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Caryl Churchill’s play Love and Information is written in an unusual format. It is a series of short, enigmatic scenes. In each scene, no characters are named, and no details about setting are provided, in fact the playwright doesn’t even tell you how many characters are in the scene. A theatre company is free to play each scene any way it wishes to. It can even move scenes around within each section of the play.
You will be reading a short scene from Love and Information. Note that each line could be said by a different character (or maybe not…), but how many characters there are is not specified. Also notice that there are very few periods at the ends of lines. This should be interpreted as a character not really finishing the line – the character either trails off, starts another thought, or is interrupted by another character. Periods indicate a full stop, a complete thought. Read through the scene a couple of times and as you do, think about different ways it could be done. Can you think of a humorous way to do the scene? A dramatic way? How would the lines break out if there were 2 characters? Or 3? Or more?
Write a brief reflection (300 word maximum) that describes 3 different ways the scene could be done. Be sure to include all the following points for each of the 3 ways:
- How many characters? What is their relationship to each other?
- Where is this scene taking place?
- What is the secret? (The actors need to know this in order to play the scene. It does not change the text itself – just the way they say the text.)
- What feeling(s) do you want the audience to experience during the scene?
- What do you want the audience to go away thinking about?