The many options of parallel universes layer in a play starring current students, and directed by an alumni
The Pacific University Theatre department will debut their winter show, Constellations, by Nick Payne, Feb. 9-12. Directed by Pacific alumni Elliot Lorenc ’20, Constellations follows the romantic relationship between astrophysicist Marianne (played by sophomore Sofi Mishima), and beekeeper Roland (played by sophomore Luke Thompson). Marianne, a romantic, often muses about parallel universes amongst the stars in which her and Roland’s lives may differ from their own. The couple frequently discusses this possibility and the inevitability of certain outcomes across the multiverse.
Her theory is proven correct, as the audience is whisked through the different probabilities of what the couple’s lives would be in other alternate universes. The play winds through a collection of scenes throughout the couples’ life together, starting when they met and traversing the endless possibilities of what could be. The same scene is often repeated over and over with altered dialogue, action, and tone each time, resulting in a confluence of emotions that continuously swells and eases. All the while, through the commentary on the nuances of a relationship distinguished by betrayal, tragedy, and a unique lightness, a sort of magnetic tension between the two characters emerges.
These “universes” of distinct snapshots throughout the play are marked by stars of different colors dotting a makeshift night sky in the set, an addition Lorenc says is vital.
“The play takes place among different multiverses,” Lorenc explains. “The lights [in the backdrop of the stage] change based on which universe we are in, as well as sound cues. It helps the audience distinguish between the multiverses and remember certain moments within them.” Since the play is set in Warner Hall’s Blackbox Theatre, these effects blend with the explosive action on stage to produce an intimate and intensely poignant show that is sure to move and provoke audiences.
The show runs 7:30 – 9 p.m. Feb. 9-11, and 2-3:30 p.m. Feb. 12. Free for Pacific students; $5 for general admission. Tickets are available at pacificu.edu/theatretickets. — Izzy Williams
Leave a Reply