Review | ‘Love and Information’

Westmont Theater Tackles Playwright’s Sprawling Vision

Westmont College performs Love and Information | Credit: Courtesy

This was one of the more ambitious productions I’ve seen at Westmont College, which is saying something, given that they’ve done all five acts of Peer Gynt and Erik Ehn’s densely allegorical The Saint Plays both within recent memory. The action in Love and Information bounces back and forth between two distinct playing areas that are separated by both the audience and a team of videographers, who capture what’s happening behind you and project it onto screens so that you don’t miss a beat. The unusual setup made sense in several sequences, such as a section where two young men played an online video game together, seated on either side of the audience wall. At other times, the arrangement became distracting, particularly when the audience on the live side found certain behaviors very funny. 

The many characters in this kaleidoscopic play, which runs an hour and 40 minutes without intermission, share some interests and a great deal of irony, but those hoping for something larger to emerge from the fragments of dialogue and the short vignettes were mostly left hanging. The closest thing to a flash point came when a young man in love with a Virtual Reality avatar girlfriend protested, “She likes my poems,” prompting his appalled roommate to make the comeback, “She’s just information, dude.” 

Nevertheless, these young performers showed intense dedication to realizing this play’s complex, sprawling vision, and that’s more than just information, dude. 

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