Ivan R. Lopez on Short Play “I Found This on the Web”

From June 8-25, City Theatre’s Summer Shorts will perform  eight short plays by Miami’s best emerging playwrights at the Arsht Center. In this series the playwrights shared a little with the Jitney about their work.

My play, I Found this on the Web, is a comedy about dating in the age of infinite intelligence.

The idea for the play came to me at the end of last year when my smartwatch started talking to me unprompted. Our tech knows so much about us. They probably know us better than we know ourselves. That’s a scary thought and I probably could’ve gone down the route of writing some sort of dystopian Black Mirror-esque nightmare, but fortunately my creativity decided to take me down a different and funnier path. I imagined a guy on a date, repeating a lot of his same unconscious mistakes. But his AI assistant, who has accompanied him on all of these failed dates, has finally had enough of sitting idly by.

My process involves a lot of sitting around and watching moments play out in my imagination before I ever put words down on paper. I had little moments of the play come to me while driving, or while showering, or while waiting in line at the grocery store. Then one more morning I woke up way before the sun came up and had a burst of inspiration. I set the initial draft of the play down in about 3 hours and submitted it to City Theatre for one of their City Reads events at Books and Books. The crowd seemed to enjoy it and they taught me a lot about where the good jokes were.

Now I feel very grateful that it will take the next step at Summer Shorts: Homegrown Edition! I hope you laugh, mainly so that our eventual AI overlords have mercy on us when they do take over.

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Ivan R. Lopez

Ivan R. Lopez is a Cuban-American playwright and theatre artist born and raised in Miami. Ivan is on the theatre faculty at Florida International University.