BWW Review: Theater Schmeater's One-Woman Show TECHLANDIA a Tender, Teasing Tribute

BWW Review: Theater Schmeater's One-Woman Show TECHLANDIA a Tender, Teasing Tribute
Bridget Quigg in "Techlandia"
Photo Credit: Cassidy Rush

ATTENTION SEATTLE TECHIES: there is a sketch performance for you! ATTENTION NON-TECHIES AND THE TECH BEWILDERED: there is a sketch performance for you too! Come together all who have startup experience and all who believe the tech industry is (as director and writer Bridget Quigg puts it) a bubble where young people run in doing mysterious things and run out with tons of cash. Quigg brings more than a decade of experiences in tech to Theater Schmeater in her one-woman show, "Techlandia."

Based on this play's description, I was really worried that I was going to be watching another cynical diatribe ranting about why millenials are the worst. But "Techlandia" did not punch down nor finger wag, but provided people of all ages and experiences with opportunities to laugh at themselves--even Quigg.

Like the IFC television series Portlandia, "Techlandia" is a playful examination of a unique, modern culture through sketch comedy. Quigg addresses how the tech industry seems both ubiquitous and mysterious to outsiders with songs, videos, sketches and anecdotes that often have Seinfeld-esque, 'what's-up-with-that' overtones without the crabbiness.

From beginning to end, Quigg made the audience feel tremendously comfortable to a point where a few members felt they could chime in at random moments-one of my biggest theater pet-peeves unless it's explicitly called for. Alas, she handled them each with grace. "Techlandia" has two audience participation segments and I was very impressed by how Quigg worked with one volunteer who found themself very clever messing up on purpose during Job Title Bingo. Even when faced with volunteer audience members who perhaps thought they were funnier than they actually came off, Quigg smiled and applauded every moment with a positive attitude. She somehow sustained an air of both goofiness and intentionality as she navigated every chapter of her multimedia script. She covered a wide range of subjects that truly I was happy she unpacked, because I myself learned a lot about tech startup culture.

Quigg explained to the audience how frustrating she found a business productivity model called The Agile Method, where employees took time in meetings talking about their work productivity instead of doing work. So Quigg called in an expert consultant named Seppe who had a method of his own. Played by Quigg, Seppe developed the agile method where employees would adapt a languid, romantic Italian lifestyle and apply it at work.

"Techlandia" is an intimate, authentic, witty production that, no matter your experience with tech, will teach you something in the process. I give Theater Schmeater's "Techlandia" 4.5/5 stars.

"Techlandia" runs through March 12, 2016 at Theater Schmeater. For tickets and information, visit https://www.schmeater.org/season/2016/techlandia.

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From This Author Amelia Reynolds

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