The Yellow Jacket

The Student Voice of Randolph-Macon College

The Yellow Jacket

The Yellow Jacket

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The Theory of Relativity

Image via Katie Dodge 24
Image via Katie Dodge ’24

Have you ever had an encounter with someone that changed the trajectory of your life? On April 18th-21st, the RMC theater program put on a musical titled The Theory of Relativity. Music and lyrics by Neil Bartram; music director: Kim Fox. The Theory of Relativity was based on a book by Brian Hill. Four RMC seniors were featured in the show, Rodman Shook, Chelsea Shaul, Rita Diamond, and Alex Fearnow. Two seniors aided in behind-the-scenes work, Lily Chapman helped with choreography, poster design, and projection design, and Mel Davis helped as a stage manager, participating in one of their last shows before graduating from RMC in Spring ’24.

The entire cast was full of energy through the Sunday matinee final show. Before the main show, Chelsea Shaul performed an amazing original piece written and edited based on her character Caroline in the play. Shaul’s opening performance called UNTITLED” explored multiple themes about heartbreak, loss, the confusion of the pain of moving on after periods in life, and the difficulty of letting go without knowing how. These profound themes set up a wonderful performance of The Theory of Relativity. Dr. Jan Powell wrote on the playbill, “In this hilarious, heartfelt show we experience the profound interconnectedness that develops in young adulthood through love, loss, joy, and the discovery of identity.”

Indeed, multiple plot lines wove together to show how strangers and friends in a college physics class have a profound influence on each other, despite having different paths and interests. Characters Mike (Myles Blue) and Oliver (Ren Hinchey) show each other that while liking apples over oranges might be the norm, to like oranges over apples doesn’t mean that something is wrong. Paul (Rodman Shook) has severe allergies to cats, but the love of his life Julie (Kira Hogan) is in love with cats. Despite this, Paul decides to marry her and avoid the allergy situation. Caroline was burned by her high school boyfriend Ricky. This leads her to a difficult decision regarding the love they share after he steals from her and hits the road. Mira (Rita Diamond) was raised by her loving mother but when she dies, Mira is in college and must face a difficult time figuring things out on her own. Diamond’s lovely performance was heartfelt, as were the others, and her voice was angelic during her musical feature. It went straight to the heart of the audience. The theme of uncertainty was also present in Ryan (Alex Fearnow), a student who faced the turbulent reality of a drastically changing home while he was away. Adi (Kara Suggs) is a math student who relies on the consistency of the numbers of pi while preparing for a nerve-wracking date later that night.

Anthony (Justin Giles), Jenny (Katie McGinnis), Sara (Aaliyah Hartwell), and every other previously mentioned character, are all dealing with their own set of struggles independently and interpersonally, tying The Theory of Relativity together into a thought-provoking performance. It suggested that even when things seem simple, choices and personal situations can affect the daily lives of others, even if the effect is minimal. If there was one thing to take away from this show, it was that no matter how confused you may feel, everything you do could matter to someone.

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