Folks that desired to find the news of the day usually got their information from various sources. There were the early methods, from smoke signals, tom-tom drums, to later elements from the town crier to the printed newspaper. In the so-called “modern” era, there were the electronic means. First came the telegraph. Then came radio, moving up to TV. Since the 1990’s, the good ol’ internet became a reality to many if not plain being accessible. From there, a new source came around that was not only accessible, but morphed into a stream where it was set and controlled by the user and use-ee. That source is social media, the now most used ground method of grabbing the news that is really important!
And according to a recently released report entitled News Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016 presented by the Pew Research Center, a majority of adults 18+ obtain their news via social media. The report notes that 62% of these said adults are informed of what’s going on in their world, their nation, their city, and even in their neighborhood. 18% do so quite often.
And where is their get-go places to grab the latest scoop around the world and around the block? Reddit comes in at first place with a grab of 70%. Facebook comes in second at 66%, followed by Twitter (59%), Tumblr (31%), Instagram (23%), YouTube (21%), LinkedIn (19%), Snapchat (17%), and Vine (14%). As to what people use for the news, Facebook leads the way. The report notes that a little over two thirds of adults use Facebook, while 44% of those users get news from that site. YouTube reaches almost half of adults (48%), while 10% of those get the news from the popular video posting place. While 16% use Twitter, a little over half (9%) use that source for news. With those facts to ponder upon, Twitter uses are likely to get the latest info rather than use it for other purposes. (YouTube uses log on their for other means that just grabbing the details!)
And with all of these choices for news, nearly two thirds (64%) use one place for their news. (Facebook seems to be that sole chose since one can find more stuff than just news!) 26% use at least two sources, while 10% use three or more places.
As to how active or passive on their news search, the Pew Research report states that YouTube, Facebook and Instagram news users are more likely to obtain their news online mostly by chance or fate when they are logged on while doing other stuff. The selection of Reddit, Twitter and LinkedIn news seekers who look out news online is very similar to the portion that happen upon such news. In other words, if one is trolling around their Facebook site seeing what their “friends” are up to, one of their virtual buddies might just connect a web link to something or another that was deemed important to the “friend”, hoping that their other “friends” may agree otherwise.
Demographics play an important role on what type of person gets the news. As a general speak, females outsource males on social media news at 52% (Males trail at 48%). But the chosen sources do vary. Instagram leads as the choice for females at 65%, followed by Facebook (57%), Twitter (53%), LinkedIn (44%), and YouTube (43%). The guys picks runs similar but totally different. YouTube ranks as first choice (57%), followed by LinkedIn (56%), Twitter (47%), Facebook (43%), and Instagram (35%).
As to age, it appears that the Millenniums as well as the Gen-Xers seem to take lead, depending on where they go in cyberspace land. Instagram leads the under 30 crowd with 58% of their uses falling in this age. LinkedIn is the pick of the Gen-X group at 46%. As to the rest, Baby Boomers also use LinkedIn, but at 24%. Those 65 and up keep up through LinkedIn, trailing in at 11%. Educational status from high school background to college degree also holds a vast difference. No surprise, but LinkedIn’s news seekers hold college degrees at 65%. YouTube and Instagram tie for those with some college background at 41% each. YouTube leads for those with a high school education at 34%. (Perhaps those using YouTube are currently enrolled in high school, or have yet to start high school!)  And for the record, Facebook news seekers in education status is very close for all at around 33%. (34% for the some college crowd!)
So what do all of these fact and figures really mean? It just states that social media is the place to get the news that really matters to the user. Of course, the pick of news stories and features do rank in different importance. If doesn’t matter if one is following the election campaign, a war in some far off land, or if some young hot actor is going to appear in that new movie with that other person from that sitcom that was on some channel somewhere! Just as one is pleased with the information, that is the only thing for concern! This news may not be the kind of news that’s fit to print, considering that little of this news is even printed at all, unless one prints it for themselves!
—————————————————————————-      ALL MY DISTANCES ARE FAR, a play that deals with six middle and high school aged youths as they discuss their personal affairs with a therapist.
Taking place an a junior high/high school located in an unnamed urban based bedroom community, a set of a half dozen youths ranging in age from around 13 through eighteen meet with a therapist (Sophie LaBalle) who is also unnamed, about what is going on within their recent lives.
The youths, or rather, young(er) adults, consist of Marcy (Hillary Freedman), a high school senior, Joe (Taylor Luke) a junior, Francine (Lital Peykar) in the seventh grade, Wade (Chris Vickers-Rynecki) a sophomore, Ruby (Briana Price) another senior, and Mateo (Judah Benaim), a fellow sophomore. Their topics of discussion and concerns vary in emotional size and structure. Told within a school year time line sometime between the fall through spring sessions, these six speak as individuals. Their issues deal in family life, relationships between kinfolk members and those of the other sex, school pressures, the challenges of facing conflicts (serious to trivial), and personal interests. (One student holds a passion for 1950’s-era science fiction movies, enough to recite obscure titles and who even appeared in them!) These youths are confused, lost, have a promise for their future even if that future is rather vague, while some want to rebel down by stating “F-it all”! Even the therapist, who serves as an intern toward her line of work, has some learning to do herself, attempting to understand what is behind the minds of these “kids” by way of what they voice and how they express these convictions.
This play written and directed by Leda Siskind, is presented as a series of solo monologues. Most of the presentations as performed are done with little communication between the fellow actors. When the cast do perform, they are on their own with a simple plastic chair to sit upon as they speak to the audience as if that same audience was the invisible and somewhat anonymous therapist. When these students speak, they do hold an aura of intelligence (no “uhhs…” and “y’knows…” among these bunch), while not being overly happy nor totally depressed. They seem to be somewhere in the middle, ready to lean toward one stage of emotion or the other for the good or otherwise. The same goes for the therapist herself. When she appears, she is addressing the audience as well: Not speaking to the youths per se, but to those under some form of authority or as a higher-up. The whole element is where everyone involved is attempting to self express through their own unique methods, attempting to learn about themselves while they teach the person they are addressing a round robin of basic talk!
And speaking of basic, this entire production is presented with utmost minimalism. Theatre 40’s stock set designer Jeff G. Rack only shows the chairs the youths use to sit and maintain themselves in front of a background of black duvetyne fabric, showing an anonymous setting bundled with a group of youths living anonymous lives as told to an anonymous therapist. These aspects carry on the facts that teens in post modern domestic society do have their hopes, fears, matters of concerns, and related form of expression. Although the ideal of “lost teens” are far from being anything as new or unique as this reviewer can acknowledge from his own youth, this play brings these aspects into the open.
There is one element that is of interest to these so-called “adults of tomorrow”. The characters depicted have some form of intellect from their own minds, rather that through the modern age of on-demand communication. Yes, they do posses phones that are smart, but the smartness comes from their own judgement, rather than something one can find through a Google search! This is the real light that shines, even of those said distances aren’t exactly around the corner–or through an app!

ALL OF MY DISTANCES ARE FAR, presented by Theatre 40, and performed at performs in the Reuben Corova Theater located on the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until August 24th. Showtimes are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights at 8:00 PM.
     This show runs in tandem with Theatre 40’s regular run of Breath of Spring, performing Thursday through Sundays until August 21st at the same theater space. (See review-Vol. 21-No. 30)
     For ticket reservations or for more information on both shows, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at
RuddiGORE, the Gilbert & Sullivan musical that takes upon the supernatural and adds zombies, werwolves, along with a cast of macabre beings into the mix set within the confines of a light comic operetta, currently performs at the Studio/Stage Theatre.
The plot finds Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd (Nathan Jenisch), faking his own death to return as a zombie or actually, a phoney zombie since he faked his death in the first place. This was due to a curse that was passed on to him from a descendent of his, Sir Rupert Murgatroyd, who used to chase and persecute other supernatural beings. The curse was for Ruthven to commit a crime on a daily basis. So faking the death would end the curse. Meanwhile, Ruthvan as the village zombie, has fallen for Rose Maybud (Alena Bernardi) who is idea to be a bride since there is a surplus of bridesmaids in the community but alas, no wedding to place the bridesmaids within! But Ruthvan’s friend and companion Dick Dauntless (Seth Freed), who himself plays a vampire, falls for Rose. Ruthven’s zombie role is exposed, only to have the curse’s unbrokenness fall in jeopardy. Will Sir Murgatroyd remain a zombie, or will he remain committing daily crimes? Will Rose become a bride so her team of bridesmaids will finally have their place of existence? And will Dick find his way into his line?
This production takes one of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s lesser known comic operettas (Gilbert wrote the original libretto and lyrics while Sullivan handled the musical score), and adds some contemporary twists into the plotting. Tracy Oakley adapted this piece as seen here, adding some lyrics and dialog to play out for a post-modern audience. This new twist creates a show that adds more of the carnage to the Ruddigore. The show is indeed called RuddiGORE, although it’s not as gory since there is more of a hint of the said blood and gore rather than what could be found in a B-movie slasher pic. (After all, this is a comic opera!) Indeed, the opera settings do shine here! Rose, as played by Alena Bernardi, vocalizes very well, hitting those high notes in fine fashion. Nathan Jenisch as Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd may not sing that high, but can keep up with vocalizing those fast paced numbers that G&S were famous for! Cynthia Heath on upright piano provides the music where the cast members that sing are required to keep up with. Averi Quinn Yorek’s choreography adds to the quick pacing that this show provides. Trace Oakley’s stage direction amplifies many blends to this show, from light comedy to mellow-ish gore tossing in hints of love and romance. This makes sure that with such romantic passion, everything ends on a happier note. Willie Shakespeare used this form of mood setting that eventually worked out for him. Why not use the same ideas in a G&S comic opera?
Along with the above noted cast, this show also features as listed in their alphabetical order, Evan Camacho, Leddie Garcia, Laura Jackling, Stephen Juhl, Courtney King, Skye LaFontaine, Meg Markin, Giane Morris, Kathlyn Semer, Jennifer Skiffington, and Jerred Yeash.
Gilbert & Sullivan operettas are charming, comic in nature although they were never joke filled (one liners had yet to be invented), but are fun for what they are. Some of the plotting and the interacted characters along with what they stand for can get lost for 21st century audiences. However, this version of RuddiGORE is very amusing and still maintains its fun setting. And in spite of the “gore” part, it does provide some happy endings to it all.

     RuddiGORE, presented by the Proof Doubt Closer Theatre Company, performs at Studio/Stage, 520 North Western Avenue, Koreatown (Los Angeles), until August 28th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. A Saturday matinee takes place on August 13th at 2:00 PM. No performance on Sunday, August 14th.
     For ticket reservations, call 800-838-3006, or via online at
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2016 Linear Cycle Productions.
All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not                                                        necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!


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