Need Something to do Monday?


Most of the relevant studies have found that while social networking allows us to stay in touch with people by efficiently communicating information over long distances, it doesn't actually fulfill the biological and emotional functions of community, or even communication, that have evolved in our psychology over millions of years. All it does is disseminate information, a process which often leaves people feeling depressed because they are offered the illusion that their biological needs are being fulfilled, when in fact they are not. It's like eating empty calories, or reading a table of statistics and calling it literature.

Researcher Robert Putnam explored this modern isolationism in his book Bowling Alone, and found that civic and social engagement has been dropping consistently as communications technology improves and spreads and that democracies, economies and general emotional well-being have suffered enormously as we become more connected, but share less connections.

And though human contact and community is struggling in the age of facebook and youtube, community and good ol' fashioned face-time can still be found if sought. For example, one of the most relevant and accessible ways of communing with the world at large is live theater, a chance to be in a live physical space with a living breathing story that can help you see the world in a new way, or just forget what ails you for a few acts.

So, tonight, why not swing by The Visual Arts Collective, for the second week of Plays From the Alley, Alley Repertory Theatre's festival of new works by local and national playwrights.

Tonight's play is Champagne Breakfast, by Boise State student Evan Sestak, the story of two friends coping with being in love with the same girl. It may be an old story, but it's still a good one.

The reading is ten bucks and doors are at 7 p.m., with the show starting at 8 p.m. Though, as is commonly said in the theater, an 8-o'clock curtain always goes up promptly at 8:15.