Theatre course and Clint McElroy to present ‘Love/Sick’

Instead of taking a final exam, Clint McElroy’s Intro to Acting class, Theatre 111, will be performing “Love/Sick.” Their final is the performance of the play and it will begin at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in room 224 in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse.

“Love/Sick” is written by John Cariani, an actor and playwright. His most famous work is “Almost Maine,” which has been performed in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center before.

McElroy said his class is doing remarkable work. When he teaches Intro to Acting, he said the students always like to do a real production with an audience, so they spend the first part of the semester learning about acting theory and terminology, then he hosts auditions.

“We have real auditions where students come in with headshots and resume and I cast them from those auditions,” McElroy said. “Then we go through every step that you go through in a commercial, play, student play or just in a production, where we do script readings, block the play, rehearse the play.”

The auditions were held in late February, and they started rehearsing then.

“It’s a process,” McElroy said. “We’ve been going at it for about eight weeks, which is standard for a non-musical play.”

“Love/Sick” is a modern contemporary take on love and the different phases people go through in a standard relationship, which includes love at first sight, a breakup, a couple where one wants to move things faster, a bride and groom who start having doubts on their wedding day, a couple who has been together for a while and things has gotten boring, a couple who has been married for a while and gotten into bad habits and a couple where the wife is disappointed they haven’t had any children. At the end, there is a couple who has been through them all and it summarizes all the different angles and aspects.

This year, McElroy tried something a little different since he knew he would have 18 students in the class, and there are 18 parts in “Love/Sick.” It’s a new play that hasn’t been performed in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center before.

McElroy said the plays they try to use follow a pattern where there is a common thread that runs through all of them. His class performed Cariani’s “Almost Maine” before and enjoyed it. Each semester they perform something different. It’s a rotation where he includes about five or six plays, so he makes sure the same one isn’t done the same year. Over the summer he picked up a copy of “Love/Sick” and then read it over Christmas break and that’s when he decided he wanted to use it for Intro to Acting.

“Cariani is a very quirky writer,” McElroy said. “He always has some kind of hook, sort of like a ‘Twilight Zone’ hook in every play, and this one had that in everyone. He also always writes with a lot of humor, but it’s not jokes. I want to do ‘Love/Sick’ because there are also serious moments; there is drama and there’s emotion and relationships, whereas the comedy is there and there is an underlying layer of seriousness that people can identify with.”

The performance is free and open to the public.

Hannah Swartz can be contacted at [email protected]