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This Digital Life: Basic Instructions for Coping with the 21st Century

Remaining performances:
Saturday, July 21, 10 pm
Sunday, July 22, 6 pm
Saturday, July 28, 2:30 pm

Troupe says: “Sometimes, late at night, do you Google yourself? Have you ever sent yourself an email from the future? The digital invades the personal in these short plays that explore life, death, and infamy in the age of Second Life and Wikipedia.”

Trey’s take: Employs tech — live Web surfing, gen-u-wine YouTube video, and so on — in a way most plays don’t have the nerve to (if only because at Arena Stage, a slow router would mean a $25K write-off). A man and woman squabble over the guy’s Web-based fantasy life (or are they merely role-playing?); two desperate-to-be-noticed dorks strive for YouTube fame; another couple, newly preggers, contemplates the realities of what writer Joseph Price wryly calls “Naming 2.0.” There’s some wit here, and a certain amount of flab, too, but it feels youngish and smartish.

See it if: You’re better on IM than on the phone — or, god forbid, in person.

Skip it if: Experiments in your theater = flies in your soup.