‘Love and Information’ relays stories of human connection with over 100 characters

‘Love and Information’ relays stories of human connection with over 100 characters

Sage Dunlap, Life and Arts Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the April 15, 2022 flipbook.

A seductive tango dancer, an unruly CIA agent torturing a whistleblower and a TikTok-crazed teenager — these describe just a few of the many identities lived by Andrea Nunez over the past few months.

“When you view the show as a museum of human connection, it allows you to connect with each character for the time that you have them in (a) special, fleeting way,” theatre and dance senior Nunez said.

On Wednesday, 16 actors took to the Oscar G. Brockett Theatre to bring to life director Mike Steele’s “Love and Information.” The ensemble-led production utilizes music, dance and acting to portray dozens of short stories that showcase various aspects of human connection in the modern world through over 100 characters.

Tackling different locations — from a neighborhood park to a bustling bar — the production’s soundtrack played a crucial role in giving context to the ever-changing scenes. The responsibility of dreaming up sound designs fell on the shoulders of Alex Titsworth, a theatre and dance sophomore. Titsworth said she collected both electronic and natural sounds to match the play’s technological theme.

“We took the idea of what it would be like if a visitor was walking in (a museum), seeing slices of life,” Titsworth said. “If we were right there, in this show, what would that sound like to us? We’re hearing a bird on the right side. We’re hearing a small little scratch of a rat in the left corner. We ran with it.”

Though Nunez has participated in ensemble-style productions in the past, she said her experience preparing for “Love and Information” differed due to more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions. Finally able to perform with many actors on stage at once, the cast incorporated large dance numbers, and Nunez took on the role of dance captain.

“I try to embody my characters mostly through my movements,” Nunez said. “Dance sequences have to be filled with something … whether robot intensity or campy seductiveness. It’s a lot of fun to embody those elements.”

For acting junior Alyssa Hernandez, “Love and Information” marks her first performance with UT Theatre and Dance, a milestone postponed for three years by COVID-19. However, due to consistent communication among the cast, Hernandez said she feels comfortable taking the stage for the first time since high school. From daily check-ins to discussions with intimacy choreographers, the ensemble worked together to ensure every cast member feels comfortable bringing intense subject matter to the stage.

“(This play) is very fast-paced,” Hernandez said. “You might be sad one scene, and then you need to be happy-go-lucky the next. Being able to separate what happens on stage and your own reality (is necessary), and our director is very considerate and very acknowledging of the play and what it requires of us actors.”

Hernandez said working on a play that heavily discusses modern relationships and technology caused her to reflect on her own life and reassess her outlook on her relationships with others.

“(The play) opened my eyes on certain subjects, whether it be climate change or … relationships with your parents,” Hernandez said. “Being able to hear everyone’s point of view really helped me. It’s beautiful that we’ve tried to incorporate everyone’s interpretation.”