Student pens play, The Constant K

By Chris Martin, June 10, 2008

    The Constant K Determines the Ultimate Fate of the Universe runs from Thursday, June 12 to Saturday, June 21.
Science graduate Rebecca Nada-Rajah is plumbing the depths of human scientific understanding and academia -- not via traditional research, but through a bold new play.

The Constant K Determines the Ultimate Fate of the Universe revolves around an astrophysics student and her eccentric professor as they venture into Hamilton's Gore Park to re-discover their humanity and origins.

Nada-Rajah, who graduates this week, completed her science degree with the Origins Institute, a multi-disciplinary research program based in the Faculty of Science that focuses on the origins of life and the universe. Nada-Rajah's play is her undergraduate thesis for the department.

"Humanities is one of the six themes we explore at the Origins Institute," says Jon Stone, professor of computational biology and Nada-Rajah's thesis supervisor. "This play examines science from a human perspective and humanity from a scientific perspective," says Stone of the production.

The play is an absurdist exploration of science, art, academia and sexuality.

"Aurelia is constantly frustrated with not being able to fully use her imagination due to her stifling academic environment," says Nada-Rajah. The plot focuses on the journey that results from this sentiment, but Nada-Rajah maintains that the play is primarily concerned with ideas and the way humans understand scientific origins.

Jeff Santa Barbara, the play's co-director, sees an inclusive quality to the work.

"This is one of the most exciting shows to happen at the Pearl Company," he says. "It's bringing together people from the theatre and music communities, but also from scientific and academic circles. It's a wonderful show, full of rich ideas."

Performances begin Thursday, June 12 at 8 p.m. and run until Saturday, June 21 at the Pearl Company Theatre, located at 16 Steven Street in the Landsdale neighbourhood of Hamilton. Tickets are available by calling 905-524-0606 or e-mailing

The Constant K Determines the Ultimate Fate of the Universe features local actors Al French, AJ Haygarth and McMaster classics student Alexandra Holbrook, as well as music from Dark Mean, a local group of independent musicians.