Department of Theatre Arts performs “Circle Mirror Transformation”
By Pam Giangreco, Staff Writer
As the Theatre Arts Department and the Owl and Nightingale Players rapidly approach the end of their main stage season, the cast of Annie Baker’s 2009 breakout play “Circle Mirror Transformation” engages with the notions of self-refl exivity one last time. Having begun the season with “A Chorus Line” and then transitioning to “As You Like It,” the prevailing theme of the year has been a refl ection on the craft of acting itself, and there is no better way to complement these works than with the refreshing, modernized voice of Annie Baker.
This small cast play is comprised of five characters that are enrolled in an acting class in rural Vermont. As the play transpires, the audience begins to learn about these individuals through personal stories that are brought out by the exercises. Having such a small cast of characters has made the process of working on “Circle Mirror Transformation” a definitely positive experience for the actors.
Kate Forton, who plays Marty, the acting teacher, said: “I have never worked in a group this small before, and we all know each other from past performances. So I think there is a level of comfort and trust created by this intimate setting. We are all naturally encouraging each other to do our best, which brings out our best.” Other members of the cast include juniors Jeremy Savage and Tori Reynolds and sophomores Emily Lunardi and Andrew Gorelick, all of whom bring their veteran expertise and professionalism to the task of bringing this piece to life.
“Circle Mirror Transformation” excels in addressing the nature of acting not only to benefit those in the theatre world, but also to make the greater audience aware of the exposing nature of the craft. In the words of director Chris Kauffman, “Those of you who have never taken an acting class may be confused—Where are the scripts? Where is the scene work? It’s important to note that many acting classes have a component that addresses one’s personal blocks to freedom in order to allow for free and open communication and creative expression.”
Acting, in part, is grappling with one’s own inner obstacles and exposing them in order to discover a liberated version of oneself. This more intimate side of theater is something that is universal in its lesson. We could all stand to step outside of our comfort zones and learn to communicate with truth of expression.
In the words of the playwright, “Circle Mirror Transformation” is a “strange little meditation on theater and life and death, and the passage of time.” Thus, the play uses acting as an action to bring to life the problems we all face, and therefore promises to be a memorable performance.
Circle Mirror Transformation will be performed in the Kline Theatre on April 10, 11, 12, and 14 at 7:30 p.m., and April 13 at 2pm. Admission is Free. For more information please call (717) 337-6060.