IU Theatre will debut “Adored You,” a play written and directed by Rachel Lynett, artistic director of the Rachel Lynett Theatre Company.
The play is part of the Amplified series, a collection of four plays shown throughout the 2020-21 season highlighting Black stories. Virtual performances over Zoom begin at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 and 6. Tickets can be purchased on the IU Theatre website.
Lynett is happy for their play to be included in the Amplified series. They hope that as the season continues, viewers will continue to see different representations of the Black experience.
“Adored You” is based on Lynett’s identity and personal experiences as afro-latine and queer. They wrote the play to process their feelings on a tricky relationship and stressful events of 2020.
“In the play, there are moments of deep sadness and lots of anger because those are the feelings that I was feeling during the pandemic,” Lynett said.
The play occurs during a date between the main characters, Alex and Lila, as well as throughout the course of four years. Lynett wanted to write a story that played with time in an interesting way, they said.
Maya Jones, a first year graduate student and acting candidate, plays the main character Alex. Alex is Honduran and Black, and a queer woman.
“I think this play is heartbreakingly beautiful and inspiring,” Jones said. “This is a story about two people. It’s a story about love. It’s a story about heartbreak. I feel like those are universal experiences.”
Jones said it is important to recognize the story as an example of a Black experience, but not the Black experience.
“Amplified is an opportunity for Black voices to be uplifted, and Black stories to be heard,” Jones said. “Oftentimes, we fixate on Black pain and Black trauma, but Black joy is a space where I think the Amplified series is doing a great job at making a way to see other experiences that Black people have. It highlights the complexity of Blackness and Black storytelling.”
Freshman Gracie Harrison, who is a musical theater major, plays Lila. Lila’s experience differs greatly from Alex’s as a white woman from a more accepting family, Harrison said. Behind the scenes, Lynett has given Harrison insight into the Black experience that is integrated into Alex’s story according to Harrison.
“I feel very honored because I feel like this is an amazing series that they’re doing to amplify Black voices,” Harrison said. “I know there’s much material there, but there’s so little of it being performed. I’m very honored to be part of it as a half white, half Hispanic woman.”
Harrison, Jones and Lynett said they would invite audience members to engage with the play over Zoom, with Lynett calling it an intimate and personal show observing intersectionality.