Alpha Psi Omega, the University of Lynchburg theatre honor society, will present the play “Constellations” by Nick Payne four times this week for the 2018 student honorary production — an annual show for which students select the play, director, actors, and handle all research, analysis, and technical aspects of the performances.
The production will take place April 11-14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre in Dillard, Room 100. Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for all others.
The play has only two characters, but multiple universes in which the same scenes play out multiple times in different ways. “‘Constellations’ is about a man and a woman who are lost out in the world and find each other,” student director Kyle Lawhorn ’18 said. “It is about the multiverse theory and how a few words can change the outcome of an entire relationship, and about love persisting through hardships.”
Lawhorn read the play after an actor recommended it to him. “I fell in love with it immediately,” he said. “It has absurdist elements to it, meaning that you need to pay close attention to everything that’s going on and the whole play fully reveals its mysteries at the end to those who were paying attention, while remaining very modern.”
Elizabeth Martin ’21, who plays the character Marianne, said the two-person cast makes the show more intimate and personal than an ensemble show. “This has been one of the more difficult processes for me because the character I’m playing is very complex, and it is a trickier kind of acting than I am used to.”
Although the cast is small, there are many other students involved in the production. Sami Topping ’19, the treasurer and vice president of Alpha Psi Omega, is responsible for financing and is stage managing the production. “I have thoroughly enjoyed this process because it has taught me what it takes to produce good theatre,” she said.
Lawhorn said directing the play has been both challenging and rewarding. “There is a lot of planning and creative work that goes into directing a play such as ‘Constellations,’” he said. “There are hardly any stage directions in the script itself, which leaves what the actors are doing on stage fully up to the creative discretion of the director.”