Sunday, November 6, 2011

Talent shines in play about acting

Talent shines in play about acting
“Circle Mirror Transformation” is billed as a comedy, but it's also a heady drama about the limits of self discovery
Posted Nov 5, 2011, 10:15 am
Dave Irwin

In “Circle Mirror Transformation,” four small town wanna-be actors, eager to expand their horizons, start in a local community class with their instructor. Over six weeks, covered in 90 minutes of vignettes, they go through a series of enlightening and humiliating psychological exercises, guided by their teacher, Marty.

Written by Annie Baker, “Circle Mirror Transformation” won the 2010 Obie Award for Best New American Play and made a number of lists for top ten plays of 2009.

Fortunately, this production has a balanced, talented cast that doesn’t overwhelm the intimate Invisible Theatre space. Director Betsy Kruse Craig keeps a subtle hand on the proceedings, letting the action simmer nervously until it explodes.
Photo: Tim Fuller
The cast of 'Circle Mirror Transformation' at Invisible Theatre. (Clockwise from upper right - Carrie Hill, James Henriksen, Lucille Petty, Brian Weez. Center - Molly McKasson
To call “Circle Mirror Transformation” a comedy, though probably better for marketing, is to miss more than half of its meaning. Watching five characters flay themselves to uncertain purpose is clearly tragedy. There are some laughs in particular moments, but overall, this is a cathartic work that says much about how we live our lives, questioning how truthful we are to ourselves and others.