“Chumbox: Stories from the Web” to be performed

Tylar Brown, Entertainment Editor

March 16 through 21 at 7:30 p.m, the Theatre department will hold a virtual play called “Chumbox: Stories from the Web.” 

“Chumbox: Stories from the Web,” written by Austin Roberts, a student at Texas A&M University-Commerce, is a play about the internet and the way it has shaped societies’ modern political conversation. 

“I think the internet is a wonderful tool, possibly the best invention in human history, but the way we use it allows misinformation and radical hate to spread like wildfire. Which inspired me to write a play about it,” Austin Roberts said.

Austin Roberts, a theatre major, is a playwright at TAMUC. He has been a part of the program since he was a freshman but always had a passion for theatre. 

“In high school, I realized theatre provided an important creative outlet in my life, and playing characters helped me understand my own complex emotions which made everything fun,” Austin said. 

The Theatre department has implemented a new program called the New Play Development series which gives playwrights the chance to work with actors and brings scripts to life. 

“I think this is an excellent program that solves two problems in the theatre community right now, it gives groups like our own TAMUC Theatre Department programming to fill this difficult time. I’m grateful to be a part of this series and proud of the department for supporting,” Austin said. 

The subject matter of this play was inspired by a podcast that deals with the role of social media, viral disinformation and conspiracy theories in modern political conversation. 

“The main message I want people to get from my play is: we all have to use the internet more responsibly. We need to be more careful about our news resources, media literacy, and data security online, because without those things we’re vulnerable to misinformation, cyber attacks and spreading lies even when we don’t mean to,” Austin said. 

“Chumbox: Stories of the Web” will be streamed online to allow both audience and actors to keep socially distanced due to Covid restrictions. The Theatre Department wants to ensure everyone is safe. Tickets are $5 each. There will be livestreams and post-show talkbacks with Austin and the designers after performances. 

For more information about “Chumbox: Stories of the Web,” contact Austin Roberts at [email protected].