In Love and Warcraft
by Madhuri Shekar
Directed by Peter J. Kuo
Sept. 4, 5 p.m.
Sept. 5, 7 p.m.
Sept. 11, 10 a.m.
Sept. 12 7 p.m.
Sept 18–25—On Demand
Perseverance Theatre and A.C.T. present an encore virtual performance of Madhuri Shekar’s In Love and Warcraft. College senior Evie prefers the online role-playing game World of Warcraft to real life. In the game, she’s a fearless warrior with a boyfriend. In real life, she ghostwrites love letters for people, even though she’s never been in love. When Evie becomes attracted to her client Raul, she must decide whether to let her powerful and sexy warrior character out in the real world. Directed by Peter J. Kuo and featuring students from A.C.T.’s Master of Fine Arts program, In Love and Warcraft is a cosplay-loving romantic comedy about intimacy and love in the digital age.
Running time is approximately 2 hours with a 10 minute intermission.
Content Disclosure: This play explores love and intimacy in modern relationships. It contains strong language, suggestive themes, mild violence, and consensual sexual content.
We are thrilled to introduce Perseverance Everywhere, as we launch into an unprecedented season. Most of our shows this year will be streamed as Live Video Theatre, and as such will be available around the state, the country, and the world! This is a fantastic solution for Perseverance to continue to bring you the magic of live theatre straight to the comfort and safety of your home. Just like with live, in-person theatre, shows will be performed in real time, but instead of gathering in our theatre to watch, we will bring the theatre to you. Productions will also be available for a limited time on-demand. Because of this new format, we are offering a membership program similar to Netflix or Hulu. Simply choose a package and pay a monthly fee to receive various streamed performances as well as other goodies from Perseverance Theatre. This is Perseverance Everywhere, and by purchasing a package, not only are you getting a great deal, you receive the added value of knowing you are helping professional, regional theatre in Alaska to sustain and thrive in these challenging and unprecedented times. Please read below for rates and descriptions of all that is included in each package.
The reviews are coming in, and In Love and Warcraft is a hit!
"Considering the show is done live, In Love and Warcraft is a feat of timing and creative camera angles. A combative three-person scene — seen through three cameras, including one iPhone that’s on the ground — is a particular creative highlight.
Still, it’s up to the actors to sell the audience on the conceit. Cast members have such chemistry together, and their faces are so expressive, that you believe they’re all in the same room."
"Kuo has devised clever ways to convey characters together in the same room – sometimes even making out! These kind of touches could be distracting, but the fact that they’re even making an effort to create a sense of space is really all we need to climb aboard this particular Zoom train.
The six-member cast handles all of this scene building so deftly that it’s actually more entertaining than distracting, and their performances are so exuberant that they’re more interesting than the sets anyway."
"Overall, the script is light, fast, and youthful, spiked with goofy WoW jargon. It goes down easy, its breathless pace quite TV-ready."
"The Best Theater to Watch Online Today"
"If you’ve been wondering about the viability of digital platforms as stages for live performance, being mesmerized by all of the subtleties of expression in each character’s face makes a good case for it... In a sense, it creates a more intimate experience for the audience than a conventionally staged performance."
"Once the heartfelt and sometimes-raunchy coming of age comedy hit its stride, it didn’t matter that the show was reaching me through my laptop screen, it buzzed with the same immediate energy that comes with a live performance... While there is no shortage of collegiate sex comedies, there is a shortage of thoughtful ones that make efforts to give characters multifaceted, internal lives. That makes 'In Love and Warcraft' well worth a watch and elevates it above most of what can be streamed on your laptop."
"Even though the actors are all on different Zoom screens, director Peter J. Kuo has maximized the use of electronic media, so laptops, phones, and even a security camera, are utilized adeptly...There are even scenes inside the “World of Warcraft."
"The show’s most intriguing facet is that it maintains the intimacy and immersion of live theater even with its virtual format. Through skilled and deliberate camera placement, carefully curated background spaces that resemble a character’s intricate gaming setup or a shared coffee shop, the sense of realism within the show’s setting is maintained, even if it doesn’t take place in a theater. Every choice is well-rehearsed and intentional, making this production a clear example of what Zoom theater should strive to look like: It utilizes the online format as a tool to only enhance the production’s intimate feel and embraces the nature of the online production, rather than shying away from the obvious. Furthermore, the chemistry between the cast members is electric, only adding to the closeness felt by the audience, almost as if they were on a Zoom call with friends. "
About the Playwright
Madhuri Shekar is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. She is an alum of the Juilliard Playwriting program, a fellow at New Dramatists, and the 2020 winner of the Lanford Wilson Playwriting award. Her audio play Evil Eye debuted on the Audible best-seller list in May 2019, and won the 2020 Audie Award for Best Original Work. Her play House of Joy received its world premiere at Cal Shakes in August 2019. She was a staff writer for the upcoming HBO show The Nevers, and her feature film adaptation of Evil Eye is currently in post-production.
Read more about Shekar here.
About the Director
Peter J. Kuo earned his MFA in Directing at The New School for Drama in New York City. Named as one of TCG's Rising Leaders of Color in the Round 3 cohort, he is also a co-founder of Artists at Play, an Asian American theatre collective that produces Los Angeles premieres of works for Asian Americans. He is currently serving as the Associate Conservatory Director at American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), where he serves as the Chair of the Staff EDI Committee. He is a theatre director, producer, writer, and educator focusing on raising the visibility of marginalized communities. He is a huge proponent of Live Video Theatre and its ability to be accessible to all.
Read more about Kuo here.
Cosplay Contest Winners & Gallery
Congrats to the winners of our Cosplay Competition: Gavin as The Eleventh Doctor, Heather Laverne as Pennywise, and Tadd McCauley and son as Green Arrow and Batman!
We had SO MANY great submissions, we had to add two prizes for a total of three because we just couldn't narrow it down. Have a look at all this creative talent!
There are many themes that emerge in In Love and Warcraft, especially on the topic of sexuality. While some may perceive this story as one of discovery and realization in regard to asexuality, others may interpret this same story as one of social anxiety and the feeling of control in an online world versus IRL (in real life). As with most good art, some of this is open to interpretation and one’s own experiences. We gathered some resources and information from Identity Inc. in Anchorage on the topic of asexuality, as well as some from Research Psychologist Melody Metcalf about social anxiety and online identity. Please feel free to explore and discover through the articles, videos, and resources below.
The Asexuality Archive is a collection of all things Ace.
The Asexual Visibility & Education Network has a forum for people to chat about asexuality.
Identity has support groups for people who would like to have a safe place to discuss their sexuality. With COVID, these are mostly online now, and people from across Alaska are welcome.
Online Identity Articles and Video: