‘Love and Information’ explores the 21st-century addiction to information
By Cheryl Minns, Senior Columnist
Douglas College’s theatre department presents a true millennial tale with its latest production Love and Information. The play shows off the exceptional range of its 10 actors as they portray more than 100 characters in a technology-driven, 90-minute series of short scenes about being overwhelmed by the amount of information available in the 21st century.
“That’s what the play is really about: The way we connect and how it’s ignored or interrupted through so much going on, whether it’s information or talking or whatever,” said Dahlia-Raphael Kerr, an actor in the play.
“When you get through the information, you will find love,” said another actor, Blake Hobson-Dimas.
To incorporate the play’s technology theme, the set consists of many projection boxes that feature vivid lights and visuals in between their use as furniture and walls in various scenes. The scenes are grouped into seven sections in the play, with a break between each section. The break presents the audience with a noisy montage projected onstage filled with a variety of information, while allowing the actors to change their costumes for the next section of scenes.
“We didn’t get to see [the technology portion] until about a week before,” said actor Allegra Ferrari. “It was really cool to see it all come together because we kind of had an idea of what was going to be happening.”
“It was definitely something that was new,” said actor Arjun Panesar.
“It was really difficult to have those 45-second costume changes, though,” said actor Piper MacLeod.
Portraying multiple characters with a variety of personalities and quirks in Love and Information has allowed the actors to extend their talents and emotional availability.
“It’s actually been a challenge, but in the best way possible,” said MacLeod. “It’s been really cool to discover different ways of playing different people and delving into that.”
“You learn about other people, and how they act, and then you figure out why they act a certain way,” said actor Peter Tran.
“It really brings out your own range,” said Chloe MacDonald-Comely. “To be able to experiment with all the different characters you’re able to play. It’s a really fun experience.”
Some of the actors with additional language skills have been able to showcase this: MacLeod, Panesar, and Tran all have scenes that allow them to use languages other than English.
“I was in French immersion, so I know French,” said MacLeod. One of her favourite roles to play in the show, she said, is the “French teacher when I’m giving the class heck.”
The actors play a variety of characters, from jovial children and rambunctious teens to serious doctors and heartbroken lovers. However, the cast members each have certain roles that they particularly enjoy bringing to life on stage.
“My favourite would be my character in ‘God,’ where I’m a Southern Catholic woman,” said Ferrari, who plays a woman defending her faith to a non-believer. “It’s the farthest character from me, but it’s the most fun to play.”
“My favourite is when I get to be a schizophrenic,” said Madison Green, who portrays a mentally ill woman who refuses to take her medication because she doesn’t want to stop the delusions that give her information.
“I like my kind of harsh Scottish character,” said Frances Rose Warwick, who plays a woman debating with her friend about how a person’s past dictates their future decisions. “And then the child who feels no pain. It’s just a fun, very free role to play,” she said, referring to her child character who asks her friend what pain is because she was born without the ability to feel it.
“I really liked working with Blake in the boxing scene,” said Michael “Leroy” Jenkins, who plays a man boxing with his friend and discussing whether a person wanting something to be true and then it being true means that person was right. “There’s just more activity and we just have a little bit more rhythm.”
Tickets are available at loveandinformation.brownpapertickets.com. Prices start at $10 for students and seniors, and $20 for general admission. Love and Information will run until November 10 in the Studio Theatre on the fourth floor of the Douglas College New Westminster campus.
The theatre department’s next play, Blackout, premieres November 10 and will run until November 18 in the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre on the fourth floor of the Douglas College New Westminster campus.