Production Spotlights Gaming Lifestyles and the Struggles It Brings in a Romantic Comedy
Amanda Hall, Reporter
Following the theme of the Tech Talk last Thursday, an upcoming play, In Love and Warcraft, will reflect on the struggles technology can bring to 21st century relationships.
Starting on Feb. 24, TWU drama will present its first showing of In Love and Warcraft. As the Texas premiere, and one of a few productions done in the US, according to director Dr. Noah Lelek, the cast is excited to perform this romantic comedy for the audience. The production will wrap up on Feb 28.
The story focuses on the female led, played by Brittnee Schoville, Evie who is a dedicated gamer. Although socially awkward, she excels at helping others write love notes via texts, Facebook messages and emails. As a gamer who hides behind her computer in the Warcraft Universe with her online boyfriend, Ryan, Evie contemplates her life choices when she meets a handsome guy in real life (IRL). Evie’s views on gaming are challenged, her friendships are tested and Evie has to come to terms with what real life outside of the game is like.
Lelek believes that the audience will relate to Evie, “I think students will especially really enjoy it because it really does talk to a lot of issues that our generation is dealing with.” Lelek goes on to explain that he believes students sometimes struggle to make connections in real life that get below the superficial level and form deep, long lasting relationships. He believes that there are different struggles that come with forming relationships, such as letting yourself be vulnerable.
An exciting part of the show that is unique to In Love and Warcraft is a scene done in the Warcraft Universe. Nolan Chapa, who plays Raul, says: “I’ve been in love stories before, but nothing like this.” In a scene in Warcraft Universe, the actors have to focus on mimicking how a video game character would move. Chapa says:“it’s kind of blocky and herkey-jerkey a little bit; it’s exhausting, but fun.”
Director, Dr. Lelek says that the challenges for him are yet to come during the technological set up. Lelek explains: “we have projections, the lighting and the scene changes [to do this week]. I think that’s going to be the biggest challenge.” However, Lelek says: “[he is] impressed with the skill and the discipline [the actors] are bringing to their roles… the actors are really really talented here.”
For Britnee Schoville, the challenges she faces are not knowing anything about World of Warcraft (the inspiration for Warcraft Universe) at all and having to pretend. She added: “ I’m saying words like ‘pyroblast’ and ‘magstick’ and I have no idea what those things mean, but I have to pretend like I do.” To get into her character, Schoville researched and played World of Warcraft over winter break so she could be ready for rehearsals that started on Jan. 19th.
Colton Jones, also a gamer who plays League of Legends, shares one of the most awkward parts for him: “there’s something weird about speaking out phrases that are normally only typed. Like I have to stand on stage and say ‘W-T-F’ but really I wouldn’t read it as W-T-F.”
For Nolan Chapa, who plays Raul, the challenges have been a little bit different. Chapa is a junior transfer student who works a part time job on top of full time school and 12-15 hours a week in rehearsal. He says: “I love this, this is what I want to be doing. So really the challenge is not forgetting to do my homework for other classes.”
Walk Away for Audience
Jones, who plays Ryan, Evie’s online boyfriend, explains his character is a 25 year old basement dweller, gamer guy with collectibles who takes Warcraft Universe too seriously. Jones says that this play showcases the toxic language associated with gaming chat-rooms. His hope is that people walk away from the show thinking about the type of language that was used in such a way, that maybe people shouldn’t be speaking that way to each other, especially in chat-rooms.
Chapa hopes that the audience has a great time and laughs, it’s a comedy after all, but he also wants the audience to leave thinking about the relationships, over the internet and in real life; how a person can cope with mixing those two worlds.
Schoville takes a different approach, she wants people to get out of their heads so much. She added: “that’s the main thing Evie deals with, is being in her head all the time, scared of communication and stuff.” Over the course of the story, Evie does a compete change from where she was mentally at the beginning. Schoville wants people to see that and maybe gain confidence in themselves as well.
For more information about show-times and pricing, visit: http://www.twu.edu/drama/