Hannah Moscovitch's new play explores the elusive nature of time and love
Presented by Tarragon Theatre and Volcano Theatre
Writen by Hannah Moscovitch
Directed by Ross Manson
Time and love are forever intertwined in Infinity, a new play by celebrated Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch, now playing in the Tarragon Theatre Extraspace. Directed by Volcano Theatre's Ross Manson, the play incorporates ideas from Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe by theoretical physicist Lee Smolin, who acted as the consulting physicist on the piece.
Infinity delves into the relationship between three powerful minds across time and space. In the beginning, we meet Sarah Jean Green (Haley McGee), a young math whiz who confesses that she is messed up when it comes to love. From here, the action moves back and forth in time from Sarah Jean's present recalling of various sexual encounters, to when her parents, theoretical physicist Elliot Green (Paul Braunstein) and violinist Carmen Green (Amy Rutherford), are first introduced at a party. Elliot and Carmen share an interest in time as it relates to music and mathematics, and their mutual attraction leads to an unexpected pregnancy. Although they try to make it work, Elliot's single-minded preoccupation with his PhD thesis on the theory of everything threatens to destroy their marriage. Eventually, past and future come together to tell the story of a family grappling with big questions under tragic circumstances.
Set against a swirling white set designed by Teresa Przybylski, Infinity is a darkly funny, emotional and thought-provoking production featuring haunting music by composer Njo Kong Kie and well-timed choreography by Kate Alton. Violinist Andréa Tyniec plays brilliantly throughout the show, mostly from behind a transparent screen illuminated by lighting designer Rebecca Picherack. Director Ross Manson gets strong performances out of the cast. McGee is particularly entertaining as the blunt Sarah Jean. However, while the production reaches a necessarily intense crescendo, the shouting in scenes is somewhat excessive given the intimate size of the venue.
Like all of her plays, Infinity demonstrates Moscovitch's skill at fleshing out complex characters and tackling difficult subject matter. Here, she manages to compare two different theories on time—one that examines it as an artificial construct, and another that argues it is real—with the perplexing concept of love. In the end, the play succeeds in stringing it all together.
Infinity runs until May 3 at Tarragon Theatre. Visit tarragontheatre.com for more information and to buy tickets.