There are many complicated relationships that revolve around love and nothing is ever straightforward. Perhaps Caryl Churchill thought that if more information was given from different experiences, people could begin to tackle the intricacies of all kinds of interpersonal relationships. Churchill, who wrote the play “Love and Information,” has placed these relationships on display for actors to improvise. Hope College’s rendition of this play was performed in the DeWitt Main Theatre Feb. 17-18 and 22-25 at 7:30 p.m. every night.
There were 11 cast members that helped bring Churchill’s script to life. “I’d say the most unique thing about this production is the spontaneous and collage-like nature of the show,” Shanley Smith (’19) said. Some scenes were reinterpreted multiple times in succession to dis- play the true improvisational quality of Churchill’s dialogue. The audience members were captivated by the drama and humor intertwined throughout the course of the play.
“Each of the scenes are unrelated and it’s been an interesting experience playing so many different characters and exploring such different stories,” Smith said. While there was no connected storyline, there were certain themes or repetitions in relationships that emerged. Many brief scenes focused upon disconnect in a relationship.
There were other scenes that were acted out and then the roles were switched and the two actors redid the scene. Most scenes took place between two characters, but some had more or all of the actors included. While scenes were shifting, different contemporary tunes were played that related to scene themes and messages.
A staple of Churchill’s writing is that there is no distinct direction to take it, but scenes can be applied to any scenario. The collage nature of the scenes was not only portrayed through the play, but the audience seating, which was comprised of armchairs, folding chairs and couches. Romantic relationships, friend- ships and family were all addressed within the play and the most impactful part was that every audience member could find a little of themselves within at least one scene.
Audience members respond- ed well to the play, with laughter and applause. After the last scene ended, the cast members lined up and took turns dancing to finish off the production. After what Smith described as “a five-week-long process,” it was clear the team enjoyed the time they had to perform Churchill’s masterpiece.
“In a lot of ways I feel like a kid getting to play dress up again, just in a slightly more socially acceptable way,” Smith said.
The next production will be “The Hollows Project,” which will take place on April 21 – 22 and 26 – 29 at 7:30 p.m. Visit the Hope Theatre Department web page for more information.
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