By Jamie Sughroue-Linale, Assistant Section Editor
In “Dark Play,” a teenager, Nick, responds to another boy’s lovelorn query on the Internet, wreaking havoc on his emotions and life. Potentially life-changing repercussions develop when Mick leads the other boy to believe he is really a teenage girl named Rachel.
Performances of “Dark Play or Stories for Boys,” by Carlos Murillo will run from Feb. 23 through 26 through March 3 through 5 in the UNO Theatre, located in the Weber Fine Arts Building. The box office opens on Feb. 14. Tickets are free for all UNO students and only $5 for all other students.
Gateway contributor William Muller and Editor-in-Chief Jasmine Maharisi asked Director Amy Lane a few questions about her latest project:
Q: When did you first become interested in this play?
A: I first read Dark Play last year. It was just a fascinating read…full of surprises and I couldn’t put it down. I thought it would be a good choice for a university program; it has college-aged characters, centers on issues that I thought were relevant. I think a lot of students can relate to the issues involved.
Q: On the surface it appears to be a cautionary tale about the Internet, but it goes deeper than that. What’s at the core of Dark Play?
A: Dark Play is a story about identity, intimacy and personal connection…and yes, the Internet plays a central role in the play. Ultimately, we are looking at the play as a love story; a very twisted, dark and dangerous love story. For me, the play asks the question, “Can love exist in an unnatural world?” Nick, the main character, says at one point that essentially there is nothing left to believe in, not in a world over-run by technology. Is there such a thing as intimacy anymore when so many social interactions today are filtered through cyberspace?
Q: What can the audience expect?
A: Audiences can expect a tough play about issues that many college-aged students face these days. One of the characters says that theatre like this forces you to confront the “darkness and danger” lurking in each one of us and by confronting it, take steps to change it. The characters in the play are playing dangerous games with very high stakes. They are isolated and desperate for connections. But that need leaves them vulnerable. The play is in turns funny, scary, surprising. You’re never sure what to believe or who is telling you the truth.
Q: What do you hope people will get out of Dark Play?
A: I hope the play spurs some great discussions. It deals with issues that I think a lot of students have dealt with…issues of trust, of cyber-relationships and their potential for danger, feelings of isolation. One discussion the cast and I have already had was how influential the Internet has been in forming social interactions. People are more “connected” than ever and yet an online relationship is so different than a real life one. Has the internet helped our social network? Are we more or less lonely? The characters in dark play are all looking for a connection, for love. But the love in this play is based on a lie and turns dangerous. I think a lot of students can relate to that.