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love lines

February 11, 2011 - 3:13pm
posted by Gretel Kauffman in Batavia Players, theater, Harvester Avenue, love lines.

With mere days until Cupid shoots his arrow, it's only natural that love is in the air in even the most unlikely places -- including Harvester Avenue. "Love Lines," an original Batavia Players' production written and directed by Patrick Burk, will honor St. Valentine through a series of monologues about romantic correspondence before cell phones. 

Although love is a familiar theme for a show, the venue is anything but old.  "Love Lines" will mark the debut of the Batavia Players' new black box theater on Harvester Avenue.  Burk says that the actors have found the small, intimate setting to be very comfortable: 

"It's been wonderful. It's great having our own theater space, and having all of our costumes right here. People are getting very excited. It feels like home."

Rather than having a plot, the show is made up of monologues by 15 different characters. Most of the monologues -- with the exception of one, which is about love through modern technology -- consist of, you guessed it, love lines.

A few classic love songs are mixed in throughout the show, as well as ongoing piano accompaniment by Jeffrey Fischer (pictured above). The show doesn't need a plot to convey its message, which is that love can take on many different forms, and can affect everyone.

Burk gives the example of a friend's parents who shared their first names with Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Like the presidential couple, the other Ronald and Nancy had a relationship in which letters played a role.

"It shows the juxtaposition of how an unknown subway conductor and the most powerful man in the world can experience the same thing," he says.

Although all of the monologues are about love, not all of them center around traditional infatuation. The objects of affection featured range from Jane Austen to the aforementioned Reagans to the novel "Wuthering Heights."

A large part of the show is autobiographical: Burk's parents only met twice before marrying, resulting in over 150 love letters exchanged throughout their six-month engagement. These letters were the inspiration for the show, which Burk has been piecing together over the past several years. 

The actual rehearsals took no time, compared to the effort of putting the material together. The actors first saw their scripts less than three weeks ago. They rehearsed through a workshop-style format, a style that Burk says he would like to try again.

"It's been an interesting experience," he says. "I've enjoyed it immensely."

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 and 12 at the Harvester 56 Theater on Harvester Avenue. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors, and can be purchased at the door or at www.showtix4u.com.

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