Original Play “Constellations” Returns

This weekend, the original play Constellations will return to Colby as one of the Parent’s Weekend activities.  Written and performed by Alexis Atkinson ’15, this one-woman show uses multimedia and varied storytelling methods to give the audience a look into the mind of a young black female as she develops as a person and experiences
marginalization.

Constellations was first developed by Atkinson, while a senior at Colby, as part of the Performance Lab Series, a program where students created and organized their own shows with support from the Theater and Dance Department.  Now, she will be bringing it back to Colby with much of the same crew, comprised of a mélange of current students, alumni, and faculty members.  This includes stage manager Emilie Jensen ’15, production designer Thomas Lue ’16, and current students Rachel Prestigiacomo ’17 and Kathryn Butler ’17, who are on lighting and stage managing
respectively.

Now Constellations is returning to Strider Theater, bringing a new perspective from its creator.  “Not much has changed in terms of content,” she remarks. “I feel like a lot has changed in me personally as I’m telling the story.”  After graduating and moving, Atkinson said she continued to develop the work and has since performed it at Dixon Place, a well-established New York City theater that serves as “an incubator for new work.”  Atkinson was asked to bring Constellations back to Colby for this reunion weekend by the faculty in Theater and Dance.  “They said, ‘We really want to showcase your work and get you moving along, find ways to support people in the arts,’” Atkinson explained.

So, what should we expect from Constellations?  It presents the very intimate and autobiographical story of its creator in a new and inventive light.  “When I started writing it, it was a very visual process…I didn’t know how to capture that setting without giving a certain visual aspect, so you see a lot of lighting and music interwoven into the writing.  I wouldn’t say that the whole show is dependent on the visuals, but the visuals…[help] tell a lot of the story and establish certain settings and moods, and really, I like to think of it like the walls of my mind being projected onto the walls of the theater.  And I think that…the general spectacle of theater comes to play and helps to tell a really personal story,” said Atkinson.

Constellations will be performed in Strider Theater on Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8 at 8 p.m., with a run time of 30 minutes.  Tickets are free and available online on the Theater and Dance Department website or at the door.

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