Meetup #32: Caryl Churchill’s Love & Information”

Cindy Goldfield (left) and Dominique Salerno in Caryl Churchill’s internationally acclaimed work, Love and Information. Photo by Kevin Berne.

For our 32nd Meetup, WWSF attended the latest play by visionary Caryl Churchill, Love and Information which is the inaugural production at The Strand Theater, ACT’s new second stage space.  Many Meetups ago (our 4th!) we attended Custom Made Theater’s production of Top Girls directed by Laura Lundy-Paine.  You can check out the post about that Meetup here.

Love and Information looks at the interplay between the virtual and the real in a fragmented structure of unrelated short scenes.  As our attention spans grow ever shorter, and more and more screens dominate our daily lives, Churchill argues for the importance of human connection.

Women artists involved in the production include Casey Stangl (director) , Cindy Goldfield, Christina Liang, Sharon Lockwood, Dominque Salerno, and Mia Tagano (AEA actors).

Theater Critic Jim Gladstone writes, “This is a production as interactive and engrossing as the most immersive multi-player video game. But the world it engages you with is not the stuff of fantasy. It’s reality. It’s something that shouldn’t be missed.”

The show runs Tuesdays through Sundays until August 9th. Get tickets here.

If you saw the show with the WWSF Meetup Group or on your own, leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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6 responses to “Meetup #32: Caryl Churchill’s Love & Information”

  1. The fragmented, short-scene format of the piece means that certain sequences are sticking with me, and others, frustratingly, have dissolved – the scene with the two men remembering their affair is lingering, as is the date conversation about the chicken experiment, the father working to get his son to unplug on the family vacation, Sharon Lockwood’s repeated ‘grey lady’ and Dan Hiatt’s repeated ‘bathrobe man’ – in some cases, the use of tech was frustrating, but I loved when we got to see scenes from the ceiling, and the couple looking through the peephole of their front door. In our post show hangout at The Beer Hall, we discovered that Churchill is 76 – I praise this courageous, form expanding writer for continuing to use playwriting to examine the world and reflect it back to us.

  2. I was fascinated to learn that similar Churchill’s recent short play “Seven Jewish Children”, this script is written without lines being assigned to particular characters. This means that director Casey Stangl and her very talented cast had to develop all the characters and parse all the relationships in the script themselves. This open form offers an artistic team a fantastic creative opportunity, and this team really rose to the occasion. I thought the entire acting ensemble was excellent, and seeing the production would be an excellent primer for young acting students about how to fill a moment of stage time with interesting and unexpected choices. I also felt like the play was dealing with some profound themes – the idea that a human being is basically a complicated data string intrigued me, as did the various ways that life’s randomness was explored. But in the end, I felt unsatisfied by the form – despite the excellent acting and the dynamic design – the play didn’t offer me an experience I can hang onto very easily – kind of like life I guess – which may be the playwright’s entire point. It’s just not a point I find very comfortable to live with!

    • I’ve just been forwarded the script from a friend who has the pdf – I’m looking forward to parsing it for myself!

  3. As I offered in the other spot, the play reminded me of work by Jules Feiffer in that it had short vignettes and multiple characters.
    I thought the staging was wonderful — the director was very imaginative and the action flowed easily from one scene to another. She tried to “link” wherever she could, using the same backdrops or settings, having Dan Hiatt look throughout for the snail, and so on, creating small pictures where she could.
    It wasn’t as gripping as a narrative piece can be, or classical or even other modern works. I’m not sure why that was, apart from the nature of dissolution as a theme.

    • Now that I’ve got a few days distance, I’m wondering if there were stronger themes that perhaps would have engaged us more as an audience – a progression or movement in the scenes from less connection to more connection perhaps. Or if more characters had recurred, or perhaps no recurring characters at all. I’m looking forward to when I can sit and read the script for sure, and I’d very much love to see a different production

  4. Pingback: August Shows to See | Works by Women San Francisco·

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