same feeling of connection.

2/18/16 8:29:57 PM -- The Second City Presents #DateMe an OK Cupid Experiment © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2016

2/18/16 8:29:57 PM — The Second City Presents
#DateMe an OK Cupid Experiment
© Todd Rosenberg Photography 2016

Perhaps the most valuable finding is this: that Robyn, and the audience along with her, discovers that technology emboldens us to take chances and make bonds where we’d otherwise find ourselves inhibited, and that this creates a new frontier in and of itself for human vulnerability and love.

Incidentally, the ways people represent themselves visually in this show were nothing short of spellbinding! Without a doubt, hair served as a way for the characters to make a statement about themselves: their individuality, their quirks, and even their romantic prowess. In particular, cast member Stacey Smith‘s bleach blonde tresses accented with streaks of blue helped solidify her extreme weirdness in nearly every skit performed. Indeed, the more eccentric the character, the more they utilized their hair to express it!

Currently, Sine Qua Non is doing its own celebrating of the digital age of communication! For those of you who haven’t heard, the spring season has kicked off SQN‘s Selfie Contest! To enter, we’re inviting our clients and friends of Sine to take a selfie at any of the four Sine Qua Non locations, tag the salon and check in on Instagram, and cross your fingers and your toes! The post with the most likes at the end of each month will win a free haircut. Any questions or concerns? Stop by one of the salons, or better yet hit us up on social media – it is, after all, the future.

#DateMe: An OkCupid Experiment is currently experiencing another extended Chicago run until the end of May 2016. Tickets are  $26.00 and the performance runs approximately 90 minutes with an intermission. Don’t miss the chance to laugh through the pain of online dating, or to connect (both online and in the flesh) with this amazing show!

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