By Sherry Londe
Emerald Coast Theatre Company opens its 2016-17 season with Constellations, a compelling and romantic drama by the young British playwright Nick Payne. This two-person production debuted in London and made its way to Broadway in 2015 with actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson.
Constellations follows a pair of nerdish lovers—beekeeper Roland and theoretical physics professor Marianne—into a multiverse where they learn that at any given moment several outcomes are possible. In a place where time is irrelevant, this boy meets girl scenario becomes not so simple.
This will be the first ECTC performance in the theater group’s new home at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. ECTC is bringing in two regional actors for the play, both with an impressive list of experience and theatrical skills.
Kevin DeJesus Jones made his Broadway debut as the Hero Flyer in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Other roles of note include Robert Martin in The Drowsy Chaperone and Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar. The personable Kristin Devine has portrayed Catherine in Pippin, Val in A Chorus Line and Liana in Passing Fancies.
“Playwright Nick Payne gives us some challenging and unique writing,” says Nathanael Fisher, Producing Artistic Director of ECTC and director of Constellations. “This is a scientific and uncommon approach concerning choice and our understanding of time. Throughout the play, there are scenes that show how choice affects the universe we live in. How we proceed afterwards distinguishes our lives.
“In the play, two people meet and fall in love. What happens next? We learn that things cannot be predicted absolutely. We must value the time we have because we don’t know the real consequences of our choices. Perhaps, in a parallel universe, someone like them or us exists and has simultaneously chosen differently.”
In just 70 minutes, the play offers some pretty heady stuff. I know nothing about astrophysics, but how lucky are we that ECTC is bringing a quantum dose here to Grand Boulevard?
The new location enhances the company’s continued artistic endeavors. As in previous seasons, there will be an exhibit of local artists’ work for patrons to enjoy in the gallery space. Lori Drew’s “Beyond the Boundaries” will be on display during the run of Constellations.
The public is invited to buy tickets to the Oct. 20 preview performance, which includes a post-show reception. The regular run is Oct. 21 through Nov. 6, with performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 and Sunday matinees at 2.
Tickets are $15-25. Call 850-684-0323 or visit emeraldcoasttheatre.org for additional information.