San Mateo
High School

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The Lore:

 

For the past 100 years, the area of Northern California now known as "Sillicon Valley" has been at the center of twin revolutions: Personal Computing and LGBTQ Rights. 

Two stories, two souls, connected by a dream for a better future through technology. In 1955, a computer visionary named Bruce struggles to realize his dream of creating a program that can fool humans into thinking it’s one of them, while in 1973, an outcast hacker named Eliza races to uncover why Bruce’s miraculous program, and its inventor, have been written out of history. Side by side, as their lives unfold and their destinies intertwine, both grapple with how new concepts of gender and technology are moving society forward faster than anyone could have prepared for.

 

 

After a series of conversations with San Mateo High School, we learned they had a need for a new play based on the topical theme to Northern California of Women in Technology. In digging into the computing history and digital folklore of the San Francisco Bay Area, the result became Valley Girls: In a compelling new work originally commissioned specifically for San Mateo High Drama, ALT examined the obstacles cis- and trans women have faced – and continue to face – in their journey toward equality during the explosive evolution of Silicon Valley. Drawing on the earliest forms of digital folklore from the message boards and community memory projects of the 1970's through the 1990's, ALT began to interrogate what was folklore, and where could we find it in our changing world?

As our understanding of digital folklore and gender identity continues to change, so too do we continue to change and update Valley Girls. We hope to use new technology to continue to tell this story, which we believe is the very origin of digital folklore. 

Check out our partner at https://smhsdrama.org/

Alt's Partnership:

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