Husband-and-wife duo Chris Hutchison and Elizabeth Bunch star in Alley Theatre’s production of Constellations, written by Nick Payne and directed by Leslie Swackhamer.
Alley Theatre’s Constellations is an ode to the stars—a romance in which astronomy and physics collide. The Broadway hit has earned praise from The New York Times: “Who knew that higher physics could be so sexy, so accessible—and so emotionally devastating?” Indeed, this is no academic exercise. Viewers can relate to the love of the play’s two characters, beekeeper Roland and theoretical physicist Marianne, as they repeat and refine their seduction, marriage, illness and death. Think Groundhog Day but with slight variations. “It’s a brilliant and perfectly constructed play,” says Chris Hutchison, who portrays Roland. Equally brilliant is Alley’s choice of Hutchison and wife Elizabeth Bunch as protagonists, both longtime members of the resident company and married 14 years. This may be their 51st Alley production together, but it’s their first as a married couple alone on stage. “The sole focus is our relationship, and its trials and tribulations,” says Bunch. “It’s so intimate, it’s scary.” A stark set, ever-shifting timeline, recurring dialogue and slight tonal changes “require us to have immense trust in each other,” she says. “We benefit from our years together.” The couple met 19 years ago performing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater. They were first “caring friends,” Hutchison says. Then, “something clicked and everything changed. We have not looked back since.” May 8-June 2, tickets $47, Neuhaus Theatre, alleytheatre.org
Photography by: Allyson Huntsman