What if you could see a play that was also a Rorschach test? In some ways, Caryl Churchill’s play Love and Information is just like that. The play doesn’t have a continual plot, nor does it contain characters you are introduced to and follow. Instead, the play is comprised of seven sections, which must be performed in order, but the scenes within the sections can be arranged per the director’s vision. Some scenes last a few minutes, other scenes are a just few lines of dialogue, but every scene works to convey the different ways humans strive to communicate with each other.
Rather than provide an arbitrary attempt at providing a universal truth to communication in the digital age, the play’s brilliance comes from giving the audience agency to find out those truths for themselves.
Watching Love and Information is almost like watching life fold out in front of you in a laboratory setting. With such little time to establish scenes, the actors must rely on adequately using body language to tell backstory and give insight into a plethora of complicated relationships.
In one scene, two characters hold a conversation that quickly turns into disconnected snippets of dialogue. The characters are talking at each other. It’s clear there’s a missing piece of information. The scene ends when one character tells the other one a secret.
I don’t know what the secret is. The audience never knows. But we do know that the scene ends with one character admitting, “I wish I had never been told that.” It’s a simple scene, but it pokes and prods at the nature of secrets. And as an audience member, you naturally put yourself in the same situation.
My knee-jerk reaction is to empathize with the horror that can accompany knowing too much. But I know others who have seen the play who were fully invested in wanting to know the secret. And that’s the beauty of this play. An incredibly deep vehicle for self-exploration.
How do you feel about secrets? What do you consider good communication? Watch Love and Information at the UCA and watch 57 different scenarios to help you find out.
Tickets for the performance are no charge for Full-fee paying CSU students, $8 for youth (under 18), and $16 for seniors (62+), and $18 for adults. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787), or online at www.CSUArtsTickets.com.