Parallel universes collide in “Constellations”

Around Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Out of Pocket, Inc. is back with virtual performances for its new show called “Constellations.”

Out of Pocket founder and actor Jeff Siuda discussed the project and its unique personal connection Tuesday during News 8 at Noon.

“It’s a romance,” Siuda said. “It’s a love story between two characters – Roland, who is a beekeeper, and Marianne, who is an astrophysicist – that’s an odd pairing for sure. And while it is a pretty classic romance, what makes the play really neat is that it’s only an hour-long but it’s set in parallel universes. So what you do is you watch their romance play out across all sorts of parallel universes. So every time that one of the characters makes a choice the relationship then plays out over a series of scenes. You can see what happens in each moment multiple times and how their relationship changes and shifts depending upon which universe that we’re in.”

Siuda and his wife Stephanie star in the two-person play. “Obviously, it’s fun to do a show with my wife and do a sort of romantic comedy with my wife,” he said. “We’ve worked together a couple of times. What’s really interesting, though, is that Marianne – the character in the play – in one of the universes she develops a brain tumor and that plays out in a whole bunch of different ways. And that’s what happened to my wife when she was in high school. She had what was, thankfully, a benign brain tumor that she had to have removed and so there are some interesting personal connections because we often have talked about – even before doing the play – what would have happened if the tumor hadn’t been benign, or something had happened, and how her life would have been altered by the most minute changes to her circumstance. And so to come back and watch that play out in the play has been really fascinating.”

Siuda said it’s important to keep the arts going during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re trying our best. We didn’t want to see the whole season vanish and so we chose the play particularly for my wife and me because that meant it was just our little bubble and we asked a friend to direct and during rehearsals, he was all the way across on the other side of the room and we’ve been very careful to manage that. But we felt that it was important to keep – you know the arts community is struggling a great deal and I think anything that we can do to keep people connected, to keep our names out there, to keep Out of Pocket out there in people’s consciousness is – we’ll try it, we’ll do it.”

Virtual performances of “Constellations” are coming up on February 26 and 27, and March 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for individuals and $25 for a family. Get them online at muccc.org.

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