Updated: New play by Core Theatre Ensemble debuts tonight at The Venue on 35th

NORFOLK, Va. — Core Theatre Ensemble’s new play YOU VS., billed as an exploration of communication and truths in a time of “constant social interaction,” debuts tonight at The Venue on 35th.

Via email, Core co-founder Edwin Castillo has this to say about the new play:

On our new show YOU VS., it’s the feel-good theatrical event of the summer that blends the best parts of Heidi and the worse parts of The Wild Bunch with a little bit of Song of the South mixed in.

Not really.

It is a bit of a departure from our darker works such as The Poe Project and The Yellow Wallpaper. Conceptually we’ve taken text from several different websites – including Ehow.com, Craigslist, Old Dominion University’s homepage, McDonald’s homepage, etc. – as well as classic TV commercials, personal ads from The Village Voice, and other sources, and created a show that tries to find the meaning of life.  YOU Vs. is about figuring out who we listen to and what we believe in throughout our lives.

And its pretty funny.

I haven’t seen as much theater as I’d like recently, in part due to having young kids, but Core’s adaptation of The Yellow Wallpaper is one of the best productions I’ve seen around here.

The new play’s run, part of Norfolk Summer Play Fest 2011, is from tonight to Aug. 13. Shows are at 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, at The Venue on 35th, 631 35th St., Norfolk, Va. Reservations at (757) 469-0337. Tickets are $12. There’s limited seating. Usually there is plenty of unmetered street parking near The Venue.

For more information on Core, visit their site.

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Aug. 5, 9:15 p.m. — I saw the play on opening night, and recommend it.

It’s certainly funny, and it features many of the strengths of The Yellow Wallpaper, which I loved: Core’s focus on disciplined, purposeful, focused movement, and writing that builds toward a series of understandings and payoffs.

Good show, and only a few left to see. At least for now.

Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to talk with Core about this show and their upcoming project in the near future.

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