Cotuit Center for the Arts presents “Constellations,” a play by Nick Payne, in the Black Box Theater February 7 to 24. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 PM and Sunday at 2 PM. Jason Mellin directs.
Can one word alter the course of your life? Through a dizzying fugue of vignettes, Marianne and Roland’s relationship(s) unfolds across time and space, as each new variation sends their relationship on an entirely new trajectory. Science and romance collide in this unusual love story; Roland is a beekeeper, while Marianne expounds on cosmology, quantum mechanics, string theory, and the belief that there are multiple universes that pull people’s lives in various directions.
“Roland and Marianne meet at the beginning of the play, but their relationship ends in seven seconds because Roland is in a relationship. They never talk again,” said Mellin. “In the next seven seconds, they meet again. He is out of the relationship, but not ready for a new one. They never speak again.
“We meet them again and again in every variation, every possible incarnation that two people could possibly meet and talk to each other, and that word is the heart of the play: possibility,” said Mellin. “Every time they reset and explore the same moment with a slight variation, they are moving from one multiverse to another. From the moment I read the play I was both confused and delighted. It’s magnetic.”
Marianne is played by Emma Fitzpatrick, who appeared in “One Man, Two Guvnors” and “Dark Night Cabaret” at Cotuit Center for the Arts and “Merrily We Roll Along” at Cape Rep. “She’s a scientist, intelligent, a wild cat, a foul mouth with a lot of energy,” said Mellin.
Elliott Sicard, who recently starred in “Mary Poppins” and “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” plays Roland. “Elliott is a rubbery-faced comedian, but Roland is much more reserved. He’s the anchor of the show. He has a lot of gravity that Elliott does an incredible job of bringing out,” said Mellin.
“Emma and Elliott are familiar faces in challenging new roles, and I think the audience will really enjoy seeing that,” said Mellin.
An experienced actor and director, Mellin relates well to the theme of this play. Ten years ago, in college, he had decided he was done with theater. Then he went to a new place for lunch and ran into two friends from high school who insisted that he audition for a play. “I thought about how different my life would be if I had decided to have lunch somewhere else,” he said. “That’s what this play is for me: a meditation on how the smallest things can change everything.”
Tickets are $20, $15 for members. Cotuit Center for the Arts is at 4404 Route 28, in Cotuit. For more information, visit www.artsonthecape.org, or call 508-428-0669.
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“Constellations,” by Nick Payne
Cotuit Center for the Arts, 4404 Route 28, Cotuit
February 7 to 24. Thursday through Saturday, 7:30 PM; Sunday at 2 PM.
$20, $15 for members