On Feb. 23, the Muhlenberg Theatre and Dance Associations held the opening night of their rendition of Caryl Churchill’s “Love and Information.” The show consisted of 78 scenes depicting conversations, arguments and interactions between characters. The play is composed of a hundred characters, and they were portrayed by an ensemble of eighteen talented students. “Love and Information” elicits thought from the audience regarding how missing information or new information can transform our relationships. Communication is portrayed in many ways throughout the play, which is meant to be representative of the different ways people can interact with one another and how delicate relationships can be.
Audience member Robin Title ‘25 said, “‘Love and Information’ as a play feels very much like a certain side of TikTok. All of the vignettes that happen are very short and the audience is kind of thrown into the middle of each story. None of the stories have a real narrative connection except for the fact that they are all about either love or information. Churchill gives a lot of room for devised work in many of her plays, and this one catered very nicely to the times we live in now, and was curated to foster a sense of relatability for a Muhlenberg audience.”
Throughout the play, the audience watched remnants and pieces of different interactions between the characters. All these interactions, true to the play’s purpose, left the audience wanting more information.
Audience member Anna Hanley ‘25 stated, “I thought it was really cool how the audience was just thrown into a scene without having any real idea what was happening between the two characters. We were just given small glimpses into the lives of the characters, which made it feel less like a play and more like witnessing a real life interaction.”
“It’s very reflective of how life feels quick-paced”Jules Curtis ’25
The show included comedy and energy that had the audience in fits of laughter and applause throughout. There was a memorable dance number in the show, where all the cast members danced to “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” by the Scissor Sisters.
Title said “My favorite part of the show had to be the part where the entire cast was just dancing. Not only was it just such a fun part of the show, but to also just have a dance break like that in the middle of a play goes against what is considered ‘normative’ of a western theatre play.”
Dylan Sheppard ‘25, who worked on costuming behind the scenes, offered a perspective on the play that the audience was not aware of. “My favorite part of the show was definitely the dance scene. I’ve been dancing along backstage all of tech week. Everyone working on the wardrobe and crew slowly began joining in more and more as the nights went on. It’s a secret little sweet moment we all share.”
The play is meant to be open-ended to the audience. Each scene, each interaction, is meant to be absorbed by audience members and then invoke a sense of curiosity. Churchill provides a lot of room for interpretation to both the cast that takes on the show, as well as the audience that watches it. “Love and Information” is intentional in the short and vague nature of the scenes, it is meant to be reflective of reality.
Jules Curtis ‘25 gave their insight as a cast member on the show, “I hope the audience doesn’t look for an underlying, deep meaning in the show, because there really isn’t one! To me, what’s most important to take away is the experience of the show itself. It’s very reflective of how life feels-quick paced, short and in the moment. I hope the audience lives each moment of the show and looks back thinking it was a whirlwind of a good time.”
Cast member Jordan Lavalle ‘25 said, “My favorite part of the show is the distinct dialogues between the complexity and simplicity of the different pieces. It’s a show of stories. Some of which take significant thought, while others are straight to the point. Similarly, the show takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. One moment you’re watching someone have a panic attack, next you’re laughing at a child in a dinosaur costume. You don’t really know what to expect, and that’s the beauty of it.”
Lavalle continued, “The coolest thing about this show is how unique it is to each cast who performs it. Caryl Churchill, the playwright, only provides her audience with fairly short and vague dialogue. It was up to us to brainstorm and create the characters, the given circumstances, the relationships, everything. We unlocked the various stories that Churchill wrote between the lines and made it our own. The play could have been interpreted in countless ways. Our final version was based on what we, the cast, alongside our director and crew, felt was right in our minds, bodies and hearts.”
“We were just given small glimpses of the lives of the characters, which made it feel less like a play and more like a real-life interaction.”Anna Hanley ’25
“Love and Information” is a thought-provoking play that allows the audience to interpret the stories of each character in their own way. What is so unique about the play is that it can be different for each cast that performs it, staying true to Churchill’s desire for the play to be left up to a subjective and individual interpretation on love and our relationships.
Lavalle expressed, “I hope the audience takes away an understanding of the different lives of each character, how it can portray the reality we live in. The play discusses the different ways we show love, the various ways we receive information and the means in which we communicate with one another. We see this not only through verbal dialogue, but also through sign language, dance, morse code, painting, song, instrument and silence. Most emotions and experiences of life are represented, I hope the audience was able to reflect and resonate with at least one scene.”