Orbiting Astral Bodies
A scene from Orbiting Astral Bodies
Author: Nathan Gregorski
Description: When the Moon decides to leave Earth in search of something better, the lives of four people are upended as they struggle to seek their own meaning, reality, and purpose.
First Produced: 2013
Date Added: 9/19/2013
Content Advisory: Mild language
Keywords: Comedy · Drama · Coming of Age · Romance · Religion and Spirituality · Single Set · Social Issues · Protests · Characters are Mostly Young Adults · Philosophy
1 Act, 60 Minutes
3 Females, 3 Males
NOTE: Orbiting Astral Bodies is fully protected by copyright law and is subject to royalty. All inquiries concerning production, publication, reprinting or use of this play in any form should be addressed to Rochelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original Production Information
Orbiting Astral Bodies was presented in 2013 at the New York International Fringe Festival with the following cast and credits:
Allen: Ben Maters
Claire: Rachael Napoleon
Gillian: Jamie Agnello
Mark: Ryan Barrentine
Moon: Amy Persons (member AEA)
Warren: Louis Sallan
Director: Kevin O'Callaghan
Stage Manager: Adrian Pena
Lighting Designer: Adam Carpenter
Original Music: Zachary T. Webb
Orbiting Astral Bodies was presented in 2012 at the Arthur Seelen Theatre, NYC with the following cast and credits:
Allen: Jordan Smith
Claire: Sarah Clements
Gillian: Jenna D'Angelo
Mark: Brennan Caldwell
Moon: Stacy Ann Strang
Warren: James Bascomb
Director: Sharone Halevy
Production Design: Shawn Verrier
Review by Erin M. Daley
The Moon (played by Amy Persons) has had enough. She looks down on Earth and disgusted with the folly and insolence of us earthlings, she strikes out on her own, hoping to garner the respect of Io and Titan, the more prestigious moons of Jupiter and Saturn.
Warren (Louis Sallan), a man obsessed with not having enough time, tries to convince The Moon to take him along, hoping to harness the power of quantum physics to eke out another hundred or so years of existence. He tries to explain his schematics and equations to Gillian (Jamie Agnello), a reclusive shut-in who surrounds herself with travel books, but fears anything outside of what she knows. So, she holes herself up, emerging just long enough to pass off sleeping pills to her roommate Claire (Rachel Napoleon), who gorges herself on barbiturates to continue a romance with a man (Benjamin Maters) she only sees in her dreams. Meanwhile, Gillian’s brother, Mark (Ryan Barrentine), a fervent environmentalist, has realized that the earth has stopped talking to him after hearing that the moon was deserting her. So he mounts a campaign to stay the moon’s departure, chaining her to the earth.
There is a contagious sense of wonder and awe that pulls the audience through the play, making the whole experience feel somehow cosmic. Bodies, people and stories are drawn to each other, sharing an orbit for a few moments before falling away again, or aligning with someone else. The moon, who let’s be honest, has seen it all, offers snappy advice to these loosely connected wanderers as they journey through the earth and stars. They are all searching for something ephemeral and almost unattainable. Seemingly alone in their journey, their similarities only come into focus at a distant vantage, such as from the moon or beyond the fourth wall.
The heightened, poetic language of Nathan Gregorski’s deeply human script was well-handled by the cast and worked with the fantastical tone of the piece, lending gravity to a sentimental narrative. Kevin O’Callaghan’s directing combined with the work of the finely tuned ensemble created a landscape of synchronicity and layered vignettes, a mysterious and captivating foundation on which the stories unfurled.
The design elements were simple but effective, utilizing the company to create the space and manipulate some practical lighting. The timing, staging and attention to detail belied a truly admirable dedication to the production that overcame its humble means.
Orbiting Astral Bodies is a wonderful entry for FringeNYC this year. At its heart is a touching story, told simply and elegantly by a team of young, passionate and sympathetic artists. All in all, creating an experience grander than the sum of its parts.
reviewed at the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival
Excerpt from Orbiting Astral Bodies
You’re dating a man in. Your. Sleep?
I don’t...I don’t know what to call it.
Call it a dream!
But I like him and I like spending time with him. That’s all I know. And what if--justwait--what IF he’s out there dreaming about me, too? Thinking of me. Telling his crazy best friend about me. Searching the sidewalk for me in the morning and scouring the faces in every crowd, praying that we’ll bump into each other by chance.
Is that what the pills are for?
The pills. Do you take them so you can see him?
How many hours a day do you sleep?
I won’t be lectured by a girl who is building a cocoon from her own saliva in the park.
It’s a hive and this is not the same thing.
You’re right. It isn’t the same thing. I’ve found a little pleasure in this bleak world and for some reason you want to take that away from me or make me feel guilty for it or...something? And I won’t let you do that. Meanwhile, you use your paranoia as an excuse to completely shut yourself off from the world.
I think you should go.
Tell Allen I say hello.
FringeNYC 2013 Play Collection #1: Four playwrights, Matt Barbot (Infallibility), Nathan Gregorski (Orbiting Astral Bodies), Jim Shankman (Suicide Math), and Matthew Stephen Smith (Nicholas Maeve Marianne) chosen to be part of the FringeNYC 2013 Collection join Martin Denton in a friendly roundtable discussion of their work.
YouTube: Production trailer "Claire"
YouTube: Production trailer "Gillian"
YouTube: Production trailer "Mark"
YouTube: Production trailer "Warren"