The true magic of theatre is that it exists only as a memory when it is finished. After you see a play, you might talk about it on the way home, ruminate over it for a while. Maybe it affected you deeply, and becomes something you visit occasionally when you are feeling particularly wistful. For me as an actor, I and You will always be a show I miss dearly, one that comes to visit when I hear “A Love Supreme” or “Great Balls of Fire.” Whenever I read Whitman. Suffice to say, it was an unforgettable, wild, extraordinary, and immensely challenging experience.
I had never done a two-hander before. I didn’t know what to expect going into it, but I did have an idea of the kind of theatrical magic I was getting into, and the potential for this to be an incredible production. I learned and gleaned so much from the process. It was an endurance run of sustaining the physical and emotional energy needed for the 90 minutes on stage, especially because Caroline travels between defensive and wary, sarcastic, playful, and vulnerable throughout the course of the play—sometimes within the course of a single act. Sharing the stage with Jordan Smith as Anthony was a pleasure. He is so giving and open, and with our director Barry Carman at the helm, discovering these characters and their story together was fun and difficult and just. so. wonderful. During the run, we had a panel of healthcare providers and counselors, a living donor and a few organ donation recipients speak about their experience, and how this play effected them and brought their experiences into the spotlight. It was extremely humbling and moving, and I am proud to have been a participant in the conversation.
I and You, by Lauren Gunderson, directed by Barry Carman at the BLUEBARN Theatre. Winner of the 2014 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Playwrighting Prize. Running January 31-February 24, 2019.