Amarillo Little Theatre’s ‘Constellations’ presents unique narrative, structure

Physics and romance will collide this weekend in Amarillo Little Theatre Adventure Space during the production of “Constellations.”

 

In many ways, the contemporary drama by Nick Payne has a classic boy-meets-girl narrative. But in this play, multiverse theory — or the idea that each choice creates a parallel universe — adds a new dimension to the storytelling.

“The story focuses on these two characters and it’s all their possibilities,” said Sydney Berg, playing one of the play’s two characters. “It’s a couple of clips of their possibilities. It’s their relationship and their connection to each other over all these different possible timelines that they’ve lived.”

The story explores the many possible scenarios in the relationship of a young couple: Roland, a beekeeper, and Marianne, a Cambridge University physics professor.

Each scene represents an alternate universe with an alternate narrative for the couple without the audience gaining clarity about which reality is absolute. Berg, a 25-year-old Amarillo resident performing as Marianne, said the story’s themes are very conceptual and existential.

“The show gets very heavy in some places, especially towards the end, but it does give a very hopeful end which is nice,” she said. “But it also leaves it very open, which is nice … you prefer the timeline maybe where they don’t end up working out? That timeline keeps going for them. You like the timeline that does work out? Then that one keeps going for them.”

Cody Wilson, a 22-year-old musical theater junior at West Texas A&M performing as Roland, said the dynamic between the characters heightens the play’s themes of chance and relativity while still maintaining its human intimacy and vulnerability.

While both of the character’s careers are scientific in nature, Wilson said one emphasizes the micro while the other emphasizes the macro. The result is a give-and-take in exploring conceptual theories about the human experience.

“She searches for everything on such a broad spectrum. He is controlled and sees the purpose of everything,” he said. “We immediately have these very two clashing people, so it’s so interesting to see that happen and see what relationship eventually envelopes that.”

Wilson and Berg will remain on stage with audience members on every side throughout the duration of the 75-minute, no intermission play.

“It’s not so much that it’s just two of us that makes it vulnerable,” Berg said. “It’s us on stage the entire time. There’s not a time that one of us leaves or we don’t have to be on or in character and portraying the stories.”

Wilson said the structure is part of what makes the play so brilliant.

“You take away all of the lights, the confetti and whatever else it is, you just have these two human beings and you’re stuck on this journey with them,” he said.

How to go

What: “Constellations”

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Aug. 24; 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Aug. 26; 2:30 p.m. Aug. 20 and 27.

Where: Amarillo Little Theatre Adventure Space, 2751 Civic Circle

How much: $9.50 on Thursday (ticket prices vary depending on the day)

Information: 806-355-9991 or info@amarillolittletheatre.org

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