British playwright Caryl Churchill is known for writing thought-provoking works that are rife with theatrical experimentation. Many of her plays offer some sort of political or societal commentary — they ask questions but offer no answers, which allows the audience to find their own.
Such is the case in Churchill’s Love and Information, which runs today, Feb. 8 through Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater. The play is presented in a series of self-contained scenes that examine the various ways people search for and consume information. Over the course of CCM’s 90-minute production, 28 acting students portray more than 100 characters who are looking for ways to connect with each other in today’s technology-driven culture.
View the slideshow below for your first look at CCM’s production:
“Leave it to Ms. Churchill to come up with a work that so ingeniously and exhaustively mirrors our age of the splintered attention span,” writes The New York Times in a review of the NY Theater Workshop of Love and Information. “Throughout her career, which spans more than four decades, this British playwright has proved herself without peer in creating expressly topical works in which form and function are one.”
The fast-paced play moves from scene to scene, presenting snapshots of everyday interactions in a way that inspires self-examination and reflection. Each scene presents familiar situations: a separated couple reminiscing on their failed relationship, friends discussing the existence of a higher power, a husband trying to pull his wife out of depression. The play mirrors day-to-day life, making it immediately relatable to the audience.
“There is a direct relationship between the people who are on stage and the people who are in the audience,” says Love and Information director Brant Russell. “Everybody who is in the audience is going to see either themselves, or their kids, or their colleagues and friends reflected in each scene, so it’s very accessible and easy to connect with.”
Russell appreciates Churchill’s ability to capture multiple tones in her writing. Love and Information inspires penetrating self-reflection but also offers comic relief in scenes that depict superficial situations, like people working out in a jazzercise class.
“The undercurrent of emotion and intention within Churchill’s plays is so palpable,” Russell says. “Her work is somewhere between Brecht and Chekhov in that it’s explicit in telling the audience what they are about to see but only hints at what’s under the surface.”
This isn’t Russell’s first time directing a Churchill play. While he was in graduate school in 2008 he directed Churchill’s Mad Forest, which is about the 1989 Romanian Revolution. He is also familiar with Churchill’s other works including Cloud 9 and Top Girls, which explore women’s rights. While those plays focus on specific political events, Love and Information offers broad commentary on society in general, asking questions like:
How can we trust other people in an age of infinite information? Why would we have any memory when technology gives us infinite memory? How do people communicate when they have no language in common?
The tenderhearted play asks the audience to examine their relationships with each other in light of society’s inescapable embrace of technology. Just like in life, the characters in Love and Information are trying to make sense of the world and their place in it.
“Love and Information is political but not in such a way that it is polarizing,” Russell says. “It just asks a lot of socially provocative questions that I think are very relevant. It doesn’t answer any questions but it will hopefully get you thinking.”
LOVE AND INFORMATION
Written by Carly Churchill
Love and Information will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. There will be no intermission.
*This production makes use of strobe lighting effects
- 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8
- 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9
- 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10
- 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati
Tickets to Love and Information are $27-31 for adults, $17-20 for non-UC students and $15-18 for UC students with a valid ID.
Student rush tickets will be sold one hour before each performance to non-UC students for $12 or $15, based on availability. UC students can receive one free student rush ticket with a valid ID, based on availability.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/love-and-information.
Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.
For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.
For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation
Mainstage Series Production Sponsor: Macy’s
Love and Information is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.