“I Know Your Secret” : The dangers of social media, in the limelight

Director Valerie Methot and Some Assembly Theatre Company present I Know Your Secret, a gripping psychological thriller and cautionary tale about the dangers of social media and the terrifying consequences of lost privacy. The production was created in collaboration with diverse Metro Vancouver youth and artists, with the story aiming to resonate with all audiences who are active on social media platforms as well as artists and performers in the Vancouver community.

I Know Your Secret is a fast-moving, sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat dynamic show with a talented young diverse cast, an intriguing plot, striking visuals and original music,” says Methot. “The audience will want to know what happens next and where to go from here.”

Performances take place from May 1 to May 4 at the Roundhouse Performance Centre with tickets being free to the public.

Spotlight on diversity and creativity

As director and playwright at Some Assembly Theatre Company for 24 years, Methot says the company aims to keep positive social change at the company’s forefront, including by connecting youth artists with professionals to create the annual theater projects, which are free to the public and school groups.

Methot collaborated with over 100 diverse youth to better understand the perils of social media that they face. The youth were queried if they were concerned about their personal information being online or on social media and the vast majority reported no. This resulted in the play’s message to be aware of how much you share on the internet.

I Know Your Secret tells a story about the risks of social media, brining in youth performers to showcase it. | Photo courtesy of Some Assembly Theatre Company

“Working with youth writers helped me understand the darker side of the internet,” says Methot. “They are exposed to a lot of hate, misinformation, inappropriate content and creepy, dangerous or toxic people who can hide behind fake names and not be held accountable.”

Artists involved with the current project include Ciara Wilkinson, who has been a part of the company for five years now as a youth actor and writer. She plays Angelique, the antagonistic Diva, in I Know Your Secret.

Wilkinson’s creative process consists of understanding her character and letting her shine. She says the equilibrium she establishes between herself and her roles is a challenging yet rewarding journey, and that she especially had fun with Angelique in this play.

“While she’s certainly one of the more antagonistic characters within the play, she’s not the big bad nor is she meant to be completely irredeemable,” says Wilkinson.

In order to hammer out Angelique’s motives, intentions and core personality, Wilkinson collaborated with professional artists and mentors over multiple workshops. In the future, Wilkinson hopes to take on the role as one of these youth mentors she has learned so much from.

For now, she says her favourite part of her experience is the friends she’s made along the way.

“Some Assembly is such a warm, welcoming and supportive community who challenge me to be my best self and take creative risks that I never would’ve been able to do without their guidance,” she says.

Embracing artistic adversity

Methot and Wilkinson are merely two members of the theatre company which hopes to continue to grow along with Vancouver’s broader arts scene.

But with art comes challenges and threats. Because the number of grants the Canada Council for the Arts issue was decreasing, Methot was originally worried about the limitations this could have on production. As a result, she says the team initially looked to use funding limitations and parameters to inspire creativity.

Thankfully, funding challenges did not come to pass, and Methot says she is still overjoyed that the production received the support it needed. As she plans her 25th year with Some Assembly, she says she’s optimistic about what the future holds for continued collaboration with youth and offering an accessible mode of theatre for the community.

“To share these plays with the community, for free, is such a gift. One that shines with a positive ripple effect,” says Methot.

For more information please visit: www.roundhouse.ca/event/i-know-your-secret

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