Colby College Students Explore the Funny, yet Tragic Impact of
Social Media in a New Play: Wendy and the Neckbeards
(Waterville, Maine, October 23) Colby College Department of Theater and Dance presents Wendy and the Neckbeards, a new play by Kari Bentley-Quinn November 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and November 16 at 2:00 p.m. at the Strider Theater at Colby College.
The play features Wendy, a 17-year-old plus-sized, body-positive makeup artist with her own YouTube channel, who is having her life exploded by internet trolls. In the meantime, her friend, Jess, discovers that her long-term boyfriend, Chad, spends his time harassing young women on the internet to “blow off steam.” From here, the two stories converge in a hilarious and insightful examination of the current era of internet harassment, toxic masculinity, and the cycle of abuse towards women in America.
Kari Bentley-Quinn, the play author, describes her development process. “This play was my immediate response to the groundswell of harassment towards women on social media. I finished the first draft just before the 2016 election, at which time it felt even more urgent. My mentor, Tina Howe, told me ‘all comedy is born of desperation’, and that was definitely the case with this process.” She feels this play presents important and current themes. “I know that today, more than ever, we are seeing the tragic results of toxic masculinity in our lives, both personally and politically. It hurts us all.” says Bentley-Quinn.
Colby guest artist, Kevin R. Free, who has worked with the students for six-weeks to develop a theatrical approach to confront the delicate issues presented in the play, says “I have been so impressed with the students’ courage, sensitivity, and wit.” Kevin, an NYC neighbor of Kari, was an early champion of this play and believes it to be a brilliant, darkly comic examination of the blurred lines between private and public life, being nice and being dangerous, and winning and losing in our age.
PLEASE NOTE: the play content reflects current teenage angst, culture, and language and therefore may be unsettling for some audience members.
Wendy and the Neckbeards is free and open to the public. Tickets may be reserved at www.colby.edu/theaterdance – or are available at the door prior to the performance.