BY BARB BERGGOETZ
A rare neurological condition called prosopagnosia, or face blindness, makes for an award-winning drama at Bloomington Playwrights Project in May. You Remind Me of You, winner of the BPP’s Woodward/Newman 2015–16 Drama Award, is the story of a woman whose boyfriend doesn’t recognize her face.
Written by New York City playwright Matthew Capodicasa, the play brings to light the little-known brain condition and its impact on one couple’s relationship, all while the woman also deals with her father’s memory loss.
Face blindness, says Chad Rabinovitz, BPP producing artistic director, is a subject he’s never seen dealt with on stage. “It felt like it was a story that needed to be told,” he says. “What does it mean if the person who loves you doesn’t recognize you? In fact, the two people who love you the most don’t recognize you.”
The lead character, Adele, played by Indiana University senior Sarah McGrath, abandons law school plans and her social life to take care of her father, Nathaniel, after an accident causes brain damage. She meets and falls in love with a musician named Vincent, who suffers from face blindness.
This is McGrath’s first appearance on the BPP stage, after playing in Mr. Marmalade and King Oedipus with Ivy Tech Student Productions. Scott Parnell of Bloomington plays Vincent. He has been seen in Ugly Lies the Bone, Billy Witch, and other BPP productions. Veteran BPP actor Bill Goveia, who last appeared in Vintage Scenes and The PlayOffs, portrays Nathaniel.
David Sheehan, associate artistic director of BPP, will direct You Remind Me of You. Sheehan says the play appeals to him because the dialog is engaging, dynamic, and flows naturally. More broadly, he says it appeals to him because the story is about how people cope with something missing in their lives.
The play depicts two love stories — one between the couple, the other between father and daughter — and Adele is caught in the middle, Sheehan explains. “It’s a drama,” he adds, “but the tone is playful and bright, with some romantic comedy, wit, and energy.”
The play, which runs May 13–14, 19–21, and 26–28, was chosen as the Woodward/Newman Drama Award winner from among more than 400 entries, with playwright Capodicasa receiving the $3,000 prize.