In another universe, yours truly would not be a CAH reporter. Instead, I might be a coffee-loving barista. You, who are reading this article now, are probably watching a movie lying on a sofa in another universe. While these words may be considered rather preposterous, they are not that strange if they are based on multiverse theory. The multiverse theory says that the universe we live in is only one of many. In other words, there is a high possibility that we exist in many different ways than we are today. There is a play that shows these parallel universes through a pair of couples. It is called 'Constellations'.
Marianne: An astrophysicist who studies the stars.
Roland: A beekeeper who keeps bees inside a rubbish bag.
The two show the number of cases, continuing to meet in countless parallel universes.
Marianne and Roland meet by chance at a barbecue party. They fall in love after a few meetings and break up because of an affair, as is common with other couples. Since then, the two are reunited in ballroom dancing classes, but they might already be married or dating someone. Of course, there is also a possibility that they can have good relationship again. However, even if they meet again, Marianne may refuse Roland's proposal of marriage. Or, luckily, she might accept his proposal. Then one day, Marianne has a tumor in her frontal lobe. Her days are numbered so that she agonizes over assisted suicide. She might head to the hospital for the assisted suicide with Roland, or maybe never give up on her life at all...
Literally, an Experimental Theatre
The play 'Constellations' is the work of British playwright Nick Payne. He wrote the play based on the theory of quantum parallel universes seen in the documentary ‘Elegant Universe’. His play is full of fresh ideas that have not been seen in previous other plays. It has literally become an "experimental" play, adding scientific elements and unique theatrical techniques to the simple love story. Thanks to that, the play ‘Constellations' has been praised by the British press and critics since its premiere in 2012 when it won The Winner of the Best Play which is one of Britain's top three theater awards. Payne was the youngest winner ever at the time.
The play 'Constellations' is a continuation of “what if”. Since the play is based on the parallel universe concept, there are dozens of switches in the play to explore it. Every time the lights change, the two actors play the same situation once again. What if either Marianne's personality or Roland's personality is quite the opposite? What if Marianne accepts Roland proposal this time? Or, there is only a tiny difference in some scenes, A few words used slightly differently, or maybe the lines are completely same but only the nuance and tones change. As a result of these changes, they might fall in love, break up, or get married. The two live in all respective ways in their respective universes.
The Message from Constellations
The parallel universe is a concept that appears in sci-fi novels or movies quite often. However, the play 'Constellations' feels unique as it doesn't have a specific ending. In general, parallel universes appear as turning points to overcome the current crisis in novels and movies. On the other hand, ‘Constellations’ shows as many possibilities and coincidences as there are stars. It gives the audience a hopeful message through many Mariannes and Rolands in parallel universes. In the latter part of the play, Marianne has a tumor in her frontal lobe so that she agonizes over assisted suicide. However, the last scene is not sad. It’s actually the opposite. The play ends showing the two reunited at the ballroom dancing class. Doesn’t it mean that they can meet again in yet another parallel universe?
The play ‘Constellations’ is based on multiverse theory, but at the end, it gives comfort to the audience who has lost their loved ones. Although you may have lost someone in this universe, in the other, you live happily together.“We have all the time we’ve always had. You’ll still have our time. There’s not going to be any more or less of it.” Also, like Marianne's lines in the play, the time spent with someone you loved will remain forever in your memory.
Place: Chung-Ang University Theater Laboratory
Running Time: 80 minutes
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