Nick Payne
The Atelier 212 Theatre, Serbia

Author: Nick Payne
Translated by Maja Maletković
Directed by Aleksandra Saša Milavić Davies
Cast: Ana Mandić and Uroš Jakovljević
Director Assistant: Marko Jovićić
Set Design: Marija Jevtić
Costume Selection: Aleksandra Saša Milavić Davies
Composer: Božidar Obradinović
Organiser: Jelena Tvrtković
Organiser intern: Kristina Krspogačin
Stage Manager and Prompter: Milenko Adamov

Running time: 75 minutes

Constellations premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2012 and soon made great success. It earned Nick Payne the title of the youngest winner of the Evening Standard Theatre Award. The play has been staged on Broadway gaining international fame. Quantum theory plays an important role in this play, which is also a boy-meets-girl romantic comedy. At a barbecue, Roland, a beekeeper, meets Marriane, who is a quantum cosmologist. She explains to him that the theory of relativity covering the sun, the moon and stars is in collision with the quantum mechanics, which focuses on molecules, quarks and atoms. And she considers a possibility of a parallel existence within the space opened by the conflict of these two theories. Constellations is a drama that reveals the effects of this theory in practice, through a relationship of two people inhabiting parallel universes. The play explores free will and the role of coincidence in our lives.   

The Atelier 212, a theatre unique in Belgrade, Serbia and throughout ex-Yugoslavia, was founded 60 years ago, at the moment when a need was felt for a theatre which would stage new avant-garde drama that had a major influence in Europe of that time. It all started on 12th November 1956 with a premiere of Goethe’s “Faustus” directed by Mira Trailović in the small theatre hall of the old “Borba” building, where there was only 212 seats for the audience. The appearance of the Atelier 212 Theatre marked a turning point in the theatre life not only in Belgrade, but this part of Europe as well. For the 60 years that followed, by its productions, writers and directors, and its great actors and actresses in particular, by creating and honing a distinctive “Atelierian spirit and style”, the Atelier 212 Theatre has put Belgrade and our theatre on the world map, where it still has its place.       
The Atelier 212 Theatre was the first theatre in Easter Europe to play Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” in 1956. This play’s great success opened the door to a number of other avant-garde dramas and authors to appear in the theatre. Sartre, Faulkner, Ionesco, Camus, Pinter, Adamov, Rożevicz, Joyce, Jarry, T. S. Eliot, Vitrac, Schisgal, Kopit, Genet, Albee, Stoppard, Havel – have all been staged for the first time for the Yugoslav audiences in this theatre.

The Atelier 212 Theatre has been discovering new domestic authors and premiered the pieces by Aleksandar  Popović, Dušan Kovačević, Bora Ćosić, Ljubomir Simović, Brana Crnčević, Borislav Mihailović – Mihiz... The Atelier was led for a number of years by Mira Trailović, who, together with Jovan Ćirilov, initiated the establishment of one of the greatest European theatrical festivals, the BITEF festival, which was founded in 1967 at the Atelier 212 Theatre. Nowadays the Atelier has a permanent ensemble of 33 actors and actresses, but it keeps its doors open for artists who are not permanently engaged here. New dramas by contemporary Serbian and foreign authors are staged at the Atelier 212, with the theatre leaving its own recognizable mark on them.