Online comments get a bad rap. True, unhinged vitriol is rampant on some websites, but not everyone thinks it’s terrible across the board. Take a new L.A.-based play called “Unmoderated,” which uses comments as the raw material for drama and comedy on the stage.




The dialogue for “Unmoderated” comes from the comment section of a local blog called The Eastsider LA. Most of the commenters have never met in person, much less read their online writings out loud.The play brings this virtual community to life, dramatizing the highs and lows of life on LA’s East side.

Of course, not all comment sections operate in a similarly productive fashion. We’re still in the early days of virtual communities, learning how to shape them, and shaping our own opinions about them.

Unmoderated has its formal debut at the Hollywood Fringe Festival this month.

1Alex Schmidt has produced media for NPR, The New Yorker Magazine, Marketplace, The Los Angeles Times and many others. Before moving back home to L.A., she worked as a staff reporter at WHYY in Philadelphia covering arts. She is inspired by all things Los Angeles, most things infrastructure, and some things tech.