By Johanna Hoffman ’17, communication major
McPherson College Theatre Department will present Love and Information April 20-22 in Mingenback Theatre.
The play is a series of short scenes that focus on the way people communicate. According to Jd Bowman, associate professor of theater, this show is “a visual representation of Twitter,” where small parts of people’s everyday lives are shown. It was chosen for this season, which is centered on family, because technology creates a unique type of connection between people.
“I am fascinated by how people get to know each other 142 keystrokes at a time,” Bowman said. “It’s interesting to see the ways in which we build community online.”
Love and Information, the last show of the 2016-17 theater season, will be structured differently than previous productions. Few contextual clues are written into Caryl Churchill’s script. Because of this, much of the stage direction and portrayal is left up to the cast, which will be a mix of experienced actors and first-time performers.
Churchill, one of the most celebrated living playwrights in the theater community, intentionally made the script ambiguous, as she wanted each interpretation to be unique to the performers. Bowman is eager to help the cast make this show their own.
“I get really excited about plays like this because I’ve never done a show in this format before. It challenges me as an artist and an educator.”
More than half of the 28-person cast will be students in Bowman’s Performing for the Stage class. Bowman says he intentionally chose this show to coincide with the class because students with little theater experience, as well as those who have acted before, will all be able to relate to the concept. Because each performer has only a few lines, instead of concentrating on line memorization, his students are learning to focus on the emotion of the script.
This is the first production in which Kayla Burk, sophomore, Nickerson, Kan. will be involved. She is excited about the opportunity to try something new, especially in this format.
“I really like the short story structure because it’s different from plays I’m used to seeing. It displays several different structures and emotions throughout the whole play. I’m glad I get to be a part of it.”
Love and Information will be in Mingenback theatre April 20, 21, and 22. Start time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $5 for adults and $3.50 for children ages high school and younger, as well as seniors. Reservations may be made over the phone through the theatre box office at 620-242-0444 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Dale Pollard