Press Releases

16.17 Constellations

December 2016

The production is directed by Tea Alagić and features Wilma HotHouse Company members Sarah Gliko and Jered McLenigan.

The story of boy meets girl is turned on its head as playwright Nick Payne launches it into the quantum multiverse in Constellations. The possibility that multiple versions of our world exist is drawn out through the relationship of theoretical physicist Marianne and beekeeper Roland. A lifetime of possibilities lies within each moment: seemingly mundane choices catapult Marianne and Roland into wholly different lives. The two meet and re-meet at a party, get engaged or marry other people, experience a love that lasts forever or one that is tragically cut short. As time and space bend around them, their story spans friendship and free will, love and multiverse theory—and honey.

Constellations begins on Wednesday, January 11, 2017; and opens on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. For critics and members of the press interested in attending Press Night on Wednesday, January 18 at 7:30pm, contact Alison Ehrenreich at or 215.893.9456 x102.

The Wilma’s production stars a real-life married couple. HotHouse Company members Sarah Gliko and Jered McLenigan are both veterans of The Wilma Theater, but this will be the first time the couple will be playing characters that interact. The two shared the Wilma stage for the first time in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the 2014/2015 season with Gliko as Ophelia and McLenigan as Guildenstern. Other standout roles for the couple include McLenigan’s reprisal of the role of Guildenstern in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Gliko’s starring role as Hilary in last year’s U.S. premiere of Stoppard’s The Hard Problem. As HotHouse Company members, the two have made a theatrical home at The Wilma Theater, participating in weekly workshops with Artistic Director Blanka Zizka and visiting international directors and artists. They will both appear in Zizka’s world premiere production of Adapt! later this season.

Constellations will be helmed by first-time Wilma director Tea Alagić. Known for her minimalist aesthetic and visceral approach, Alagić has received much acclaim for her productions at such theaters as the Women’s Theater Project for Elfriede Jelinek’s Jackie, The Public Theater for Tarell Alvin McCarney’s The Brothers Size, and Classic Stage Company for William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet starring Julian Cihi and Elizabeth Olsen, which Time Out New York called “terrifically nervy…[Alagić’s] minimalist approach to Shakespeare gives this tragedy what it needs. The production saves its reverence for the words.” Alagić will continue her minimalist approach with the help of Set Designer Matt Saunders as the two create a set that will encompass the entire theater.

About the Playwright:
Nick Payne won the prestigious George Devine Award in 2009 with his play If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, which premiered at London’s Bush Theatre, directed by Josie Rourke and starring Rafe Spall. In 2012 it went to the Roundabout Theatre in New York, starring Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by Michael Longhurst.

Payne studied at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the University of York, making his debut at London’s Royal Court Theatre in September 2010 with his comedy Wanderlust.

Constellations opened at the Royal Court Upstairs in January 2012, starring Rafe Spall and Sally Hawkins and directed by Michael Longhurst. Constellations transferred to the West End in November 2012, where it received universally glowing reviews. It also won the Evening Standard Best Play Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play. In 2015 Constellations transferred to Broadway, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson and directed by Michael Longhurst. His newest play, Incognito, drew comparisons to Tom Stoppard when it opened in London in 2014, before a production at the Manhattan Theatre Club in the spring of 2016.

Payne also writes for film and TV. He has adapted Julian Barnes's The Sense Of An Ending for BBC Films, to be released in 2017 with Jim Broadbent starring and Ritesh Batra directing. In development is an adaptation of David Nicholls' Us as a three-part TV drama for the BBC and an original piece, Wanderlust, for Drama Republic and the BBC.

About the Director:
Tea Alagić is an internationally-acclaimed, multilingual director. Based in NYC, her credits include off-Broadway, regional, and international productions of both traditional theater and devised work. She holds a BFA in acting from Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, and an MFA in directing from the Yale School of Drama, where she received the Julian Milton Kaufman Prize in Directing. Alagić is the Head of the MFA Directing department at The New School for Drama in New York City and an artist-in-residence at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn.

Alagić directed the world premiere of Tarell McCraney’s The Brothers Size at the Public Theater, NYC, and later productions at the Studio Theatre in Washington DC, the Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Other selected credits: the North American premiere of Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek’s Jackie starring Tina Benko at NY City Center (multiple Lortel Award nominations); Charise Smith’s Washeteria at Soho Rep; Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet starring Elizabeth Olsen and Julian Cihi at CSC Rep; Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s Lidless at Page 73; and productions of a wide repertory of plays and musicals at Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Kitchen, the Carlotta Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, La Mama ETC, Women’s Project Theater, Asolo Rep, Hispanic Cultural Center/Albuquerque, ZKM/Croatia, 4+4 Festival/Prague, and Battersea Arts Centre/London.

Alagić was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After fleeing in 1992, she made her way to New York City by way of Germany, Czech Republic, England, and Canada. Along the journey, she continued to develop her talents as a pianist, dancer, circus performer, actor, director and taco chef. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, photographer Slaven Vlasic, and their son Sebastian.

Cast and Design Team:
The cast of Constellations includes Wilma HotHouse Company members Sarah Gliko (When the Rain Stops Falling, The Hard Problem) as Marianne and Jered McLenigan (Antigone, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead) as Roland.

The artistic team includes veteran Wilma designers and a plethora of first-time collaborators. Alongside Set Designer Matt Saunders (When the Rain Stops Falling, The Christians, An Octoroon) are Costume Designer Becky Bodurtha, Lighting Designer Masha Tsimring (Assistant Professor and Head of Design Tech at the University of the Arts), and Sound Designer Elizabeth Atkinson. The team is rounded out by Dramaturg Walter Bilderback, Resident Stage Manager Patreshettarlini Adams, and Production Manager Clayton Tejada.
The Honorary Producers for Constellations are Peggy and Rich Greenawalt.

Special Events and Opportunities:

Wednesday, January 11, 6:30pm
Join us in the lobby before and after the performance of Constellations for a honey tasting with the Philadelphia Bee Company. Warm up by tasting a variety of honey produced from apiaries within the city limits and learn why Philadelphia is an ideal location for honey bees to live and why they are vital to our ecosystem. This event is complimentary for ticket-holders to Constellations’ evening performance.

Friday, January 13, 7pm
Join us for a pre-show beer tasting in our lobby from 7 to 8pm sponsored by Manayunk Brewing Company—complimentary for ticket-holders to that evening's performance!

Tuesday, January 17, post-show
Immediately following the performance, a member of the Directors Gathering will join Tea Alagić for an audience-led conversation to discuss the behind-the-scenes process of directing Constellations.

Thursdays, January 19 and 26, post-show
Learn more about the production through discussions with artists and audience members following these evening performances.

Friday, January 27, 7pm
For audience members 40 and under, this performance includes a complimentary pre-show food and drink reception at the Wilma from 7 to 8pm!

Wednesday, February 1, 3:15pm
Chat with literary staff about Constellations and enjoy complimentary Saxbys Coffee following Wednesday’s matinee performance.

Saturday, February 4, 2pm\

Tickets: As we bring our deeply subsidized Wilma WynTix ticketing initiative into its third year, prices will operate on a tiered system as each production enters its run. For Constellations and Adapt!, the first two weeks of performances are $25 for general admission, and $10 for students and theater industry members with valid ID. For the third and fourth weeks, general admission tickets are $35, student tickets are $10, and theater industry tickets are $15. For any fifth-week extensions, general admission tickets are $45, student tickets are $10, and industry tickets are $15. Tickets are available at the Wilma’s Box Office by visiting, calling 215.546.7824, or coming to the theater, located at 265 South Broad Street in Philadelphia.

Mission: The Wilma Theater creates living, adventurous art. We engage artists and audiences in imaginative reflection on the complexities of contemporary life. We present bold, original, well-crafted productions that represent a range of voices, viewpoints, and styles.