Next Stage and Knockdowndragout Productions have launched their first collaborative venture with their production of Constellations by Nick Payne.
Directed by Rodney Brazil, Constellations features Emily Etherton and Todd Clark in a spellbinding, romantic journey that begins with a simple encounter between a man and a woman. But what happens next defies the boundaries of the world we think we know—delving into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny. Through a dizzying fugue of vignettes, audiences watch as Marianne and Roland’s relationship unfolds across time and space, with each variation sending their relationship on an entirely new trajectory. Science and romance collide in this unusual love story.
In this Performing Arts Q&A, Emily and Rodney answer some questions about the show.
What five words would you use to describe Constellations?
RODNEY: A truly limitless love story.
Now, using more than five words, what’s it about?
RODNEY: This play explores the idea that everything we’ve ever and never done may exist in a multitude of universes. Using alternating scenes to show contrasting events, we learn that our responses to the world around us can lead to any number of outcomes; sometimes positive and sometimes more complicated.
What are some unique aspects for your version?
RODNEY: We use color and light to help the audience follow the characters from place to place, and through each universe. This helps string the scenes together, but also establish shifts in time.
Why have you chosen to do this show?
EMILY: Todd Clark and I shared the stage for about 10 minutes during KnockDownDragOut’s production of Motherf**cker with the Hat two years ago. We had such fun playing together that we’ve been on a mission to find the perfect play that we could do together. Once we came across “Constellations”, we knew it was the project for us. We pulled in Rodney to direct, and it became a first-collaboration between KDDO and Next Stage.
What was the biggest challenge with this production?
“The beauty of the play is how complex the dialogue is and how beautifully the universes are interwoven and presented to the audience. At the same time, all of that makes for a script that is incredibly difficult to memorize.”EMILY: The script. The beauty of the play is how complex the dialogue is and how beautifully the universes are interwoven and presented to the audience. At the same time, all of that makes for a script that is incredibly difficult to memorize.
What scenes or moments stand out to you that make the play worth showing to people?
RODNEY: One of the best scenes in Constellations shows a chance meeting of the two main characters at a ballroom dancing class. They haven’t seen each other in a few years, so it’s a beautiful example of how people can quickly reconnect even after a long period of separation.
Why should one see Constellations?
EMILY: This production is unlike anything else being presented in OKC. Intelligent, engaging, profound, and being produced in a non-traditional setting.
Performances are November 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11 at 8 pm at IAO Gallery in Oklahoma City. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (405) 367-3774 for reservations. Facebook Event link.