CATTheatre examines the science of love in ‘Now Then Again’
A science laboratory doesn’t seem like the most romantic setting, but a laboratory isn’t all beakers, test tubes and white coats when it comes to Now Then Again. The play, written by Chicago native and Richmond expat Penny Penniston, is a bright comedy full of clever laughs and unorthodox romance.
“It’s not the typical ‘Disney’ kind of love story,” said Melissa Rayford, the production’s director. “It’s much more real.”
Rayford said that not much is set in a traditional science lab, but rather the story takes place in a diverse set of locations used in the production. It takes a cue from Shakespeare and uses minimal set elements and a wide open stage.
The play takes its settings very seriously and aims to betray convention in its love story.
“I’m really enjoying the unconventional love story that they play has,” said Rayford. “First of all its set at Fermilab, which is America’s biggest particle physics laboratory. And secondly, the main couple haven’t even met yet when the play starts.”
Rayford also said that the love of the characters comes from a place of equality and shared respect for intellect.
CATTheatre is presenting the play as part of their 2014-2015 season, their 51st, and the theatre is marketing it as “a romantic comedy with a brain.”
The play takes some complicated scientific concepts and portrays them in a relatable and understandable manner. Rayford pointed out that much of the play is centered around complex concepts in time travel.
“I’m really enjoying telling this story through the science that this play is steeped in,” said Rayford. “That was a big surprise to me because I am not gifted with a particularly scientific brain myself. I can’t help thinking that if science had been approached in the manner this play approaches it in high school or undergrad, I would of probably enjoyed science more.”
The production is presented as part of the Second Presbyterian Church’s The Acts of Faith Festival. It’s part of the “Fringe” portion of the festival. Rayford said that even though religious faith doesn’t play a large role in the production, faith in other concepts does.
“From the beginning we have one of the central characters that the two main loves are going to meet [in a certain way] and that’s destiny,” said Rayford. “He has this unwavering faith and belief in destiny throughout the entire play and his faith bleeds off into the other two characters.”
Rayford believes that faith is one of the central themes of the play. She hopes the diverse themes and bright characters will help the production to have a wide reaching appeal.
“I would like to see just about anyone come,” said Rayford. “I feel like the people who are probably going to get the most out of it are people between their 20s and- well I don’t know. As long as you’re young at heart and don’t believe in love and destiny, you’ll enjoy it.”
Now Then Again opens Friday March 20th at CATTheatre in Eastern Henrico. Tickets can be bought here
Ben Weiner is a contributor for GayRVA and RVAMag. 'Nuff said.
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