About the Grant

$35,000 to support OurSpace (MAP 2007), a new work for teen audiences created in collaboration between The Children's Theatre Company and Philadelphia's New Paradise Laboratories.

About the Project

The Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) and New Paradise Laboratories (NPL) will create and co-produce a play, OurSpace, for teen audiences. OurSpace will examine online social spaces and how they shape teen self-expression.
The play will explore the tensions between the agency teens exercise in creating virtual identities and the agency commercial entities exercise in shaping the virtual environments where teens meet. Although “friends” in environments such as MySpace control their social reception through the information (true or false) they disclose, the extent of their control is compromised by the design of the sites, whose purpose is to conduct marketing research and sell products. With teenagers, we will assess the impact of these commercial concerns on the development of their identities and values.
OurSpace will take place in both cyber and real space. To begin the project, a cohort of teenage actors will create “friends” in cyberspace and generate romance, intrigue, politics, comedy, plots and counter-plots. This interaction will be our laboratory for the performances in real space.
The physical performance will combine elements of traditional theatrical performance with communications technology such as interactive broadcast devices and projection screens. Participants will send, receive, and project scripted and unscripted messages and images that will impel the action in unpredictable ways. Audience members, who have been involved with OurSpace at varying levels of knowledge and intensity, will assess the process of identity creation through the entire arc of their experience of the piece.

Related Websites

The Children's Theatre Company


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