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Capital Fringe Review: ‘STATUS – A Social Media Experiment’ by Julia L. Exline

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FOUR STARS
Solo artist Kathryn Elizabeth Kelly takes us into a courageous year-long experiment with STATUS – A Social Media Experiment.

After emerging from the wreckage of a 6-year-long relationship, Kelly decided to get her “social sea legs” back by committing herself to an experiment: to accept every invitation thrown her way, transforming herself from an introvert into a socialite within her “year of ‘yes.’” Sitting with her be-stickered laptop, Kelly shares her chaotic year with pictures, “socialite tips,” and a (climbing) count of Facebook friends and posted pictures from month-to-month.

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The stories are glamorous and exciting, showing her scaling the socialite ladder and hob-knobbing with DC’s finest while she insists that “all that’s waiting for me at home is a couch and the threat of disappearing.” Kelly taps a bell on her desk with every “yes,” though these dings become noticeably less enthusiastic over time. Through all the excitement (including crashing fancy parties and riding around in limousines) there is a distinct layer of loneliness that becomes more and more prominent. She may have over 1,000 Facebook friends, but who will she be able to call when an emergency situation pops up?

While the stories are honest, vibrant, and witty, I strongly think that they would thrive much better as a written piece than as a performance piece. The audience is unable to refer back to her characters as she speaks, making important details difficult to recall when they become important later on. I think Kathryn Elizabeth Kelly has the material here for a wonderful book or blog.

STATUS – A Social Media Experiment  plays through July 27, 2013 at Caos on F-923 F Street NW, in Washington, DC, For performance information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe page.

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