Pittsburgh’s Roving Theater Enters the Virtual Realm

Quantum Theatre will begin a three-play digital season next weekend.
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Quantum Theatre has for decades presented its work in unusual spaces. From the architectural grandeur of Downtown’s Trinity Cathedral to the hulking decay of the Carrie Blast Furnace, the company is well versed in drawing out the beauty and mystery of a physical space.

Why should a virtual space be any different?

Next week, Quantum Theatre will launch its digital season with “Constellations,” a four-night, live-streamed event. The show, written by the British playwright Nick Payne, follows a couple — a beekeeper and, aptly, a quantum physicist — as they consider their relationship, parallel universes and more.

The show features considerations of alternate timelines as the couple dissects different ways their lives might have played out. Some scenes will repeat with different outcomes — and, in Quantum’s virtual production of “Constellations,” three different pairs of performers will play the couple along different story threads.

All of the pairs — Julianne Avolio and John Michnya, Daina Griffith and Daniel Krell and Marva Parker and Rico Romalus Parker — are real-life married couples as well.

Quantum is presenting the show free of charge (though pre-registration is required). They ask those who can to consider supporting the company with a donation.

The show will unfold over four nights, in half-hour sections. The first half of “Constellations” will be streamed at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27, and Saturday, Aug. 29; on Friday, Aug. 28, and Sunday, Aug. 30, a re-broadcast of the first half will occur at 7:15 p.m., followed by the second half.

Registration grants access to all performances, and the show can also be viewed on-demand through 9 p.m. on Aug. 30.

Quantum had announced intentions to launch an in-person season this month, beginning with an outdoor adaptation of Homer’s “Odyssey” at the Schenley Ice Rink. Continued restrictions on the size of in-person gatherings prevented those plans from moving forward, though Quantum still lists “An Odyssey” and the rest of its announced 2020-21 in-person season as forthcoming on its website.

Subscriptions for the forthcoming in-person performances, which are also set to include “Chimerica” and “The Current War,” are available now.

Until those shows can take place, Quantum’s digital season will also feature Mike Bartlett’s “Wild,” set in Edward Snowden’s Moscow hotel room, in October, and playwright Caryl Churchill’s short play “Far Away.”

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