I AND YOU Plays UofSC Lab Theatre November 20
The UofSC Department of Theatre and Dance will present Lauren Gunderson's award-winning play I and You at the Lab Theatre, November 20-23, 2019.
Show times are 8pm nightly. Tickets for the production are $10, and available online at theatre.sc.edu or at the door. The Lab Theatre is located at 1400 Wheat St., on the first floor of the Booker T. Washington building.
Written by Lauren Gunderson, the most-produced playwright in the US, I and You is a poignant ode to youth, life, and love, and packs a surprise twist that will have you thinking about it long after it's over. The story centers around two high school students - the homebound, seriously ill Caroline and her basketball-star classmate, Anthony - who unexpectedly find themselves forced to work together on a last-minute class project. As they strive to overcome their clashing personalities and make sense of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, they find connection in ever more surprising and mysterious ways. I and You received the American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award in 2014.
"This is a show I think our campus needs," says director David Neil Edwards, a senior theatre major. "What I love about the story is how quickly these two characters get to know each other, which is something that has happened to me throughout my time in college. It's about people from different worlds sharing and connecting and helping each other out. It's really encouraging."
The two-person show seems a perfect fit for the University's Lab Theatre, an intimate 87-seat "black box" performance space. Edwards says he plans to make that closeness even more affecting to the audience by making the theatre's playing space, and seating, more compact.
"The show takes place in one setting - Caroline's bedroom," explains Edwards. "I want to really bring the audience into her space, and make them think about the relationships they've made and have yet to make. It's a show that I want people to take with them into their own lives."
It's a goal that he says meshes with Gunderson's own vision for her writing.
"She is quoted a lot saying that she believes theatre is almost like church," Edwards says. "It sends you away with a benediction. This play specifically is meant to do that, to send people away with a memory and a lesson from it."
Cast in the production are senior theatre major Liv Matthews as Caroline and freshman business major Asaru Buffalo as Anthony. The show's artistic staff includes theatre majors Ronnie Smith (lighting design), Mason Howard (sound and costume design), and Logan Broadfuehrer (stage management). The production's set is being designed by Edwards alongside theatre senior instructor Andy Mills.
"It's beautiful and it's funny," says Edwards. "These characters are witty as can be. And, in the end, we see how beautiful it is to be open with each other and really connect as humans."
"It's going to be really special."