Ori Urian's play 'Connected' makes English debut at Eastern Michigan University

An exploration of teenage struggles in the digital age

"Connected" flyer art

YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University Center for Jewish Studies presents the young-adult play “Connected” by the celebrated Israeli playwright and television writer Ori Urian on Saturday, March 9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m. at the Sponberg Theatre, 1030 E Circle Dr, Ypsilanti. This is the first time the play will be performed in English. 

Ori Urian

Urian, recognized by the Children’s Stage and Israeli Academy Awards, was recently nominated for the ASSITEJ International Inspirational Playwrights Award. With the assistance of a grant from the Zelma Weisfeld Fund for Culture & Education from the Jewish Federation of Ann Arbor and a Michigan Arts and Culture mini-grant, Urian will be an artist-in-residence in Ann Arbor from March 3-10 and will do talk-backs with the audience after the performances.

“The play "Connected" most obviously speaks to the way our present moment is oversaturated with technology and how that often negatively impacts young people,” said Robert Erlewine, director of the Center for Jewish Studies. “This play, designed for a young adult audience, highlights the challenges of being a teenager and struggling with fitting in and belonging in the age of social media.” 

“Connected” is a play about how technology has impacted young people's lives, and not necessarily for the better. The play is about a group of high school students who get lost on a field trip when they decide to stray from the group. In the play, Urian examines the way that an overreliance on technology harms us, whether in the form of trusting a GPS over what one sees with one’s own eyes or in the way social media alienates people from each other, leading people to prioritize their number of followers and status online over real-life relationships.

“I hope that the viewer has a chance to enjoy a fun and engaging play while also being challenged to reflect upon the increasingly outsized role of phones and technology in our everyday lives and the importance of friendships with people we know in real life,” said Erlewine. 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students and can be purchased on the website. For more information, contact jewish.studies@emich.edu.


About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

February 27, 2024

Written by:
Media Relations

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher