The next new play reading at Melbourne Civic Theatre will showcase CONSTELLATIONS by Nick Payne. This spellbinding, romantic journey begins with a simple encounter between a man and a woman. But what happens next defies the boundaries of the world we think we know—delving into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny.

The play will be read by Christine Brandt and Joe Horton, on Saturday, February 2nd, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10, and will go on sale on Tuesday, January 22nd at 11am.


The play follows Roland, a beekeeper, and Marianne, a cosmologist through their romantic relationship. Marianne often waxes poetic about cosmology, quantum mechanics, string theory and the belief that there are multiple universes that pull peoples' lives in various directions. This is reflected in the play's structure as brief scenes are repeated, often with different outcomes.


“Who knew that higher physics could be so sexy, so accessible—and so emotionally devastating? CONSTELLATIONS, Nick Payne’s gorgeous two-character drama…may be the most sophisticated date play Broadway has seen. [Payne is] a wise and compassionate young playwright … And though CONSTELLATIONS is a supremely articulate play, it knows that words inevitably fail, that they are never enough to bind two people together forever. Time, it turns out, is a more effective breaker of hearts than human beings, with all their conflicted intentions, can ever be. This story of parallel universes is universal in every sense of the word.” —The New York Times.

“Nick Payne’s smart, slushy and pretty superb CONSTELLATIONS [is] about the progress of any ordinary life, which begins with seemingly endless possibilities and then dwindles until death forecloses further choice … I wasn’t alone in sniffling into my Playbill.” —The Guardian (UK).

“Short and sweet and strangely haunting … The devilishly clever scribe is not playing games with either his characters or his audience, because with each iteration Roland and Marianne grow closer to one another—and become more important to us. And by the end of the play (has it really been only an hour?), we’re fully invested in their lives. All of them.” —Variety.

“… a singular astonishment, at once eloquent and mysterious but which nonetheless articulates within its own idiosyncratic idiom something that touches an audience as real…a wholly satisfying and complete emotional journey…The well-judged dialogue, at once terse and trenchant, finds its own characteristic poetry.” —The New Yorker.