I wanna Love you but I wont

Graphic by Nikki Bonfiglio


Have you ever felt like your ex was following you into a new relationship, or your tinder matches were all the same person? 

If so, then you would probably enjoy “I wanna love you, but I won't” a collection of six short one-act plays that premiered in February in Binninger Theatre’s black box. 

The staged reading entertained students with comedic takes on the love struggles that many people experience, performing to an audience of Eckerd students, staff, and local community members in two shows on Saturday, Feb. 11th. 

The show was written by senior theatre and film studies major Ryan Reed, who also wrote “Evolution,” which premiered on campus in February 2022. Reed began writing his first short one-act after “Evolution” closed. 

“Wanting to write something that encapsulated the frustrations of my previous relationship experiences, I wrote ‘0 Sum Game’, which premiered at the Southeastern Theatre Conference 2022 10-Minute Play Festival,” Reed said. “Seeing the overwhelmingly positive reaction, I knew I had something truly special I could explore more.” 

The reaction to “I wanna love you, but I won't” continued the positive response to Reed’s work. At the opening afternoon show, every seat was taken, and excited chatter filled the room before the show began. After the show, audience members left their seats to congratulate the cast and crew. However, many audience members didn’t know the pressure that cast and crew had to deal with in the lead-up to the show. 

Since the show was a staged reading, rehearsal time was limited. A cast of 10 actors was fully prepared for the show in one short week. Senior interdisciplinary arts major Soph Sawyer directed the show and said that although the time crunch was a challenge, they had full faith in their team to produce an excellent performance, and appreciated some aspects of the tight schedule. 

“Honestly, I've kind of liked the short process because it allows me to keep reordering. Like let's keep things as minimal as possible.” Sawyer said. “We don't get a ton of costumes because the more things that get added on the more difficult it is for everyone so it puts us in a box in a good way.” 

If you missed the show, it is available to watch online. Contact Ryan Reed (rareed@eckerd.edu) for the link. The next Eckerd theater event is the rock musical "Spring Awakening" directed by theater professor Gavin Hawk on April 19-22.

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