Love, physics, meditation, drama align in ‘Constellations’

Love is a thing of mystery, and when its energy is mixed with the forces of quantum mechanics, mortality, and beekeeping, a menagerie of effects only augment its obscurity.  This week, in the Attic Theatre, productions of the play “Constellations,” written and directed by Derek Hudson, will allow audience members to think about the conundrum of love and the impacts outside sources have on our understanding of it.

“Constellations” tells a love story between a man and a woman whose interactions are altered based on varying situations in varying universes.

“‘Constellations’ is about a man and a woman and their interactions with one another. It has an element of theoretical physics, so each scene happens multiple times in different universes. So the audience will watch the same scene several times with different endings each time,” said Laura Twomey, a first year theatre student.

Twomey plays the woman in the production, Marriana Aubele, and her experiences in portraying the character accurately throughout different universes have made precise portrayal a challenging endeavor.

“It’s only two people so there were a lot of lines to memorize, plus the parallel universes have not made the memorization process easier. The play also contains some pretty heavy material, so it is really important that we are doing those scenes justice, really trying to understand the thoughts and emotions behind them. I really want the play to be as realistic as possible and leave an impact on the audience,” Twomey said.

Getting involved with the play has encouraged the pursuit of  avant-garde roles.

“I got involved because I have been doing theatre for a while and I wanted to get more involved in it at Trinity, outside of class. I knew that Derek was directing this play and it sounded really interesting so I auditioned,” Twomey said. “During auditions I related to Marianna pretty well because she makes some bad jokes and creates some pretty painfully awkward moments, which I really enjoy.”

“Constellations” touches on intriguing subjects in ways that encourages the audience to think.

“This play isn’t ‘normal,’ and that’s a very good thing. It will challenge the way you view theater. And maybe even more significantly challenge the way you go about your everyday life in terms of the decisions you make – trust me,” said Hamza Adisa, a junior engineering student.

Adisa plays the male character, Roland, and says that participating in such an abnormal production has allowed him and the other actors to challenge themselves and to improve their theatrical talents.

“If not anything else, it has been a great learning experience as it is my first production at Trinity. Also there are only two characters in the whole play, so everything is important and this has been key to what I feel has been great self-development as an actor,” Adisa said.

The obscurity of the play has proved taxing on those involved, but they’re hoping their passionate efforts result in a successful production.

“I’ve had a blast directing this show, but I do have to admit that it’s been challenging,” Hudson said. “It’s a pretty experimental piece of writing, and it has a lot of inherent technical limitations that I have to work through and around. But it’s one of my favorite plays and both of my actors are wonderful, so directing this has been a really satisfying process.”

In addition to its unique content, “Constellations” deviates from typical plays put on by the theatre department in the way that its intimacy encourages meditation during and after the show.

“‘Constellations’ is an exceptionally intimate play. It’s only two actors and it’s performed in a very small space, so seeing it is an unusual and special experience,” Hudson said.

“Constellations” will be performed in the Attic Theatre on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m.