KENNESAW, Ga. | Jan 31, 2023
Intriguing play looks at how to bridge the gap between longing for love and an addictive need for information
Kennesaw State University Department of Theatre and Performance Studies will present Caryl Churchill’s “Love and Information” Feb. 21-26 in the Onyx Theatre on the Kennesaw campus. Directed by Emily Kitchens, this fascinating kaleidoscope of 57 short plays examines 100 characters who try to find true human connection and make sense of what they know—and what they don’t know. The actors and designers have leaned into the container of social media. Without compassion or love, Kitchens explains, social media can be a really separating, disconnected experience. “It’s an extension of who we are right now, and while we can’t put the toothpaste back into the tube, we can have a mindful awareness of how we are interacting with technology and each other,” she says.
Student Taylor Pasqualetti-Campell, a junior majoring in Theatre and Performance Studies with an Acting concentration, believes that technology is vital to the casts’ interpretation of the show. She recalls being told that the show was going to feel like “TikTok on stage.” She explains that “Technology plays a part in so many aspects of our everyday lives,” and it’s difficult to find a part of our lives that technology hasn’t touched. “We wanted to keep that authenticity in our show…to emphasize the technology age we’re in and how it affects the way we send and receive love and information.”
A mesmerizing and unpredictable play by Churchill, one of the world’s most groundbreaking playwrights, “Love and Information” has invited flexibility into the process. The script invites the audience (and cast) to find their own meaning with the collection of short pieces that sometimes feels like a vignette. Kitchens suggests that it’s like looking at the night sky and finding constellations. “We will be looking at a lot of stars in the sky, and then the audience will make their own connections through the format of the piece and the openness of the structure.”
Pasqualetti-Campbell appreciates the freedom given to the director and cast by the playwright to “play and create the world they see fits the best.” With this trust given, the cast spent three days uncovering the varying aspects of the script, and it was transformative. “Suddenly, these empty scenes without characters were vibrant and deep with meaning,” Pasqualetti-Campbell says.
“We got to decide what we wanted to do. Every word became a clue as to what the scene could mean,” says scenic designer Michelle Lee, a senior majoring in Theatre and Performance Studies with a Design Technology concentration. “For example, the costume designer interpreted one scene as Victorian ghosts and lost love, and I interpreted [the same scene] as a tragic reunion between two partners where one believes the other is an imposter. The beauty of this show is that neither one of us was right nor wrong,” adds Lee.
“To be unsolved is a wonderful place to be as an artist,” says Kitchens. After audience members view scene after scene, “they may ask themselves, ‘what am I left with in all of this—this net, this interweaving web—and can we find a little love?’’’ She adds, “Is there a glimmer of wanting to touch base with this person, that person, and see how they are doing?”
“Love and Information” will be performed Feb. 21-26 at the Onyx Theatre on the Kennesaw campus. Tickets are available at kennesaw.edu/ticketing or by calling 470-578-6650. Learn more about the Department of Theatre and Performance