The Examiner

Hudson Stage’s ‘Constellations’ to Take Audiences on Wild Ride

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When you buy a ticket to a Hudson Stage Company production, chances are you have never heard of the show’s title unless you’re a serious theater connoisseur.

But it’s almost guaranteed the audience will see a top-notch production with outstanding performances.

The company, in its 20th season and calls Whippoorwill Hall in Armonk its home theater, continues the formula of bringing lesser-known works with important or timeless themes to local audiences by presenting “Constellations” for the first of nine performances starting Oct. 19.

The play was written by English playwright Nick Payne and premiered in London in 2012. Since then it has enjoyed exposure throughout the U.S. and the U.K.

Director Mark Shanahan, who returns to Hudson Stage after leading “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” said part of producers’ Denise Bessette, Dan Foster and Olivia Sklar goal is to search for, develop and present original works that will have meaning for audiences.

“I think they really were enamored with the fact that ‘Constellations’ is not only a play that has great depth and at times is kind of heady and is kind of full-filled with things about science and parallel universes and things like that, but it’s also a great romance and a very moving play as well,” Shanahan said.

The two-character production, starring Faith Sandberg and Ben Williams as Marianne, a physicist, and Roland, a beekeeper, respectively, follows the couple at various points of their relationship throughout their lives. They meet at a party, fall in love, get married and have their ups and downs like most people, but the choices they make have repercussions.

“It’s a play that I think takes most audiences on a wild trip,” Shanahan said. “We see the two characters, Marianne and Roland, meet in several different alternate realities and timelines and the thought that no matter what happens there will be certain things that will always happen. They will always meet, they will always fight, they will always love, there will always be some sadness, there will always be some joy, but certain things will always happen to them. But depending on the choice they make things go very differently.”

Sandberg, who has compiled an impressive list of credits in theater around the country along with roles on film and television, including appearing on the recent “Murphy Brown” pilot on CBS, said the character Marianne forces her to use all of her talents, which includes some comedy, romance and drama as well as performing flashback scenes.

“It really forces me to take things to the next level, so I’m really excited about that, although doing a two-hander (a two-character play) is really very exciting for an actor,” said Sandberg, who will be making her first appearance for Hudson Stage.

“I think it’s a beautiful piece for right now,” she continued. “I think we need a love story and the question is do we have control over our future or do we just move along to a greater design.”

Shanahan said the play, which lasts about 90 minutes with no intermission, requires two savvy and adept actors. Sandberg and Williams fit that description, he said.

“Faith is one of those actors that you (say) ‘Please do this next project with me,’” Shanahan said.

“Constellations” will be performed on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons from Oct. 19 through Nov. 3. Evening performances begin at 8 p.m. and matinees start at 3 p.m. The final day, Nov. 3, there will be both an afternoon and evening show. Tickets are $40; seniors and students receive a $5 discount. To buy tickets, call 800-838-3006 or visit For more information, visit

Whipporwill Hall is located at 19 Whippoorwill Rd. East in Armonk at the North Castle Public Library.


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