The Right to be Forgotten will not soon be forgotten


Virginia Suardi and Ayomi Wolff

How long is too long for information to remain online? Should past mistakes made by ordinary people be forever immortalized on the internet? This is the question the “Right To Be Forgotten” attempts to tackle in its world premiere at Arena Stage.

“Right to be Forgotten” is a contemporary play about a young man named Darryl Lark who is infamously branded by the internet as a stalker due to his teenage infatuation with a girl in high school. Desperate to prove that he has changed since the incident, Lark appeals to a lawyer for the “right to be forgotten”— to have his name and identity completely wiped from the internet. When faced with these complex issues, the characters and the audience must ask themselves: which is more important, access to truth or an individual’s right to privacy?

However, the show isn’t all a modern philosophical hellscape, it is filled with funny quips and humorous moments that juxtapose the heavy themes. Melody Butiu’s performance as Marta Lee, Lark’s attorney, humorously acts as both the voice of reason and the comedic relief, adding a necessary spark to the show. Sometimes, however, “Right to be Forgotten” did not hit the mark. Occasionally, the comedic interactions felt forced, characters often feeling overly theatrical for the context of the show. Despite its relevance to the youth of today, many jokes tried too hard and fell too short.

However, the show was truly enhanced by Guadalupe Campos’ performance in her role as Eve Selinksy, the girl who Lark stalked in high school. Eve is battling with memories of her ruined childhood while also “navigating forgiveness [as an adult],” says Campos. Her raw, realistic interpretation of a complex character is a breath of fresh air compared with the media’s lack of complex female characters with both strengths and flaws. Campos is able to portray a character who is not defined by her gender, despite the show’s plot revolving heavily upon it in opposition to the male gaze.

Overall, “Right to be Forgotten” was a thought-provoking show that raised important questions with a touch of humor that made it all worth it. Should the internet forever remember our past mistakes, or should we have the right to be forgotten?