Jeremy Gable -- a Philly playwright by way of California -- decided to push the limits of social media. His latest project is a full-length play that will be performed exclusively through the realm of Twitter.
The 15th Line is set in an American city in the midst of a deadly subway accident. It follows four survivors who share a powerful magnetism toward one another. Each character possesses his own Twitter account.
“When something tragic happens we don’t want to keep it to ourselves,” Gable said. “We have the tendency to reach out to one another. Twitter gives us that outlet.”
Gable believes tragedy and social media are more similar than they appear. Both have the capacity to bring people closer.
The 15th Line was sparked by Gable’s rides on the local subway system. The idea of absolute strangers sharing such intimate quarters together -- on a train -- was a unique inspiration to the playwright.
His native California consists of a population that is widely distributed. In Philly, “everything is so compacted,” Gable says.
There’s a certain level of physical proximity between us all that the subway system creates. Much like social media, this medium of connectivity creates a heightened form of interpersonal awareness. Lives intertwine and strangers have the potential to become familiar to us.
Twitter has been seen as a mundane and mind-numbing expression of the absurdly simple. The “real-time short messaging service” limits users to 140 characters per message.
Gable’s play builds tension with each update and sucks the reader into a world of ever-increasing urgency. This is a welcome departure from the current Twitterverse where insignificant happenings are broadcast as breaking news.
The 15th Line is an ongoing narrative. It’s a living and breathing work of art capable of turning any corner at a moments notice.
In the world of Twitter, “the play is taking place in real-time. Characters may mention events that are happening as we speak,” he says.
“99-percent of Twitter is insignificant,” Gable said. “But there’s that rare moment when it becomes profound.”
Events like the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the crash of a US Airways jet into the Hudson River and the Iranian election protests, all captured the world's attention via the medium. And they became a lifeline for those involved.
Jeremy Gable’s The 15th Line continually creates those rare moments of intense urgency.
Check out The 15th Line at twitter.com/twit_play.