Laura Blackwell and Michael Winder star in Keizer Homegrown Theater’s production of Constellations (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).
Two lives. One love. Limitless possibilities.
With the popularity of stories about the multiverse increasing in pop culture (such as Spider-Man: No Way Home), the latest offering from Keizer Homegrown Theater (KHT) explores a romantic story that spans different realities in the show Constellations.
“All of us at times in our life have thought ‘if I had only done this, I wonder how my life would have turned out.’ Constellations plays with that idea of choice and chance, and how it affects our life,” said Leigh Matthews Bock, director of the show. “We get to peek into what those different choices look like via the string theory of multiple universes. When we make a decision today, we may not know until 10 years down the road how that decision affects us.”
There will be showings at 7 p.m. Feb. 11-12 and Feb. 17-19 along with a pair of 2 p.m. showings on Feb. 13 and Feb. 20. Tickets are $15 online or at the door and proof of vaccination is required. Constellations contains strong language, in addition to sexual innuendo and is intended for mature audiences.
After reading the original script a few years ago, Matthews Bock knew that this was a show she wanted to bring to community theater.
“I read the script a few years ago and thought it was fascinating. I love how the relationship mapped out and seeing how all of the different choices take the characters in life,” she said. “You get invested in these characters quickly and you want to see how things turn out. You want it to turn out well for them.”
Constellations tells the love story of Roland, a beekeeper, and Marianne, a cosmologist, and their whirlwind relationship that spans across a multitude of alternate realities.
“Marianne is incredibly smart and knows a lot about theoretical physics. She is reluctant to let herself fall, but eventually, Roland wins her over,” said Laura Blackwell, who plays the role of Marianne. “We get to see her fall in love and let her guard down in these different universes.”
Matthews Bock has known both actors for a number of years and marveled at their chemistry on stage.
“It has been really helpful to have such talented and solid actors that know what they’re doing. It’s been an incredible experience to watch them create,” Matthews Bock said.
“You are not going to be bored. There is wonderful humor, but there are also really tender, touching, heartfelt moments,” assistant director Tom Martin added.
Constellations features just the two main characters. There are no set changes or costume changes, and there is no intermission. The show instead relies on lighting changes that show different timelines.
Blackwell said that it’s one of the most challenging shows she has ever been a part of, but that having Winder as a co-star has helped the process.
“It’s an incredibly complicated challenge for an actor. It takes a lot of trust in each other. But knowing Michael was my co-star was an incredible relief,” Blackwell said.
With numerous timelines, punchy one-liners and imaginative romance, Winder and Blackwell believe this sci-fi dramedy will provide unique enjoyment for attendees.
“There has been some recent stuff in popular media with the concepts of the multiverse and multiple timelines, so I feel like that might generate some interest in the show, because we can kind of collectively wrap our brains around the idea of their being multiple timelines,” Winder said.
“It’s brilliantly written and it’s hilarious. There are still some moments we struggle to get through because we are still laughing about the scene. It’s a beautiful story of two people and how they get through life and challenges,” Blackwell added.
Matt Rawlings: [email protected]