Take a Quantum Leap to PCS’s New Play
The many-worlds interpretation of quantum cosmology requires that there be many, perhaps an infinite number, of worlds, new ones arising from each quantum interaction. Constellations, a play by Nick Payne opening November 8 at the Players Club of Swarthmore, is an artful riff on this notion, using multiple short scenes to portray divergent outcomes of each event. The result is a wittily complex structure used to tell a very simple story: two people meet, take up housekeeping together, break up, get together again, settle down, face the future. At least, in several of the multiple universes that are all equally possible, they do several of those things.
One of the characters is a theoretical physicist; the idea of multiple universes tends to crop up in her conversation. But then, amusingly, the other character’s profession too is woven into the story in multiple ways. He’s a beekeeper. In its light-hearted way, the play manages to touch on some pretty weighty themes (like free will and assisted suicide) and inspire some pretty serious thoughts: do our lives matter less if we accept that they could just as well be totally different? Or do they perhaps matter more?
Constellations is directed by Liz Marafino Fiola of Broomall. The actors are Sandra Lawler of Broomall and Brian Barlow of Havertown. It plays Friday and Saturday, November 8 and 9, at 8 pm; Sunday, November 10, at 2; Thursday, November 14, at 7:30; Friday and Saturday, November 15 and 16, at 8. Admission is $10 at the door or in advance at www.pcstheater.org. Constellations is a play for mature audiences; it is performed in the PCS Second Stage space which is not handicapped-accessible. The Players Club is located at 614 Fairview Road in Swarthmore.