By Nick Payne

If the science at the center of Nick Payne’s smart and sentimental play, Constellations is right, then there’s a parallel universe in which Sam Houston Theatre never produced the play, senior musical theatre major Emmy Carys never directed it, and Payne never wrote it. Good thing, for us, that we’re in this particular cosmos. This spellbinding, romantic journey begins with a simple encounter between two people. But what happens next defies the boundaries of the world we think we know – delving into the infinite possibilities of their relationship and raising questions about the difference between choice and destiny. Constellations is a play about free will and friendship; it's also about quantum multiverse theory. Who knew that higher physics could be so accessible—and so emotionally devastating? In its extreme formulation, everything that can happen does happen. Everywhere. At the same time. Constellations are, after all, only patterns our eyes make in our mind, not actualities

At Sam Houston, we’re especially proud to produce a series of student directed shows as part of our main season. The Directors’ Debut Series is a barebones approach to theatre which allows the student to hone their directing skills by telling the story as set down by the playwright through analysis and character creation with actors. Though minimally supported in the area of technical theatre and design, these productions are beautiful, imaginative and powerful. Student director faculty advisor, Patrick Pearson, Assistant Professor of Theatre says, “The Directors’ Debut series gives students with strong potential as directors the opportunity to find their voice and build their aesthetic as artists.  Especially given the restrictions Covid has placed upon productions this season, these talented student directors have met and exceeded every challenge thrown their way, exploring plays that deal with love, loss, potential, and the overall human condition.” The second of this spring’s Directors’ Debut Series will be presented via online live-streaming by Sam Houston State University’s Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre. Constellations runs April 13, 1 at 7:30pm, and 17 at 2:00pm.


by playwright Nick Payne.

Meet the Cast

Cara DeGaish


Cara is a sophomore musical theatre major from Portland, Texas. SHSU audiences may remember her as Roman Woman/Mrs. Revere in Santa Claus Sits Down, and as Woman in The Six Shooter. Upon graduation, Cara plans to pursue a career in acting and videography.

Kinley Pletzer


Kinley is a junior theatre major from Edna, Texas. Their SHSU credits include costume crew for Actually and The Wolves, as well as a member of the ensemble in Sonnets for an Old Century.  At other institutions they have appeared as and Jo in Little Woman and as an ensemble member in Grease and Mamma Mia.  Upon graduation, Kinley plans to pursue a career in acting and directing.

Emmy Carys


Emmy is a senior musical theatre major from Montgomery, Texas. SHSU audiences may remember her as Ariel Moore in Footloose, Kelly in Dying City, and Rona Lisa Peretti in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  At other institutions, she has appeared as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family, Penny Lou Pingleton in Hairspray and as a member of the ensemble in Bring It On. Upon graduation, Emmy plans to pursue a career in directing and performance.

Gabi Alvarado

Stage Manager

Gabi is a junior theatre major from Kingwood, Texas. Her SHSU credits include, spotlight operator for An Evening at Jacques’: The Songs of Jacques’ Brel and Assistant Stage Manager for Dying City and Heathers. At other institutions, she has appeared as Mack/Ensemble in Peter and the Starcatcher and as an understudy for The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. Upon graduation, Gabi plans to pursue a career in acting, directing and stage management.

Michael J. Bowman

Assistant Stage Manager

Michael is a senior theatre major from Houston, Texas.  SHSU audiences may remember him as Hastings in Richard III, Orcus, Demon Lord of the Underworld/Ronnie in She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms, Mary in Pride & Prejudice, and Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost.  At other institutions he has appeared Johnnypateenmike in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Lloyd Dallas in Noises Off!, and as Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady.  Upon graduation, Michael plans to pursue a career in voice acting and directing.

Johanna Wylie-Turner

Assistant Stage Manager

Johanna is a sophomore theatre major from Huntsville, Texas. SHSU audiences may remember her as Tilly/Tillius in She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms, and as Lily in Dust.  Upon graduation, Johanna plans to pursue a career in acting.

Lexi Renfro

Costume Coordinator

Lexi is a senior theatre major from Plano, Texas. SHSU audiences may remember her work as the Costume Assistant for Richard III, the make-up & Costume Designer for She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms, the properties designer for Pride & Prejudice, the lighting designer for Bright Half Life & Godspell, the assistant scenic designer for Our Lady of 121st Street, the scenic designer for The Wolves and Actually, and the assistant lighting designer/scenic dresser for The Diary of Anne Frank. Upon graduation, Lexi plans to pursue a career in properties, carpentry, and scenic art.

Allison Lindsey

Lighting Design

Allison is a sophomore theatre major from Houston, Texas. Her SHSU credits include assistant lighting designer for Violet, Heathers: The Musical and Assassins. At other institutions, she has been the assistant lighting designer for More Than Christmas and the lighting designer for Marie Antoinette, The Wizard of Oz, and The Addams Family. Upon graduation, Allison plans to pursue a career in lighting design.

Nick Payne


Nick Payne is a playwright and screenwriter. His play If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet received the George Devine Award, and his play Constellations has played on Broadway and the West End and was nominated for an Olivier Award.