By Natalie Pan
Is your wife really your wife if you can’t remember her? Should you date a robot? These are just a couple of the riveting questions that were addressed in this year’s joint Roxbury Latin (RL) and Winsor Upper School fall play Love and Information. More broadly, the director Mr. Nelson described the main theme of the play as “whether the saturation of our minds with ‘information’ of all kinds is diminishing our ability to connect as human beings.” I had the pleasure of viewing the cast’s second performance on the night of Saturday, November 12, and I am excited to recount my experience.
The play was composed of 49 scenes that were divided into seven sections of seven scenes. Along with the sheer number of people and scenes, an added level of complexity was the lack of characters with names and a through-line plot. In Mr. Nelson’s words, there was “no beginning, middle, or end.” Mr. Nelson also shared that major breakthroughs for the actors happened after four or five weeks of rehearsals when “students began to point out the parallels and links they were discovering between scenes in their ‘section,’ as they really understood how to play their own scenes.”
Beatrix Picotte ’24 was one of six Winsor students in the play. She commented that part of what made this play special was “the large cast” of 38 students! Since each scene she rehearsed had a maximum of two other actors, when the whole cast came together for tech week, Picotte “was shocked to see the sheer number of people involved in the production.” Similarly, Tommy Reichard ’23, a veteran RL performer, said, “Every new production has a different cast and a different vibe. What makes every show special is that after closing night, there will never be a show with this exact cast and crew.”
It was hard for me to choose a favorite scene, so I decided to ask the actors about theirs instead. Picotte’s favorite scene was “God,” a humorous dialogue that ends with the lines: “But I don’t mind not meaning anything, does that make me God?/ It makes you really annoying!” Additionally, Reichard praised his castmates in the scene “Manic,” which featured RL students Nick Martin ’23 and Akhilsai Damera ’24. The bulk of the scene was a “whirlwind of a monologue” about the global meanings of the color red, initiated by a gift of a bouquet of flowers. Reichard liked the scene because “Nick delivered every line with brilliant, chaotic humor as Akhilsai’s character tried to calm him down.”
One of my highlights of the performance was witnessing the acting growth of friends who have been in many theater productions over the years. Likewise, Mr. Nelson shared, “I really appreciate having the chance to work with some boys in [six to eight] productions by the time they are seniors.” He encouraged all of his students to “try some theater in college… [or] at least go and see the performing arts produced at their college or university.” Reichard had valuable advice to share with younger actors as well: “Get into your character as much as you can, that’s the fun of it. And also be quiet backstage. The audience can hear you.”
Seniors Tarini Dasari and Matt Hoover in the scene “Flashback.”
The whole cast during the final bows.