Love and Information premieres Wednesday, Jan. 31, and runs until Saturday, Feb. 10, in Allard Hall. The show features an ensemble cast of 22 actors and is said to feature over 100 characters.
“One hundred is just a base representation…. It’s not like we want the audience to be counting, but there’s no specific way of interpreting how many people are playing how many characters because there are so many scenes and so many facets of (the production),” says Basia Rogers, one of the cast members.
The characters are nameless and genderless, which allows for audiences to focus more on how the character presents itself rather than what is preconceived based on labels and expectations.
“I think that (the characters) are more connected to their sense of self, without needing to be expressed in a very logical manner. The characters are expressed by what they say and not exactly by what people say about them,” Rogers say.
The show is about how meaning is constructed, and all you’ll need to know when viewing the production is that understanding human connection is a key component in every scene. Although it includes the typical features of live theatre, in that there are scenes and actors, the play doesn’t follow a specific storyline or character. Instead, it allows the audience to uncover an overarching theme — love and information.
“I think there’s something so interesting about seeing your classical live theatre versus what (playwright) Caryl Churchill put on stage,” Rogers says.
The dialogue in the play isn’t typical of classical theatre, either. According to Rogers, the play isn’t written to appear artificially scripted; instead, it has characters go off on tangents as if they are figuring out what they are saying on the fly — something that is more attuned to real life conversation.
The characters are meant to be relatable to audience members, but not as individuals with specific characteristics. Rather, the audience feels connected to the humanity expressed through the characters.
“The biggest thing I learned was trying to be a real person, even if it isn’t exactly me. When you’re acting on a stage, it’s easy to get sucked into feeling like you’re playing a character, and that’s not true in any play,… so (you) make sure all your thoughts that you express come from that state of being human,” Rogers says.
The play is constantly evolving. The director, David Horak, leads the actors to what they need to find about each character, and allows them to constantly discover new aspects of the characters they play, says Rogers.
Tickets are available at the MacEwan box office and seats are first come, first serve.