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Give us an inch...

San Diego, I Love You (I Love You Not) as a Choose Your Own Adventure agency

Riley (Kristin McReddie) and Jamie (David Ryan Gutierrez)
Riley (Kristin McReddie) and Jamie (David Ryan Gutierrez)

I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books as a preteen, probably because every classroom in school had a near-complete set on the shelves. That, and we didn’t have iPhones to stare at. The best part of any Choose Your Own Adventure was the endless array of inventive means by which the hero “you” could get “yourself” killed on the page. Whether shredded and devoured by prehistoric sawfish, disintegrated by alien technology, or trapped forever in the body of a pig destined for slaughter, more often than not, you ended up dead.

We can’t induce fatal storylines onto the actors from Circle Circle Dot Dot’s San Diego, I Love You (I Love You Not) — which incorporates a limited form of Choose Your Own Adventure agency, in that we can elect which of two characters we follow on a real-life narrative tour through Ocean Beach, and we have a say in their ultimate destiny as a couple — but it is possible to bring the show to a dead stop during the scene at Jungle Java by queueing up to order elaborate frozen coffee drinks while the actors wait patiently at the back of the cafe.

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Perhaps we, as audience members, are too quick to snatch at the chance for narrative freedom. Give us an inch, we’ll take a mile.

Or maybe the idea of being anywhere on time is a great cosmic joke. Woody Allen supposedly said that you could make God laugh by telling him your plans. In that light, gumming up the works and getting lost along the way would be the ultimate in keeping with The Order of Things. After all, “This is real life. Sometimes things happen....like planes flying overhead,” declared SDILY(ILYN) playwright Katherine Harroff, as a timely jet skorched the OB skies in an attempt to drown out her introduction to one performance. The only guarantee is that it would be a unique performance, in at least some small way, as real life intrudes and is intruded upon.

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Riley (Kristin McReddie) and Jamie (David Ryan Gutierrez)
Riley (Kristin McReddie) and Jamie (David Ryan Gutierrez)

I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books as a preteen, probably because every classroom in school had a near-complete set on the shelves. That, and we didn’t have iPhones to stare at. The best part of any Choose Your Own Adventure was the endless array of inventive means by which the hero “you” could get “yourself” killed on the page. Whether shredded and devoured by prehistoric sawfish, disintegrated by alien technology, or trapped forever in the body of a pig destined for slaughter, more often than not, you ended up dead.

We can’t induce fatal storylines onto the actors from Circle Circle Dot Dot’s San Diego, I Love You (I Love You Not) — which incorporates a limited form of Choose Your Own Adventure agency, in that we can elect which of two characters we follow on a real-life narrative tour through Ocean Beach, and we have a say in their ultimate destiny as a couple — but it is possible to bring the show to a dead stop during the scene at Jungle Java by queueing up to order elaborate frozen coffee drinks while the actors wait patiently at the back of the cafe.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Perhaps we, as audience members, are too quick to snatch at the chance for narrative freedom. Give us an inch, we’ll take a mile.

Or maybe the idea of being anywhere on time is a great cosmic joke. Woody Allen supposedly said that you could make God laugh by telling him your plans. In that light, gumming up the works and getting lost along the way would be the ultimate in keeping with The Order of Things. After all, “This is real life. Sometimes things happen....like planes flying overhead,” declared SDILY(ILYN) playwright Katherine Harroff, as a timely jet skorched the OB skies in an attempt to drown out her introduction to one performance. The only guarantee is that it would be a unique performance, in at least some small way, as real life intrudes and is intruded upon.

Sponsored
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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