Arts & Culture

Lean Ensemble Theater’s ‘Constellations’ is a boy-meets-girl tale with a twist

Prentiss Standridge and Ian McCabe star in Lean Ensemble Theater’s production of Nick Payne’s “Constellations.”
Prentiss Standridge and Ian McCabe star in Lean Ensemble Theater’s production of Nick Payne’s “Constellations.” thefrenchguy photography

Join Lean Ensemble Theater later this month on a spellbinding romantic journey as boy-meets-girl with a twist in Nick Payne’s serio-comedy “Constellations.”

This time out, it’s boy beekeeper-meets-girl physicist. Snapshot scenes of their encounters and developing relationship play with “what if” possibilities as they explore how different choices result in different realities.

The 70-minute play, a 2015 Broadway hit starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, has been described as “mind-bending.” Like the movies “Sliding Doors” and “Memento,” “Constellations” is a play of variations on a theme.

Each scenario – a chance meeting at a barbecue, a first date, a miscommunication, infidelity, an illness, a chance encounter at a ballroom class – results in a do-over.

And each time they make different decisions, use different words, or make a slight change in voice. As a result, every permutation leads to different emotions, thoughts, and experiences – and a different future.

As their relationship progresses, Roland, his feet normally planted on the ground, finds himself being lifted into uncharted skies as Marianne, ever the theorist, proposes that the decisions we make or don’t make determine which future we will end up experiencing.

Directed by Lean Ensemble’s Peggy Trecker White, the production stars Ensemble members Ian McCabe and Prentiss Standridge. Talkbacks with Lean Ensemble members follow each performance.

If you go

  • What: Lean Ensemble Theater’s “Constellations”
  • When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19-21, 26-28; 2 p.m. Oct. 22, 29
  • Where: Hilton Head Preparatory School Main Street Theatre, 3000 Main St., Hilton Head Island
  • Tickets: $40 evening performances; $35 matinees; $15 students/active military. Group and discount rates available
  • Details/tickets: or 843-715-6676