The monologues and songs in Theatre Three’s latest production Love & Kindness in the Time of Quarantine examine perspectives on what it means to be human during a time of such uncertainty.
One character spirals into an existential crisis as she tries to decide which pair of sweatpants to wear. Another shares the pressing questions of morality.
Christie Vela, associate artistic director of Theatre Three, stars in the monologue “Lustrous,” by Dallas-based playwright Blake Hackler. She finds an unexpected relationship with an internet representative in another part of the world.
“If it had not been for COVID times and if none of these circumstances existed, this connection would have never, ever happened,” Vela said. “But because of these extreme circumstances these two people connect and the potential for something beautiful is there in the future.”
The hauntingly familiar stories about life during the pandemic is a collaborative effort from creatives around the nation and feature new performances from local Dallas artists. And the short vignettes were all recorded over Zoom and compiled into a single production. The production, available until April 18, was curated by Dallas-born playwright and award-winning actor Regina Taylor, who stars in I’ll Fly Away, The Unit and Lovecraft Country.
Performances come from Sammy Rat Rios, Cherish Robinson, Marlene Beltran, Paloma Nance, Casie Luong, Gabrielle Beckford, Marti Etheridge and Christie Vela.
But, as we know, life before and during the pandemic wasn’t all “Love & Kindness.”
For the production, Taylor wrote a powerful monologue called “January 6th,” about the pro-Trump insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol at the beginning of the year. The monologue, performed by New York-based actor Gabrielle Beckford, compares the law enforcement response to the treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters.
Artist Sammy Lam wrote “Twitter Feed,” a monologue about the violence and discrimination against Asian Americans. A young woman, played by Cassie Luong, tweets about the violence and trauma she’s seen before and during the pandemic and calls out hashtag activism.
The collaborative production, which features work from artists in Dallas, Portland, London and St. Louis, aims to connect with each other, even if we aren’t in the same room.
“We are going to try and reach across the interwebs to touch upon these feelings and this experience that everybody is having,” Vela said.
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