21 Mar 2017

Defiance: Head to head

Defiance cast members Annie and Dot discuss the pros and cons of technology ahead of this unique production’s opening night.

Deftly directed by Tom Bellerby and Rupert Creed, Defiance brings two very different generations together to engage in some good old fashioned conversation, and rally against the powers that be.

Starring the Hull Truck Youth Theatre and Act III, Hull Truck Theatre’s over 55s acting group, Defiance tackles some of the UK’s most pressing issues, from the politics of voting to our dependence on digital technology.

With both sides keen to have their say, we asked two generations of cast members this question: Does technology divide us or bring us together?

Defiance Rehearsal. Photo: © Chris Pepper

ANNIE LISHMAN OF HULL TRUCK YOUTH THEATRE SAYS…

“I think that technology definitely brings us together. It’s a tool we can use to catch up with old friends, keep in touch with the friends we have and make new ones.

Technology is an amazing resource for educating yourself and developing your personal interests.

“Friendships aside, technology is an amazing resource for educating yourself and developing your personal interests. Thanks to technology, you can easily engage with a group of likeminded people on social media to discuss your ideas and opinions, communicating and connecting with people you’d never normally get the chance to meet.

“The stereotype that technology and social media is anti-social is so far from the truth. It is a vital part of everyday life and when used properly it can be a powerful way to connect us all.”

Defiance Rehearsal. Photo: © Chris Pepper

DOT BARKER OF ACT III SAYS…

“Wouldn’t it be convenient were this 65-year-old to confirm the usual stereotype by criticising technology and social media? Whilst it is true that many members of Act III, including myself, have only limited knowledge of such matters, there are others who are regular users.

Wariness about who may be contacting you when you communicate with people online is certainly more prevalent amongst the elderly.

“I have had some experience with Facebook, using it to keep tabs on family and friends who live elsewhere, so in that regard it has brought us all closer together. I don’t believe we’re ever too old to learn, so one of my first tasks upon seeing our script was to get to grips with Twitter lingo, learning all about ‘memes’ and ‘bots’ from the younger cast members.

“Some of Act III share concerns about young people isolating themselves in an alternative world where face to face interaction will become increasingly difficult. Wariness about who may be contacting you when you communicate with people online is certainly more prevalent amongst the elderly.

“However, as a means of sharing ideas and opinions, social media has little competition in my mind. Its ability to reach out to so many people instantaneously offers the potential to bring young and old together in a positive way, just as we hope our performance will.”

What’s your view? Is social media bringing us closer together or pushing us further apart? Let us know in the comments below.

Defiance is presented by Hull Truck Youth Theatre, Act III Over 55s Theatre Makers and Hull UK City of Culture 2017. Ground floor seating is now sold out, with some balcony seating still available. Find out more.

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