Charming, mysterious, and poetic in the truest sense of the word, Lauren Gunderson’s I and You is a study of the beauty, the agony, and the mystery of human connection. Rich with poetic theatricality intertwined with simple human truth, the play finds high school students Caroline and Anthony suddenly forced together when Anthony shows up in Caroline’s bedroom unexpectedly, apparently to work on an English project that, to Caroline’s surprise, is due the next day. Stuck at home because of a chronic illness, Caroline is guarded and stand-offish at first, but slowly begins to let her guard down as Anthony charms her into sharing her feelings about her life with a worsening sickness. Eventually, the two appear to be forging an authentic connection: But just when these two teenagers seem to have found each other’s humanity, the story takes a sudden turn. Throughout the play, there’s a sense that something just isn’t quite right. There’s a mysterious smoke detector that won’t stop beeping. Caroline’s mom never shows up despite Caroline texting her to bring a Coke. And why does Anthony so emphatically reject Caroline’s musing about her death? But this play is not a mystery or a contemporary take on Waiting for Godot. These moments are breadcrumbs that Gunderson has planted as she takes her audience careening towards a twist ending that critics have described as “stunning”, “unforgettable”, and “astonishing”.
I and You guide sections