“Love and Death in the Multiverse”: I review “Constellations”

“Love and Death in the Multiverse”: I review “Constellations” March 24, 2016

for AmCon. Sorry for radio silence! I will be back after Easter. Also this play closes THIS WEEKEND so most Catholics who haven’t seen it won’t–I fail at service journalism–but in case a review is still useful or interesting to you, here it is:

Constellations, playing through March 27 on Studio Theatre’s 4th Stage in Washington, is a slender play that uses its increasingly-familiar structure to illuminate less-familiar questions.

This is one of those Rashomon-like plays where we see the same scene played out in several different ways. Somebody gives a two-sentence explanation of physics (is it physics? I don’t science) and says we live in a “multiverse,” where every outcome that could occur does occur somewhere, and the play gives us windows into several of these divergent timelines. In the 70 minutes of Nick Payne’s play we see Mary and Roland meet at a barbecue, and a few of the many possible consequences of that meeting: maybe they date, maybe they kiss, maybe he gets creepy and she flees, maybe he proposes, maybe she says yes. Maybe she has strange symptoms, and the diagnosis is a tumor in her brain; maybe it’s benign. Maybe it isn’t.

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