If ever there were an epitome for the phrase “a blessing and a curse,” social media could take on all contenders for the title.
Time and time again we’ve seen it bring out the very best and worst of mankind. We’ve seen people make the life they’ve always dreamed of come true, and we’ve seen people literally fake the life they’ve always dreamed of until busted.
In the case of the latter, a hot new stage play poses the question, What happens when the carefully constructed worlds that people build up come crashing down?
Part satire, part soap opera, and part social commentary, The Black Social Network takes a view into the lives of two women who face difficulties because of social media for different reasons. Publicist Eva James is a powerful public relations professional with an ego as large as her Rolodex. She clings to the old ways of doing business and refuses to expand with the times and accept social media as a viable form of communication. Then we meet Jasmine, who is head over heels in love with her self-proclaimed boyfriend and whose entire life is dictated by social media.
We recently sat down with writer and executive producer Zondra Hughes to find out more about The Black Social Network.
Tell us about the play.
The Black Social Network follows Eva, an abusive publicist who ignores social media, and Jasmine, a cafe owner who lives her entire life on Facebook; these women illustrate the two extremes in how we deal with social media. The story includes a host of characters that demonstrate the best and worst of online and offline behavior.
At its best, what do you think the advantages of social media are?
Social media brings us closer together. It is a research tool; it is a platform to enlighten, engage and inform your public.
And at its worst?
Because some folks use social media without a filter, lives can be destroyed with just one tweet. The Black Social Network encourages the audience to find balance in our social media appetites and to engage responsibly.
What’s the weirdest social media related story that comes to mind?
At the height of the Michael Brown #Ferguson debate, one woman tweeted that the fallen Brown deserved what he got because he allegedly stole cigars. And then someone revealed her theft record and posted it. Her hyprocrisy was amazing.
What’s next for Zondra Hughes?
I have my sights set on the film world. It’s been calling me for quite some time. I can hardly wait. And please check out www.ZondraHughes.com for all the latest info on my various endeavors.
Written by Zondra Hughes, Liz Lampkin, Celeste T. Parker and Sylvia Snowden, The Black Social Network stars actress and WGCI personality Demi Lobo in the lead role of Eva James with Marisa Baldwin Woodhouse as Jasmine. The talented ensemble cast also includes Simeon Henderson, Lamar Barnes, Caneil (Chill) Oliver, Thea Camara, Shettima Webb, Cabryl Breotti and Lydia Katherine.
The Black Social Network play takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, at Chicago State University’s Breakey Theatre at 7 p.m. with free admission for all.
To learn more about The Black Social Network visit, www.facebook.com/BlackSocialNetwork. Join the conversation across social media platforms by using the hashtag #BlackSocialNetwork.