What is Love? Although it may seem that most find love at every corner, the truth is love is rare especially in today’s day and era. Dealing with the pandemic, Covid, and few interactions limited the love that we are supposed to share. To explore this topic The Park Avenue Armory presents the play Love by Alexander Zeldin. The production involves families and individuals living in a shelter and dealing with unfortunate circumstances. The author really showed us that when there is nothing and you’re burdened with so many responsibilities, then you realize what love truly is.
Before we saw the play, Vickie Tanner, Park Avenue Armory teaching artist, came in and provided a little advanced preparation. This being my first play, I found myself almost brushing the hype of this play off. Vickie’s main focus was on questions like “What kind of Love do you experience?” Loving yourself, being loved by your pet, or even getting an “ I love you “ from your partner or parent. But is it possible to go without being Loved? Would you be able to function if the most important thing were to suddenly disappear. As social creatures, we need that type of feeling or else we live a life full of misery and loneliness.
The journey to the Armory was nerve-racking. I didn’t know what to expect for my first play. Although my gut was reluctant to keep going, I pushed forward and entered what I thought was a museum or campus of some sort. Coming from an architecture school, I personally saw many of the design decisions that the architect probably decided such as the floorplan and the feel of the environment. I also noticed that the natural flow of the crowd matched the flow of the entrances. Looking around there were different blends of materials that I noticed. The space where the play was being held was massive. I felt really small or almost like a lego man being brought into a public area.
One of the major differences in this play was its immersion as WHSAD was seated on the stage. Being inside of the play and a part of the scene raised my expectations for any other play. On many occasions I felt like running into the scene as if it was a real scenario. I couldn’t personally believe that a play could change my view on the things I consider entertaining. Plays from what I have heard seem to mimic a cinema where there are the audience who all view the play or screen the same way. But Love is completely different as from where you are seated your interpretation can be completely different from other seating options. From some angles, one could see into one of the bedrooms but not the other. Additionally, there were a couple of empty seats in WHSAD’s audience for the purpose of the actors using those seats to bring the scene to us. The play connects Love to the emotional spectrums we go through every day. Love can be connected to excitement when Adnan, played by Naby Dakhli, shared a connection with Tharwa, played by Hind Swareldahab, who were the only two characters who spoke Arabic. In this play love was also connected to anger, which was portrayed by Emma, played by Janet Etuk, and Colin, played by Nick Holder. This play has many emotional, funny, surprising, and sad scenes that all connect to Love. Scenes, such as Dean played by Alex Austin who was responsible for his two children, and his pregnant partner.
We encounter love in many moments in life, and this powerful play explores the complex issues of poverty, class, and inequality and how love comes into play in these issues. Set in a run-down temporary housing complex, the play portrays the lives of a group of working-class families struggling to make ends meet. Love is a deeply moving and thought-provoking production that provides a unique and intimate insight into the lives of those often overlooked by society. The cast delivers a poignant and authentic performance, making this play a must-see for anyone interested in contemporary theater that tackles important social issues.
This play also portrays the lives of several characters who are struggling to find love and connection in their difficult circumstances. One of the many ways that I found Love to connect to these families is through “romantic love”.The play features a couple, Dean and Emma, who are struggling to maintain their relationship. Their love is put to the test as they face financial difficulties and the stress of raising children in a cramped shared-space.
Although Love could connect people romantically, “family love” is just as strong. The relationship between Colin and his mother, who has come to stay with them due to her own financial difficulties. Through their interactions, we see the deep love and loyalty that Dean feels towards his mother, despite their conflicts. That strong bond was well felt in this play. One scene in particular was how much fun Colin and his mother were having and the bond they shared when Colin started to wash his mothers hair. He was aware that this would create that special connection between a mother and a son. The last connection that I personally found in this play was Love for the community. The play highlights the importance of love and connection within a broader community. The characters are all struggling with poverty and social isolation. This was seen when the new tenant in room eight Adnan, played by Naby Dakhli, always retreated because everyone was very isolated with their own burdens. They found solace in each other’s company. The play suggests that love and compassion are essential for survival in difficult circumstances.
Overall, “Love” portrays love in all its complexities, showing how it can bring people together and tear them apart. Through its exploration of various forms of love, the play offers a powerful commentary on the human condition and the importance of connection and compassion. So, do you think we need Love to survive?