In the Spotlife: Carley Cornelius of 'Constellations'

Carley Cornelius and Patrick Toon in Nick Payne’s Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ ‘Constellations.’ Photo by Isaiah J. Downing.


Marianne in Colorado Springs TheatreWorks’ Constellations

  • Hometown: Indianapolis
  • Home now: Chicago
  • Training: BA from Ball State University; BFA from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • What have you done lately? Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday at Colorado Springs TheatreWorks in December 2015. 
  • So what is your play about? Constellations shows the idea of multiple universes through the prism of a love story. It is boy meets girl, then boy meets girl again, and then boy meets girl again.
  • Most challenging aspect for you as an actor: That would be the format in which the play is structured. We see the life of this relationship from beginning to end, but we see three to four different scenarios of each step in their relationship. On top of that, the play jumps back and forth in time.  Working on Constellations was a test in memorization and muscle memory. Luckily, I was paired with a great scene partner, Patrick Toon. 
  • What do you love most about performing with TheatreWorks? I love coming to Colorado Springs. It’s become my second artistic home. Artistic Director Murray Ross took a chance on me two years ago when he cast me, an actress he had never worked with, in another two-hander, Venus in Fur. Ever since that production, this company has given me some great opportunities to work on superb plays with beautifully creative people in a breathtaking environment. I will be forever grateful for the love and support I have received from the artistic staff, board members and the enthusiastic audience members at TheatreWorks.
  • What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? This past year, I inherited an adorable teacup Yorkshire terrier, and now I finally understand “dog people.”  Her name is Denise, and she has taken over my Instagram account
  • What’s one thing you want to get off your chest? So, Constellations explores the idea of “What if?” … “What if I had said this?” … “If only I had done that!” That kind of thing. Which is something we all do – and that’s why this play is so intriguing. I often get caught in the deadly trap of playing out all of the possible scenarios before making a decision, which sometimes leads me to make no decision at all because the moment has passed. This play has been a great reminder to trust my gut instincts and live fully in the present moment. Constellations has also taught me to let go of the fear of making a wrong decision because, who knows, maybe in a parallel universe Shakespeare listened to those Wells Fargo ads and stopped writing plays and became a biologist.

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

(Note: Constellations will also be staged at Denver’s Curious Theatre next March 11-April 15)

TheatreWorks’ Constellations: Ticket information
An amiable beekeeper falls for a theoretical physicist, and the cosmos spins in nearly every direction. The regional premiere of this new play by Nick Payne lets love stumble and flourish in many different universes, all at the same time. Quantum mechanics meets St. Valentine. Directed by Joye Cook Levy.
• Through Sept. 25
• Bon Vivant Theatre, 3955 Regent Circle, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs campus
• Tickets: 719-255-3232 or BUY ONLINE