Broadway Baby chats to the talent behind NoFilter, a show about social media and teen struggles, and Crowded Nest - a company of teenagers bringing teen issues to the stage.
We’re passionate about figuring out what’s frustrating teens right now. Being a teen has never been crazier - we’ve got information overload and that can really make an already tumultuous time even more mental.
Tell us about yourself….
Crowded Nest is a company of teenagers lead by writer-director Tracy Mathewson (@beatlanorme). We come together each year as a platform for teenagers to explore and exhibit the things that frustrate and excite them. Every show starts off as an idea, then we workshop and devise material that eventually turns into the scripts for our shows. What you end up with are raw, real performances with words and situations that have actually happened. It’s just as important for us as performers and theatre makers to ask these questions about ourselves as it is for our audience to engage with the material from their own perspective.
Do you come here often?
Actually, yes. This is our fourth year at the Fringe and we’re excited to be back! Last year’s HAPPY GIRL got picked up by Camden People’s Theatre after our Fringe run (which we then sold out!) so we’re looking forward to seeing what this year’s festival will bring.
Who do you most want to meet at the festival?
We want to meet audience members who aren’t afraid to question the way we as a society can be conditioned. Last year, with our show HAPPY GIRL we found that just being girls/women standing on the Mile with straight faces was extremely political. So many people told us to smile — some of our company were actively harassed by members of the public, just for not smiling! It was a shock, so we’re hoping to meet more open-minded audiences this year and we’re hoping to keep performing in a way that leads our audiences to the right questions.
Do you have an attraction to Edinburgh?
Edinburgh is a microcosm! It's steep lanes and staircases, the views of the Castle, the bustle of the Mile! During our run of our 2015 show HAPPY GIRL, even with social media, which coincidentally our 2016 play is exploring, we felt shielded from the outside world, completely encompassed by the buzz and energy of the festival! We lived, slept and breathed it. Edinburgh is electric and exciting, and none of us can wait to return to this summer's Fringe with NoFilter.
What’s your passion?
We’re passionate about figuring out what’s frustrating teens right now. Being a teen has never been crazier - we’ve got information overload and that can really make an already tumultuous time even more mental. This year we’ve challenged ourselves by putting on a really lo-fi, DIY play about the internet and social media; we’re trying to make two totally digital, totally 2D visual experiences very three dimensional. It’s going to be tough but we’re passionate about figuring out how to do it.
Are you monogamous to EdFringe, or do you date other festivals?
Last year we also dated Camden People’s Theatre’s Calm Down Dear Feminist Festival and, no hard feelings: it rocked. It took place a couple months after our Fringe run and it really felt like that extra time let us really polish our performance and take it to the next level. What can we say? We’re devoted to the Fringe but we can’t help if we stray sometimes. ;)
Can we get a second date?
Show name: NOFILTER
Production company: Crowded Nest
Venue: [email protected] Hall
Dates & Times: 22nd-27th August @13:10 (45mins)
Facebook Page: facebook.com/crowdofthenest