What is Love and Information? The ying-yang symbol that Graceland University’s drama department adopted for its set design is a good inclination of what it’s about. It’s the circle of life, the way we humans communicate by expressing emotions as well as passing information. Some have also described it as “a kaleidoscope of humanity, and I like that image. Watching Love and Information is like we’re looking through a kaleidoscope and we’re getting a fraction of a story.”
Love and Information, a play written by Caryl Churchill, is split up into seven different sections, all consisting of multiple neutral scenes spanning from 5 seconds to 5 minutes. But what is a neutral scene? Here’s a good example for anyone curious.
B: Hi. How are you?
A: Fine, thank you.
B: Why’s that?
A: I gotta go.
There’s absolute no context of why the characters are saying the sentences that they are saying. Is the A character upset over something? Or is the A character just busy? Did the B character play a prank on A? Or is the B character naturally curious as to how the A character feels. For actors, the sky is the limit on how to play that particular scene thanks to the lack of context the scene provides.
“It was a lot of fun trying to provide context for all of these scenes,” says Tracy Salter, director of the show. “The cast and I sat down for every scene and asked for the given circumstances with the basic questions, ‘who, what, when, where, and why.’ We tried to figure out the basic scenario. ‘Is this a brother and sister? Are they best friends? Are they 55 years old? Are they police officers? So there were over a hundred characters in this story and we had to create them all together!”
Because of the random and short nature of the show, don’t expect it to have a traditional narrative with a 3 act structure. Think of it more as snippets of 58 mini-plays.
But with a play that is mostly random sets of lines juxtaposed against one another, how could it possibly be about anything? Salter believes that it very much possesses a theme. “It’s a commentary how we communicate on a daily basis with our human counterparts in a society where you are constantly being bombarded with information. So has this affected our communication? And who are we once we take part in this kind of communication?”
Love and Information will be performed Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM and again on Sunday at 2:00 PM. The doors open a half hour before show and tickets are $5 for adults and $1 for students.
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