Possible Worlds

Cosmic Love and Murders in Space

Possible Worlds explores human possibility.

Anything is possible in a sci-fi world. Possible Worlds attempts to portray that onstage.

A scientist simultaneously lives on several dimensions of existence. In love with the same woman in each of his alternate realities, he yearns for her contact but contact is seldom.

Meanwhile, people noted for their intelligence have been found dead with their bodies intact and their brains surgically removed.

Confused yet? Fascinated, perhaps? That is the plot of local theatre house Uncalled For’s newest production, Possible Worlds.

“It’s a sci-fi love story, a philosophical murder mystery and a tragedy that spans multiple universes,” explained Anders Yates, who is producing the show and playing the role of the protagonist.

“The fleeting connections in the story mirror reality. Science Fiction is generally used as a way of commenting on life and, in this case, we explore human relationships by looking at the many ways that falling in love with someone can arise only out of a special, specific and unique instance,” Yates said.

The Possible Worlds theory sees the world that we live in as being a product of many “possible worlds.” According to the theory, for every possible outcome of every event by which the world can be viewed, there exists an alternate reality.

“It is beautiful to see [the protagonist] so devoted to the same woman, no matter what the circumstance,” he said, adding that the story is also sad because it shows how difficult it can be for people to connect, considering that all possible circumstances have to be perfect for this to happen. “There is such a small chance for two people to come together.”

Celebrated Canadian playwright John Mighton wrote the script for Possible Worlds. Mighton has won the Governor General’s Award for his works, including the published text of Possible Worlds.

“The show brings up pertinent issues,” Yates said. “It talks about how far science should be allowed to go.”
Use of human beings and animals for scientific research is showcased, leading one to ask whether the pursuit of science justifies human and animal life being used in experiments.

“How far is too far?” the play asks.

Uncalled For is, primarily, a comedy-based company. “We were reading stacks of plays to figure out exactly which one we wanted to do and this one really jumped out at us. The play spoke to what we do in our comedy already. We like to explore heavy topics like the nature of love, life and reality,” said Yates.

“We are still talking amongst ourselves about all of the different possible meanings for the multiple scenarios in the play and their outcomes,” he said, noting that every time they rehearse the play, new possibilities for solutions to the puzzles in the story arise.

A preview performance of Possible Worlds is open to the public Oct. 13 at 8:00 p.m. and runs until Oct. 21 at Mainline Theatre (3997 St. Laurent Blvd.)

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 09, published October 12, 2010.