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Sexting, selfies and social media pressures that affect young people  connected 24/7.  Mistakes happen but now they can remain forever!
Sexting, selfies and social media pressures that affect young people connected 24/7. Mistakes happen but now they can remain forever!
115 backers pledged £12,256 to help bring this project to life.

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World Premiere of Sket - a play by Maya Sondhi

£12,256

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PMJ Productions develops and stages plays from emerging writers that create debate. Sket by Maya Sondhi is a play based on true stories told to the writer by  young people when she volunteered for the charity TeenBoundaries. The play follows the lives of six pupils in an inner city school in the 21st century whose lives are consumed by technology where ‘sexting’ and ‘selfies’ are the norm and access to sexual imagery is available 24/7.

In Sket, these simple words “You’re so beautiful… take a picture, take one for me right now and send it” generates a ‘sext’ which launches a spiral of events that has far reaching consequences…

Staged reading of Sket
Staged reading of Sket

In 2014, the play was staged as a reading. The adult audience was  ‘surprised’ and ‘shocked’ at how young people communicate and responded with an urgent wish for the play to be brought to a wider audience to provoke discussion around the 'digital footprint', a potential minefield about which the teenagers appeared oblivious.  

In 2015, this issue is still relevant. Recently, a 14 year old boy from northern England sent a naked selfie via Snapchat to a girl from the same school. She screenshot the image and shared it with others. Since ‘sexting’ is illegal if you are under 18 years, he has had the crime of making and distributing indecent images recorded against him, his name will stay on a police database for 10 years.

The boy’s mother said to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme “ I think at best it was naive and at worst he was just a teenager”. She added ‘sexting’ was “just how teenagers flirt these days”. 

Generation Sex : explicit pics 'the norm' for teens
Generation Sex : explicit pics 'the norm' for teens

This echoes what was found in a 2012 Channel 4 documentary Generation sex : explicit pics ‘the norm’ for teens where Channel 4 news and NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) spoke to children aged 13-16 for 6 months up and down England to find out what the average young teenager in school faces on a daily basis.

They found that sending explicit naked pictures is part of ‘everyday life’ for teenagers and that their parents were totally out of touch with what is happening. Furthermore, they found that young people feel they have nowhere to turn for support or information if things go wrong in the digital world.

This is a hard hitting play that many adults might not want to hear the reality that faces young people today. This is a WORLDWIDE problem as seen in the ‘sexting’ revelations at a High School in Colorado, USA where it is reported in the New York Times that 100 students traded naked pictures of themselves and one another. The solution suggested: text messaging services where teenagers can submit questions anonymously and receive informed answers.

However, ‘sexting’ is not harmless fun. It can have serious consequences as the internet never forgets making it difficult for young people to get away from their past experience and move on.

There can be tragic consequences as seen in the case of Amanda Todd, a Canadian teenager who at the age of 15 committed suicide. It all started with a topless photo…

Her YouTube video was posted online before her death - My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm describes simply how she could never escape from the one mistake that she made when she was 12 years old.  

This is an important play to stage and with your help will bring young voices into the public debate about how the world has changed immeasurably in the 21st century.

Risks and challenges

The play Sket gives an important and timely opportunity to spark dialogue amongst adults and young people alike who are grappling with technological advances, ever changing laws and moral dilemmas. Society has been slow to react and therefore this play would highlight many relevant issues including ‘sexting’ and cyberbullying which need to be addressed to safeguard young people.

PMJ productions last play The Lonely Soldier Monolgues by Helen Benedict was successfully funded by Kickstarter. It went onto win further funding by Arts Council England, was nominated for the Liberty Human Rights Arts Award (http://bit.ly/1XhuZCD), in association with Southbank Centre (London). Excerpts of this play were broadcast on BBC Radio 4 'Today' program and the play was then published by Next StagePress. Kickstarter was instrumental in bringing the play to a wider audience.

We would like your support to stage the play and also to fund tickets for young people to see the show so that we can 'Kickstart' a ripple of a debate and a change in public perception of the problems faced by all of us engaged with social media today.

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    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    A big THANK YOU on Twitter and Facebook

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    Pledge £20 or more About $26

    Reward 1 + link to the film of the production.

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    Pledge £30 or more About $39

    Reward 1-2 plus a big THANK YOU on the PMJ Productions Website

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    Pledge £50 or more About $65

    Rewards 1-3 plus one ticket for a performance OR DONORS FAR AWAY -nominate your ticket to a friend or for a young person to attend the show and an extra special credit on the PMJ website.

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    Pledge £100 or more About $130

    Rewards 1-4 plus a guest ticket for a performance & to meet the director after the show OR DONORS FAR AWAY - nominate your 2 tickets to friends or for a young person and friend to attend the show and receive the Sket program via email.

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    Pledge £150 or more About $196

    Rewards 1-4 - the 2 tickets will be for Press night plus a credit in the programme OR DONORS FAR AWAY, nominate your tickets to friends or for a young person with friend to come to press night and to receive a cast photo via email.

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    Pledge £250 or more About $326

    Rewards 1-6 plus the opportunity to attend the table reading on the first day of rehearsals OR DONORS FAR AWAY - we will film the table reading and send it via email so that YOU can virtually be part of the experience

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    Pledge £500 or more About $652

    Rewards 1-6 plus lunch with the playwright and director in central London OR DONORS FAR AWAY - lunch with the director in Boston or NYC in Fall 2016

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Funding period

- (37 days)