Most people have done it. You’re having a great conversation and someone asks a question that no one knows the answer to, so you pull out your phone to Google it.
For many people, the Internet is an instant source of information, but it can affect how people communicate today and is the topic of a new play at the Intrepid Theatre this week.
Describe My Lonely, presented by Catador Theatre, follows the life of recently-dumped Alex Cooper as the character searches for connection through a series of blind dates.
“He has a wide breadth of knowledge, but a very shallow one,” said writer Robbie Huebner, who is completing his masters of fine arts at the University of Victoria.
“He’s one of those people who if you’re having a conversation, he’ll check his phone to check their facts. He means well but is a bit oblivious to the actual human connection.”
Unlike other one-character monologues, the same character is played by two actors — a male and female. In the first act, Michael Bell plays Cooper, while in the second act, Melissa Taylor takes the reigns as the same character, who faces the same challenges from a female perspective.
In one scene in the first act, male Cooper asks a girl for her phone number, an act made more difficult for female Cooper in the following act.
“It wasn’t a normal thing for a female to ask for a date’s number. Even though it happens sometimes, it doesn’t always happen and we wanted it to ring truer to that experience,” Huebner said.
Director and Victoria resident Colette Habel said working with two actors to help them become the same character was a challenge, but in the end, they created one genuine character that audiences can relate to.
“Their friends will give them advice on how to deal with various social or romantic situations and you’ll see Cooper grapple with it and question ‘Why do I wait three days before calling or texting’?” Habel said.
“You see the character move in an age where information is so readily available. But also not being able to utilize it. Just because there are answers posted doesn’t mean you have to follow them or the same solution that works for someone won’t necessarily work for everybody.”
Describe My Lonely runs until Jan. 22 at the Intrepid Theatre (1609 Blanshard St.) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $12 at the door and by reservation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.