This spring, San Diego State’s Center for the Study of Media and Performance is working with Love Library to stage a performance titled In.Love. The piece explores the intersection of scholarly work and performance while simultaneously introducing participants to unfamiliar library spaces, history, and services. The piece adapts Shakespeare’s As You Like It through dance, excerpts from the text, and multimedia technology. Of course, library rules, such as being respectful of patrons and maintaining the quiet atmosphere, will be abided by during performances.

One unique feature of the performance piece will be its use of interactive technology. The production will loan an iPod Touch to each participant for every performance. This hand-held technology will enable them to take photos, hear music, and send and receive texts and images that prompt them to go to certain locations and add a dynamic, interactive dimension to the
already rich environment of the performance.

There will only be twenty participants total per performance, though widespread marketing strategies are in the works to attract attention to In.Love. Marketing will begin with small performances and little detail, and as time goes on the amount of information given will increase. Our hope is that while the group of attendees each showing is small in size, a broader range of people will appreciate some aspect of the In.Love experience.

While there are many performers and collaborators working on In.Love, three of the theatre graduate students involved will be sharing news about the project on a monthly basis: Erica Paulson is in charge of informatics, the development and application of technology; Jessica Ordon is the dramaturg, a textual and production consultant; and Jamie Gillcrist is the assistant director.
Erica: “Being in charge of informatics, I have been exploring different programs to create content for the iPod. I was directed to a game-making program called Aris. Content in an Aris game can be trigged in real spaces because of the GPS system as well as the ability to use custom maps. I’m excited to see how technology will merge with the performance and how participants will interact with the technology! I have also been building a website for In.Love. Polls, games, and other activities will be added and changed frequently once we start marketing around campus.”

Jessica: “As the dramaturg, it’s my job to help the directors develop a script for the performance. It’s a very unusual script, because it’s based on locations in the library instead of acts and scenes. The script also currently leaves a lot of room for artistic invention. So for instance, even though we know we are using the Brydegaard room on the 4th floor, we won’t know what’s happening in that room until we work with performers to flesh the ‘scene’ out. It’s exciting to work this way – instead of using an already published script, we are building our own!”

Jamie: “As an assistant director, I am currently dreaming, brainstorming, and helping to prepare and create new work in rehearsals with the cast. These few weeks of pre-production have been busy with countless meetings on casting, design, technology, and logistics and our production team is doing fantastic work. I have been working with Apple on tech specifics needed for In.Love and excellent progress is being made. I’m itching to get into rehearsals and start taking our ideas for a ride!”

Performances of In.Love will be held April 16th–20th. Ticketing details and more information will be coming soon!

Written by: Erica Paulson, Jessica Ordon, and Jamie Gillcrist