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The many faces of love will show their good and bad sides alike in the UCF Theatre production of the original stage play, (a love story).

The play follows the lives of six characters of mixed age as they navigate the twisting byways of romance and affection.

In the background, a Greek chorus composed of an ant, a twig and three plant sprouts provides a surreal choral antistrophe to their human counterparts' tribulations of the heart.

"It's not a realistic straight-ahead presentation; this is a world where animals and plants can talk," said director Mark Routhier in a press release. "And while it is humorous, it isn't a rom-com vision of love."

The long shadow of death hangs over the first scene of the play: How does a mother cope with the loss of her husband, or a boy with the loss of his father? What happens when a girl falls in love with a boy she knows nothing about, a violent boy whose fists sing the notes his voice cannot reach?

What if your love is not the right kind of love?

"It's a story about love, just not as you would expect it to be," said Eric Eichenlaub, a master's acting student who plays the role of Jack, an old gentleman trying to enkindle new love, in the release. "This is a play about people loving people to the best of their abilities. Loving their children as best as they can, loving romantically as best as they can. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail. But they are always trying."

The many plot threads and use of non-human characters presented a unique set of challenges for scenic designer Chris McKinney, a bachelor's in the design and technology program.

Each character's story weaves in and out of their counterparts' in a grand tapestry of cause and effect that needed to be adequately represented onstage.

"This play is very complex with many different facets," McKinney said in the release. "Each character's choices affect not only their immediate world, but the world around them. We had to design a set that reflects the fact that each character inhabits their own environment, but also reveals how they are all interrelated."

(a love story) premieres at the UCF Blackbox Theatre next Thursday and runs through March 1.

Tickets are $20 standard, $18 for seniors and $10 for students.

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Bernard Wilchusky is Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow Follow him on Twitter at @facilesweater or email him at BernardW@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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