The story is familiar – a young twenty-something struggling to find their place in the world, mired in self-doubt, depression, anxiety, and boredom – but the telling is different. Set in the overwhelmed mind of the main character, Generation Z or Uncertainty of a Scattered Mind explores the issues that plague young people today.
Its author, Christos Floros, was inspired to write it based on his own experiences. He says, “It started out as a note on my iPhone…I was feeling so weird one day that I wrote this monologue…about feeling so bored and just being in bed. …So one day I took it up and decided to expand on this, so I made a folder on my Mac, and I was like ‘I’m going to call this “thoughts”’, and I started putting up thoughts there, and they were all very scattered, you know, and they were all one thing about this, one thing about another. And after a heartbreak, I was like “fuck it I’m going to write this play. Nothing makes sense anymore, I can’t seem to pin down anything. So that’s how the play came about.”
At first he was very unsure if he wanted to submit it for the festival. “Previously I’d had a tough year and I wasn’t sure about whether I wanted to lend something I’d written that was so personal to this festival.” “And then finally, I gave my play last year to our radio director, Jeremy Mortimer, and he was very encouraging about it, and I think that’s what made me feel more confident about submitting the play for the festival.”
When writing the play, his goal was not to tell a specific story with a defined plot, and a standard cast of characters. Rather, his goal was to convey a specific atmosphere that reflected the boredom and stagnation he felt. “I set out to write something, and that something was meant to be a document, in a way, for the experience that I’ve had of the past few years. And life wasn’t entertaining, [it] didn’t have major events, or maybe they didn’t feel like them, but you know it was just happening in front of me…everything that I had come to expect for such a long time, you know being at university, and then finishing university, and nobody prepares you for the fact that it’s just life continuing. It’s the same thing, and I wanted to show that. And so I mean I’ll be very happy if people say it was great, but if they say just ‘I was bored’, then I’ll probably have related to them how I felt.”
Eduardo Almeida, the director of the play disagrees – he doesn’t think the audience should feel bored, nor does he think they will. He says, “I think it’s very…immediate, there are a lot of things that are captured in a strange way but that I think people will recognise very quickly. There’s this idea that being young is the best thing, and it’s kind of glorified, while living it, it doesn’t feel like this amazing time when you’ve got everything.”
Christos adds, “I’m just so glad to have Dudu [Eduardo] directing because I feel there’s nobody here who knows me the way Eduardo does, you know, truly because we’ve lived together…and this is a tough play to understand unless you have some experience with the material, you know, or if you’ve spent time endlessly smoking and talking. And for the first time the script goes up it’s perfect to have a close friend directing it.”
Generation Z or Uncertainty of a Scattered Mind, written by Christos Floros, directed by Eduardo Almeida. At the International Festival of New Work, Corbett Theatre, East 15 Acting School, November 13-18, 2017.
by Liesl Jensen