BWW Review: LOVE AND INFORMATION at Forum Theatre
Under Michael Dove's artistic direction, Forum Theatre has never shied away from presenting shows that challenge its audience. Caryl Churchill's Love and Information - currently in production at Forum's artistic home in Silver Spring - is no exception to this rule. At its core, the production is a wonderfully creative immersive experience, not only due to Dove's inspired direction, but Patrick Lord's projections and Roc Lee's sound design work. The fourteen-member ensemble cast, embodying many more nameless characters, works as one cohesive unit to draw us into 50+ vignettes presented across seven parts on Andrew Cohen's blank canvas of a set. The fact that they draw us in so well is no small feat, especially when one considers the fact that some of the scenes are only seconds in length.
The swift moving play offers compelling insights into human interaction, emotion, and thinking and broadly considers how we derive meaning from not only verbal communication, but other forms of interaction (and not just the interpersonal sort). It's probably best to go in "cold" - as I did - to appreciate the work, so I am not going to give too much away. I will say that Churchill provides the director with ample freedom to explore and Dove (and his cast) does just that.
The acting is first rate. DC theater regulars like Laura C. Harris and Megan Graves do their usual exceptional work here as they do all over town. Jade Jones also makes an impression with her warm presence and wonderful singing voice. I've only seen her in musicals, so it was great to see her stretch her acting muscles in a straight play. She's just as effective as she is in musicals. Ahmad Kamal and Edward Christian, no strangers to Forum, are among the ensemble cast and do great work as well. Forum newcomers like Moriamo Akibu and Ryan Tumulty made me want to see more of them in the future.
While there is nothing particularly easy about this play, it is a unique viewing experience that every area theatergoer should have.
Running Time: Nearly two hours with no intermission.
LOVE AND INFORMATION plays through October 21, 2018 at the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, located at 8641 Colesville Road in Silver Spring, MD. See Forum's website for further information and to buy tickets.
Photo: Cast of LOVE AND INFORMATION; by Teresa Castracane Photography