BAT Theatre’s I and You full of funny quirkiness
By John Van de Ven
I and You is a beautiful story about Caroline and Anthony, an odd couple who have a lot in common and find a bond over a class project for school. Their story is one of love and laughter between two teenagers whose lives couldn’t be more different.
The first act opens in Caroline’s Zoom room, where we meet Caroline, a quirky teenager who is more personality than teen. All of a sudden, her privacy is broken by another teenager, a boy, who loudly proclaims, “I and this mystery here we stand!”
After some protest from Caroline, the Whitman-quoting teen introduces himself as Anthony. He explains that he volunteered to be her partner to work on a project on Walt Whitman’s use of the words, “I” and “you”. This puzzles Caroline as she never attends class due to her poor health, and asks Anthony why he would want to partner with someone he has never met before. He replies that he had to meet her, and this was his excuse to meet this mystery.
As the pair get to know each other better, Caroline explains that she has been sick her whole life and her mom does everything for her. Though she’s sick and doesn’t seem to be getting better, Caroline claims she isn’t scared to die.
Although Anthony is her opposite, a saxophonist and basketball player, he says death is no laughing matter; in fact, he saw a kid die, today, just before he came over to work on the project with Caroline. Anthony is upset just thinking about it, as the reality of death sets in for Caroline.
I really loved this funny and quirky story presented over three acts. I found myself invested in the pair’s budding relationship. It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and I was glad I spent the time getting to know Anthony and Caroline. Enjoyable from beginning to end, I and You demonstrates how two people who couldn’t be more different from each other become the missing piece that they both need.
Director Andrew Coopman’s vision translates perfectly to the Zoom format of the show. Karin Terry, who plays Caroline, and Kody Smith, who plays Anthony, are superb in their roles, truly bringing the two characters to life.
BAT has been hosting these Zoom performances for over a year now, and they have definitely become really good at picking interesting stories that work well with the format. Make sure not to pass this one up. There are only two more chances to see I and You, April 24 at 8 pm and April 25 at 2 pm. For more info on I and You and a donation link for admission to the show, please visit: https://burienactorstheatre.org/shows/shelter-in-place-season-2021/shelter-in-place-season-3-2021/i-and-you-by-lauren-gunderson. For more information on Director Andrew Coopman, you can find his personal website here: https://www.andrewcoopman.com/. If you haven’t seen one of these BAT Theatre Zoom shows, make sure to catch this one!
I and You is the second show of BAT Theatre’s third season of its Shelter-in-Place series of shows. Shelter-in-Place was created to allow BAT Theatre to continue to give people live theatre while keeping its audience members, cast, and crew safe during the current pandemic.
As a final note I’d like to add that a year’s worth of social distancing and self-isolation can be very difficult things for all of us to endure. We are social beings, and as such require plenty of healthy interaction with one another. BAT Theatre productions don’t just offer its audience a fully produced show, but also provide a community for like-minded fans of theater. Make sure you stick around after the show to have a chance at participating in a Q and A with the cast and production crew.
Because this is a different format than most will be familiar with, I will add a few tips to maximize your viewing pleasure:
• Take advantage of waiting the half hour before the show starts to allow ample time to adjust your settings.
• Make sure to mute your mic and turn off your webcam if you have one.
• Make sure you are in “Gallery View.”
• Pour your favorite beverage, sit back and relax.
Although this third season of BAT Theatre’s Shelter-in-Place is not the same as going to see an actual BAT show, it does offer a number of comforts to the alternative. Snacks and drinks are only limited to what you have at home, clothing is optional, as long as you avoid using your webcam, and you get social-distancing-approved live theater!
The rest of the 2021 schedule can be found here: https://battheatre.org/shows/shelter-in-place-season-2021/shelter-in-place-season-3-2021.
BAT Theatre has been performing shows in the Puget Sound area for over 40 years, and is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity that relies heavily on ticket revenue, donations and volunteer help.