I And You

Written by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Robin Larsen
Produced by Stephen Sachs, Deborah Lawlor
Starring Jennifer Finch and Matthew Hancock

I AND YOU star faces

CRITIC’S CHOICE! – Los Angeles Times

“The Los Angeles premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s latest play, directed by Robin Larsen, could be a testimonial to the power of intimate theater. The story of two high school students wrestling with a report on Walt Whitman evokes an Afterschool Special, duly ticking off the markers of teen angst, then abruptly opens out into a stunning exploration of cosmic interconnectedness.” – “I and You by Lauren Gunderson now playing at the Fountain Theatre is one of those plays you’ll want to see more than once. You’ll get to the end and want to go right back to the beginning. There is definitely more than meets the eye in this dynamic story… Matthew Hancock is beautiful and sensitive as AnthonyJennifer Finch is dynamic and witty as Caroline… Director Robin Larsen did a masterful job of directing… Ample laughter and some occasional tears in a great story beautifully told makes for a totally satisfying theatre going experience.”

Curtain-Up – “Lauren Gunderson’s I and You has myriad treasures to offer and not simply to Whitman-iacs or other lovers of poetry. In the play’s L.A. premiere directed by Robin Larsen at the Fountain Theatre, Jennifer Finch and Matthew Hancock bring off this deceptively rich two-hander with tears and graceI and You is an unconventional coming-of-age love story and director Larsen negotiates the delicate dance between Finch and Hancock with a skilled hand. From Finch’s surreptitious appearance touch-ups to Hancock’s occasional bits of awkwardness over, yes, being in a girl’s bedroom, the production gets it right from the opening bell, all the way to its bittersweet conclusion.”

Examiner.com5 Stars! – “Director Robin Larsen has elicited compelling performances from Finch and Hancock drawing the audience into their exploration of the inspiring subject matter… While engaging, for much of the 90-minute play it is not clear where things are headed, but rest assured that destination is marvelous and touching if a bit bittersweet. In retrospect, clever Gunderson has included many clues into her fast-paced script which are fun to remember after the curtain on the ride home and beyond… As always at the Fountain Theatre all the technical elements are superb especially the intimate and wonderfully detailed set by Tom Buderwitz and Jeremy Pivnick’s evocative lighting design. The Fountain has a gift for presenting extraordinary plays which are at once entertaining and thought-provoking and “I and You” is no exception, it is worth every penny of the price of admission!

StageSceneLA – “WOW!… When was the last time you saw a contemporary teen dramedy that not only featured a pair of complex, non-stereotypical characters but added something to the genre and in its final moments left you breathless?… Lauren Gunderson’s I And You is that play, at once funny, captivating, and profoundly moving, a powerful piece of theater now getting its Los Angeles Premiere in a production highlighted by Jennifer Finch’s and Matthew Hancock’s star-making performances under Robin Larsen’s inspired direction… What even a rocket scientist may fail to guess is that playwright Gunderson has a good deal more in store for audiences in I And You than meets the eye. And trust me, if this were a movie rather than a play, you would not want the electricity to go out before the final minutes of the last reel… a most extraordinary teen love storythis extraordinary piece of theaterI cannot rave enough about the work being done on the Fountain stage by two of the finest young actors you’ll see all year, each one doing cliché-defying work… Even those who might not normally opt to spend an hour and a half with a pair of seventeen-year-olds are advised to put I And You at the top of their must-see list. I was so overwhelmed by its final minutes that I’m returning in a few weeks for the pure joy of re-experiencing them, along with the many delights that come before.”

Los Angeles Post – “Lauren Gunderson’s I and You, at the Fountain Theatre, surprised me so often, and so well, that it set a new world record… this isn’t your usual coming-of-age teen-agers-with-angst sort of play… all will be made clear, in a final coup de theatre which brings the play to one of the most startling, beautifully realized, completely unexpected yet perfectly logical endings I’ve seen: it’s moving, unearthly, and completely satisfying… imaginatively-written, superbly acted, directed, and designed production.”

OnStageLosAngeles – “As the Fountain Theatre celebrates 25 years producing outstanding feats of theatre in their unusual space in Hollywood, it comes to mind that the term ART must be brought into the discussion.  How Simon Levy, Deborah Lawlor and Stephen Sachs shoehorn productions into this tiny little theater they’ve managed to keep afloat for all these years is astounding… The Los Angeles Premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s “I AND YOU” features two talented young actors… Buderwitz’s skill and the revelation of Anthony’s gift work brilliantly.  Support Intimate Theatre and The Fountain.”

LA Weekly – “The fragile tissue of human connection …  delicate, rich … nails youthful stabs at intimacy in the post-digital age … Finch and Hancock share moments that ache with angst.”
ArtsBeatLA – “Beautiful! Packs a real punch … a very lovely play.”  

Caroline is sick and hasn’t been to school in months. Anthony suddenly arrives at her door bearing a beat-up copy of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ and an urgent assignment from their high school lit teacher. As these two let down their guards and share their secrets, the poetry assignment unlocks a much deeper mystery that has brought them together. Winner of the 2014 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Playwrighting Prize, I AND YOU is a funny and haunting play about youth, life, love, and the strange transcendent connections between us all.

Previews 4/2 – 4/10
Runs 4/11 – 6/21

Check out the I and You Tumblr for cool pics from previous productions




BroadwayWorld Press Release