TomorrowLove: When technology complicates relationships

After Rosamund Small learned about Shazam, an app that identifies music in your surroundings, she was inspired to write the futuristic, technology-driven love stories that make up her collection of playlets titled TomorrowLove. She weaves in elements of the painful and “often unrequited” love of her late teens and early 20s.

This rendition by UBC Theatre & Film students consists of six playlets from the original 15. They filled the Telus Studio Theatre with screens, portraying a potential technological future.

Office Friends

This office setup reminded me of the movie How to be Single, where the two leads who only occasionally show up to the office appear to have contrasting social lives. Lane (Abigail Millson) is the hyper-energetic colleague dressed to impress, while Kelsey (Shivorn Kan) is the cool, illusive team member who is hard to track down.

The dating app Soul Matches introduces each desk mate to their “scientifically matched” soulmate, but leads to a situation that reminded me of present day catfishing. But I’m still convinced I would prefer Soul Matches over Tinder.

In a scene that ends in poetry on sticky notes, the line between office friend and soulmate gets blurrier.

Tell Me You Hate Me

This was my favourite scene in the first set of playlets, mainly because of Mack (Paula Goldie) — she screamed little sister energy, which threw me off when the romantic relationship with her girlfriend Bryce (Isabella Buonaiuto) was revealed just a couple minutes into the scene.

Mack is repeatedly asking Bryce about questions scientifically proven to lead to romantic connection. This is actually real — there are studies about 36 questions that lead to love. I will be trying these on my friends (or romantic prospects?) later!

This whole scene seems relatable but untethered to the technology theme. Its only presence is near the end of the scene when Bryce tries to say, “I hate you” and the screens around the room crackle with static.


Have you ever been told you’re perfect?

Addison (Dahlia-Raphael Kerr) and Pat (Belle Nightingale) paid lots of money to turn each other into their virtual idealized partner. The two become anime-esque beings, projected on the screens around the room. The scene questions love without sex, and whether a relationship can exist without it.

Each partner became an anime-esque being, projected on the screens around the room.
Each partner became an anime-esque being, projected on the screens around the room. Courtesy UBC Theatre & Film, photo by Javier Sotres


“Who is Reeseman?” you might ask. The better question is, “Who are Reeseman?”

After the second act begins with a cultish ritual, Reeseman, originally named Charlie (Julia Eckert), and Jo (Baltzer Misherure) reconnect years into their careers after knowing each other from early in life.

I was lost until halfway into the scene, when I finally understood that there are many "Reeseman," people who pay to have Reeseman's “elite” face. This face is everything — success, trust, a doctor, a poet. What Reeseman believed to be a romantic reconnection actually becomes about their face and Jo’s interest in it.

The love in this scene is driven by nostalgia, highlighting Jo’s past interest in the goofy side of Charlie, not the current Reeseman. It shows how you might think you need to change to be liked by someone, only to find out they liked the original you all along.

Eight Legs Two Hearts

This was an easy favourite, simply by how much the crowd cracked up when the actors argued about octopus sex.

Casey (Ekaterina De Boni) and Hayden (Skylar Somnus) are a married couple discussing Casey’s unusual persona on the online game Echodown. This hilarious comedy brings to question how married people share everything, even virtual worlds.

Throughout the entertaining argument I could never see myself having, Hayden's declares how being the girl who has sex with an octopus is “much worse than [being] boring.”

Take This Soul

Take This Soul reminds me of a time-travelling TV show I can’t quite place. Rylan (Talia Peck) and Jesse (Miles T. Davies) have recently broken up, but Rylan appears back at Jesse's apartment after being MIA for days. Jesse invites them inside, unaware that in mere minutes part of Rylan’s soul will take them both on an indescribable sexual experience.

Rylan and Jesse live in a world racing for the soul lab — a futuristic arms race, where governments, diplomats and archaic dictators all have a stake in what will dictate the pleasure of the world.

What would you feel if you held your soul in your hands? And if you did, could you ever live without it?

If you are one for love, conflict or dystopia, one of these pieces might be for you. So, are you ready for tomorrow, love?

TomorrowLove is running from February 1–10 at the Telus Studio Theatre. Tickets are available here.