What: I and You
Where: Cave Studio Theatre (AC 007)
When: Feb. 16, 18, 21, 23, 24 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 19, 25 at 2:30 p.m.
Ticket information: Individual tickets for student workshop productions are $6, available at the door or at the University Theatre Box Office.
A girl with a liver transplant is stuck at home from school and a boy shows up reading Walt Whitman.
This is the start of the Cave Theatre’s newest show, “I and You.”
Caroline is too sick to go to school anymore, and won’t check her emails to find out what’s going on. When Anthony, a classmate she doesn’t know, shows up at her house asking to do a literature project, she’s immediately apprehensive.
The show follows Anthony trying to convince Caroline to do the project, and the self-discoveries the two make once he convinces her to do it.
Junior theatre acting major Abbi Minessale, who plays Caroline, said despite the plot points about life and death sounding cheesy, “I and You” is a very honest show.
“Sometimes shows I read or watch are really pretentious, like, ‘Oh, this is the meaning of life,’” she said. “But this show is honest about what it means to be a teenage girl without being dramatic. It’s lighthearted and real.”
For Tyler Rainer, the sophomore theatre acting major who plays Anthony, the show is about finding passion.
“It’s about finding what makes us passionate, what makes life beautiful and worth living,” he said. “It’s about using those passions to push us forward even when we’re down. I hope people see the passion and try to find their own when they leave.”
Director Dominic Oletti said passion is not only evident in the script, but in his cast and crew.
“When it’s an all-student production, there’s a certain passion for learning what people bring,” Oletti said. “It’s a lot of experimenting.”
The show was a last-second project for the senior directing major. Although this is Oletti’s third time directing, he says the time constraint has been a fun challenge.
“I’ve learned that no matter how much or how little you prepare for a project, the team you have will enhance it all,” Oletti said.
“I and You” is an opportunity for both Rainer and Minessale to learn what it’s like to be a in a lead role.
“When you’re an ensemble member, you are a part of the world of the play,” Rainer said. “When you’re the lead, you make the world and put it into motion. It’s been really interesting to be in charge. The Cave gives a lot of room for play and exploration.”
“It’s hard to get the lead in a University Theatre show,” Minessale said. “I feel like this [show] is a good way to apply what I’ve learned in classes, but in a more chill environment.”
She said she hopes the audience leaves inspired not to take life for granted.
“I hope they remember what makes them excited about life, and can use that to get past what gets them down,” Minessale said.
Oletti said for him, the play is more about human connection.
“I hope the audience leaves understanding the need for human connection,” he said. “Not just the opportunity, but the inherent need for it, whether they want that connection or not.”
“I and You” will run in rep with “Seminar,” meaning both shows are playing at the same time. For specific dates of both shows, visit the Cave Theatre’s website.