– by guest writer Erin Bylander –
“At OK Stupid, the greatest dating site in the universe, we use the sacred teachings of math find your mate. It’s fast, accurate and infallible – like all Math.
We replace the uncertainty of real life with predictable percentages. Hey, if we could turn you all into numbers and never look at your squishy human faces again, we would…”
It’s your typical girl-meets-computer-program story. While trolling Facebook one evening, Lucy Lee (Colleen Sproull) meets Al Gorithm (Chris Andersen), a computer program created by OK Stupid, a popular dating site driven by the sacred teachings of Math.
Debuting at Fringe this summer, OK Stupid draws the audience into a fantastical cyber-reality where Lucy meets some bad matches, a potential soul mate and quite possibly her downfall. As she soon learns, OK Stupid, and the seductive power of Math, are dangerously addictive.
This is my first play, as well as my first time at Fringe. I’ve been writing since I was very young – I studied writing in governor’s school, college, grad school and in tons of workshops – but I’d yet to finish anything substantive. I decided to write a play (and apply to Fringe) after I read an autobiography by comedy writer Mindy Kaling, who I adore. She made her way to TV writing after a successful run at the New York Fringe. (I’m pretty sure that’s how Fringe works. Instant NBC contract for everyone, right?)
I didn’t know much (read: anything) about writing a play, but I instantly fell in love with this art form.
Online dating makes great fodder for a play because it’s inherently fun, alarming, creepy, satisfying, unsatisfying, and addictive.
by Erin Bylander
at Fort Fringe – Bedroom
612 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Details and tickets
I’d tried it in the past, unsuccessfully, but in preparation for writing the play I spent a few diligent months on OK Cupid, the play’s namesake – dating, searching, stalking, answering hundreds of questions… The play takes the algorithm-based dating concepts of many modern dating sites to the extreme. Although, who knows, OK Stupid may actually be a prophecy for the future!
At OK Stupid, our customer service team promises at least three laughs per performance (typical users experience more). You’ll also get to answer your own OK Stupid survey questions. From a “new user” survey conducted Fringe Box Office opening day party, for example, we learned:
How would you describe your ideal mate?
a) Whimsical (16.7%)
b) Socially Conscious (16.6%)
c) Breathing (16.7%) or
d) A human-mutant hybrid with super powers (50%).
[editor: we liked this poll so much, we put it on our home page! You can vote there.]
We hope you’ll walk away from the show with a new fascination with online dating and greater appreciation of the sacred teachings of Math, who both cherishes and loathes us, his flawed creations.
This production is presented as a part of the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival, a program of the Washington, DC non-profit Capital Fringe.
— Erin Bylander is a D.C.-based writer, working on her first novel, “Groan.” She is an editor at a health policy journal, a freelance journalist and a connoisseur of mash-ups.
—Part of Fringe Peeks, our “in their own words” series