We had a moment to catch up with the two stars of Constellations, David Sapiro and Libby Amato, and ask them a few questions about the show. Below are their responses.
Be sure to get your tickets to Constellations today — just four days left until opening night!
Has working on this show changed the way you look at the decisions you make in your own life?
DS: I don’t think the play has really changed how I look at the events/decisions of my life; rather, it speaks to my already-existing fascination with “what if?” I’ve always been curious about “alternate realities” if you will: “What if this had happened instead?” kind of questions, and I think that’s the beauty of this play! Everyone has those moments that they look back on and wonder, “What if?”, and Constellations allows audiences to live vicariously through multiple “what ifs” in the relationship arc of these two people.
LA: The show explores the idea of multiple universes, in which every possible outcome might exist. Most of us ask ourselves “what if…” all the time. But working on this show certainly makes me more aware of the small decisions I make every day. But at the same time, the show also questions whether we have any free will at all. Maybe the outcome is inevitable, no matter what path we take.
What was the greatest challenge of playing in multiple universes?
DS: The transitions between the universes have been more of a challenge than actually playing in multiple universes. We obviously want the audience to know that we’ve shifted to something new and different, but we don’t want it to be in a way that jars them out of the moment. We’ve worked really hard at using movement and body language to make the transitions smooth and seamless while still being very clear that we have indeed transitioned.
LA: On a practical level, it’s a challenge to remember which universe comes next, and what slightly variation makes each universe unique. On an emotional level, it’s heartbreaking to jump from a joyous universe, to a tragic one. Sometimes we just want to stop and say “Nope, we choose this one. Happy ending. Done.” But life doesn’t work that way. And neither do multiple universes.
What is your favorite thing about your character?
DS: I love how guileless Roland is. He doesn’t talk in circles or have a hidden agenda. He just says what’s on his mind and that’s that.
LA: [Marianne] is just so damn smart. So much smarter than I will ever be. She’s exhilarated by science, and it also provides her comfort. It’s her world. No matter the universe, that commitment follows her.
What do you want the audience to walk away from this show with?
DS: An acting teacher once told me, “The best shows are not the ones where the audience goes home talking about the show; the best shows are the ones where the audience goes home talking about themselves.” I hope our production has that precise effect; that people would go home talking and thinking about the events and decisions of their own lives, how things might have been different, and how they can be more thoughtful in the decisions they make going forward.
LA: I’d just like them to think a little bit about the possibilities of life. If every outcome IS possible – which one will they choose? And hopefully they’ll want to go home and hug someone they love. Because at the end of the day, this is a love story.
What is your favorite thing about working with your scene partner?
DS: Libby is such a joy to work with because she is present in every moment; I cannot give a higher compliment to a fellow actor. For the audience to truly buy in to a performance, the actors have to be alive on stage; that is, they have to be living in the moment, really listening to each other, and reacting genuinely. Working with someone who is alive in the moment feeds you with energy, which in turn feeds the audience. Libby is always alive in the moment, which makes rehearsals incredibly fun and fulfilling.
LA: This is a difficult script. It’s scary. So, I’m very grateful to be working alongside David. He’s committed, hard working and brings endless ideas to the rehearsal process. He’s just brilliant. But my favorite thing about working with David is how fully present he is in every moment onstage. Wonderful.
How have you enjoyed working with All In Productions?
DS: I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Mitch [Weindorf] and Brittany [Boeche] (director and assistant director, respectively) have been tremendous to work with day-to-day; they are wonderfully thoughtful and creative, and they foster a collaborative atmosphere that makes rehearsals immensely rewarding. The behind-the-scenes crew has been fabulous, too, supporting us in every way possible.
LA: I’m pretty stoked to work with All In Productions. I’ve been impressed with the shows they’ve produced right from the start, and I’m certainly glad they decided to take a chance on this one. It’s a supportive and hard working team – all around, a lovely group of people.
Remember grab your tickets for Constellations! The show runs January 12-20.