Gen Y’ers Struggle With Dehumanizing Technology In New Theatre’s Leveling Up

Joel Alexander, Danny Leonard, Daniel Gil and Rebecca Jimenez are Gen Y’ers on the cusp of trouble in Deborah Zoe Laufer’s Leveling Up (Photos by Eileen Suarez)

By Bill Hirschman,, Special to SouthFloridaReporter, June 14, 2015 – Time and events move today with the speed of thought. When we read the script for Deborah Zoe Laufer’s play Leveling Up about two years ago, the premise seemed like a logical if unlikely extension of reality, satirically exaggerated to make a point and for dramatically enhanced theatricality.

Now we’re not so sure. Perhaps the old joke is not so far-fetched that today’s cyber-obsessed gamers with their decade of heightened reflexes would make terrific warriors ala Ender’s Game and The Last Starfighter.

But Laufer’s play getting an intriguing production by New Theatre is about far more than a 20-something gaming magus in Las Vegas hired to remotely operate drones that eliminate real targets in the Middle East.

The often wry and witty play asks more macro questions. Has technology deadened a generation’s sense of societal kinship? Has it eroded their humanity until the idea of morals and values is more alien than the targets they blast away at? Have they walled off all manner of reality including true human interaction?