Love Person

In a play that delves deep into the origins of both love and language, the audience may often overlook other pertinent themes. For instance, in Live Girls!’ performance of the Northwest premiere of Aditi Brennan Kapil’s Love Person, the notion of gender roles should also be examined. The 3:1 female/male ratio onstage would intimidate any man—so what is a shy Sanskrit scholar to do? This is the question that Ram (Agastya Kohli), the only male character, is posed. In essence, the dominant females spin a web of deceit that entangles Ram and forces him into marriage. All this is done by a lack of speaking. All three women—deaf lesbian Free (Kim Nungesser), her lover Maggie (Kelly Johnson), and her sister (and Ram’s girlfriend) Vic (Lisa Reynolds)—are aware of the deceit committed, but none takes ownership. The play certainly bends gender boundaries, especially telling is Free’s seduction of Ram.

On one hand, one could simply call this a tangled love story. But it’s also an examination of how language, translation, interpretation (the play’s told in English, Sanskrit, and American Sign Language), and miscommunication can lead to deceit, and how modern technology can aid and abet adultery. After all, Free carries on an online relationship with Ram, though all the while he believes he’s talking to Vic. Though it ends with a tidy resolution, the play more accurately sweeps its dirt under the rug: Ram will make Vic happy, Maggie and Free will most likely work out their differences, but their pasts will endure and continue to haunt them. IRFAN SHARIFF 8 p.m. Fri., 4 & 8 p.m. Sat. Ends Nov. 22.

Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 4 & 8 p.m. Starts: Oct. 24. Continues through Nov. 22, 2008

 
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