Theatre University of New Brunswick presents its production of TomorrowLove, a series of plays about love, technology and the future. The production will go from March 3 to April 11.
TomorrowLove is made up of 15 short plays featuring two people each. Rosamund Small, a Toronto playwright, wrote the show and has worked as a screenwriter on Canadian television shows like Kim’s Convenience and Workin’ Moms.
“They are set in a world where one specific kind of magical, incredible piece of technology is possible,” said Small.
Though the plays consist of several fantastical stories about technology and science fiction, Smalls said TomorrowLove is, as is often the case with science fiction, a deeply human story.
Another aspect of the play’s episodic structure is that none of the separate stories are truly linked. Though they share similar narratives, themes and the same universe, one doesn’t need to see each separate arc in order to understand the whole story.
Smalls said one story features cloning and in another, one can match with their soulmate on a dating app.
“They’re stories about relationships,” said Smalls. “I don’t have a very societal lens on my work. I just focused on the here and now and the two people in the play.”
Smalls said people are always being challenged by new technology. She said things are possible now that weren’t even possible when she started writing the play back in 2014 and finished it two years later.
“[But the technology] is often used as metaphors … it’s about the duality of trying to connect with other people,” said Smalls.
Len Falkenstein, the director of the play and UNB theatre professor, wanted to do the play immediately when he first read it in 2019.
One thing that drew Falkenstein towards the project was the writing. He said since the stories are all written for two actors and all the roles are non-gender specific, the casting can be flexible for a large university class.
“The smartphone has essentially become a part of the human body. It’s how we meet other people, it’s how we interact with other people. It governs how we see the world,” he said. “What have we gained or lost as human beings as a result of that?”
Falkenstein said people will rely on technology more and more as new technology is invented. He said the play focuses on the moral and ethical implications of how people continue to evolve as human beings with technology.
Still, when all the acts are put together, the story becomes more than the sum of its parts. Smalls said she doesn’t have an opinion on technology, but rather said “it’s just happening.”
“I was more interested in what might come to the surface that was already there [with relationships],” said Smalls. “You know, how it could expose things that were already there.”