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Behind the scenes: Voices of the stars

Love and Information by Caryl Churchill is the annual spring play of Seattle Central College. It is a series of disconnected vignettes joined together by the exploration of interactions in the modern world. Focusing naturally on themes of love and information; the play explores relationships and dynamics between people, organizations, technology, and nature. It touches on topics of all sorts, from family to identity to illness to Artificial Intelligence. 

The play explores the many ways interactions can break, bend, and twist themselves into something new. It dives into radio waves and TV signals to try and find what exactly has changed in our increasingly isolated landscape. That is the gist of the play, like how ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’, and so does the interpretation of each play. Although it hasn’t reached the eyes of the audience yet, it has obviously reached the eyes of the cast. Let’s learn what it means in the perspective of the members of this production directed by Shelley Douma.

A play cannot be complete without a cast and crew, of course, and the person handling them – a stage manager. In this case, Abbey Swiedom.

Vrindha | The Seattle Collegian Abbey Swiedom, an actor on the set of Love and Information

“Love and Information consists of snippets from various people’s lives. There are moments of laughter, sadness, and anger.” She emphasizes the quick shift in emotions and theme. “It may be a weird and non-traditional play, but one thing is guaranteed: boredom will not enter this theatre,” says Abbey.

“There isn’t necessarily one particular moment that is memorable, but one thing that I’ve loved seeing is the development of the students forming a cast. Over the weeks, I’ve seen them go from strangers who barely talk outside of scenes, to laughing and joking in every free moment. I am honored to have been a part of this play and community,” says Abbey.

Vrindha | The Seattle Collegian Andrew Carroll, an actor on the set of Love and Information

Love and Information operates under dream logic: People, objects, symbols, sounds — all pop onto the stage out of nothing, and disappear as quickly as they come. The images of the scenes may originate from your own unconscious, or those of your sinister captors (the playwright, the director, et al.), or some other unacknowledged legislator; but when they all appear at once, they are impossible to control, which is to say, impossible to narrate, to wrap neatly in words, and to make sense of. What is left then is experience itself, whose message is the relentless dynamics of collision, rather than collision’s resolution. Every new scene is a moment — barely begun, already ending — and the dreamer is left grasping for meaning. Life — like love, like information — outpaces language. Still, we know no other way of being than to try and keep up.

“My favorite memories so far in this production have been watching my fellow actors leave us to tunnel and dive their way into their various roles; and then — having nestled underwater, underground, and woven what was found there to a home — witnessing them return to us but as some wholly other person.” Says Andre Carroll, an actor starring in the play.

Vrindha | The Seattle Collegian Ian Vermeers, an actor on the set of Love and Information

To Ian Vermeers, working on a play with no real prior experience of acting on stage has been wonderful. “I’ve wanted to perform in a play since high school, but always had too much social anxiety to do so. Now, as a more well-adjusted adult, I’ve finally been given the opportunity I never had, and the support from the rest of the cast and crew has helped me come into my own as an actor.” 

Every time he meets with his scene partners, they have so much fun working through the lines and movements. “It’s a great script, and being able to try each scene from a different perspective brings out a huge range of performances from everybody. All of us work to build each other up and provide our ideas to hone each scene to the best version it can be” says Ian. 

“We’ve got a fantastic crew working hard to create a visually interesting play that keeps the pace moving from scene to scene so we can deliver these stories to you in a memorable way that will have you coming up with a new favorite part of the play for days afterwards,” concludes Ian.

Vrindha | The Seattle Collegian Kemp Peterson, an actor on the set of Love and Information.

In Kemp Peterson’s words, Love and Information is like the TikTok of theater. There’s joy, there’s laughter, there’s the deepest anguish. “There are so many different ways to look at the core of what makes us human — how we love, how we understand what’s going on around us, and how we get our information. It will get you thinking, chuckling, and probably scratching your head. And with lots of short, high-impact scenes, you definitely won’t be bored.”

On set, the moment Peterson realized he used to work with a fellow actor’s mom was definitely the moment when things got weird. However, the best part for him has been getting to know people, growing with them as actors, and learning how they blossom outside the theater. “A member of the cast, Adrian [Silva,] put on a great art event [at the M. Rosetta Hunter Gallery,] which featured another member of the cast’s, Jommel Pastores, artwork. Some of Pastore’s pieces brought me to tears. I’m working with true, multi-faceted artists,” stated Peterson.

Vrindha | The Seattle Collegian Paul Krumbein, an actor on the set of Love and Information

“The best part of working on Love & Information has been the other actors. From suggestions on how to rework a scene to silly moments of shooting the breeze together, they’ve all been a joy to collaborate with. I hope to stay in touch with them and perhaps join some of them in future acting endeavors,” says Paul Krumbein, who acts in the play. “The best part of Love & Information is the range that it covers. No matter the viewer, several scenes will be sure to resonate with anyone coming to see it,” concludes Krumbein.

Vrindha | The Seattle Collegian


Vrindha, an international student from India, is fueled by her fervent love for diverse art forms such as dance, drama, music and theatre. Eager to immerse herself in new experiences and broaden her horizons, she sees her involvement with the Collegian as a gateway to both sharing her passions and delving into new realms of knowledge.

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