Wednesday, November 16, 2011

UNIQUELY DIFFERENT "CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION"

CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION:


UNIQUELY DIFFERENT "CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION"

By Chuck Graham, Tucsonstage.com
The mystery of communication is being explored quite inventively with Invisible Theatre's production of "Circle Mirror Transformation" by Annie Baker, directed here by Betsy Kruse Craig. The play won an Obie in 2010 for Best New American Play.
To some extent, to fully enjoy "Circle Mirror Transformation" you have to be ready for something a little different.
Be assured, however, the effort will be well worth it, because this play will also stick in your head on the way home. Each of us could be asking "How much different would my life be today if I had just spoken out that one time, so long ago?"
The cast is excellent and well balanced. It's always fun to see McKasson back on stage, her eyes twinkling bright as ever. Henriksen, a veteran Los Angeles actor, makes an engaging Tucson debut. Petty, just starting her career upon the stage, keeps getting better and better. Long-time acting friends Hill and Wees are always solid professionals.
chuck
Read the entire review here: CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Impressive Performances | Review | Tucson Weekly

Impressive Performances | Review | Tucson Weekly:

Impressive Performances
Invisible Theatre takes us inside an acting class
by Sherilyn Forrester , Tucson Weekly
Circle Mirror Transformation is a strange and intriguing play by Annie Baker. Under the direction of Betsy Kruse Craig, the Invisible Theatre offers us a solid rendering of the piece. (The title refers to another acting exercise.)
The five actors who portray the students embody them with enough thoughtfulness and depth that we get to know enough about them to care for them. Molly McKasson (absent too long from Tucson stages), James Henriksen, Brian Wees, Carrie Hill and Lucille Petty are a fine ensemble.
The production's design components are impressive. Special mention goes to sound designer Gail Fitzhugh, who realized that with so many scene changes, the music that leads us from one moment to another is really like another character. Fitzhugh has created this presence with just the right feel and effect.

Molly McKasson and Lucille Petty in Circle Mirror Transformation at Invisible Theatre. - Tim Fuller
Molly McKasson and Lucille Petty in Circle Mirror Transformation at Invisible Theatre.
Talent shines in play about acting | Invisible Theatre:

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

TucsonSentinel.com

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. It’s refreshingly unorthodox structure and setting - a rural classroom of actors playing non-actors who want to be actors - provides a meta-analysis on the nature of acting itself. It’s pure post-modern, but with a hint of quaint.

It must be said up front that portraying an amateur actor ironically requires considerable acting skill. 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.

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.

Read the entire review here: Talent shines in play about acting | Invisible Theatre:

The cast of 'Circle Mirror Transformation' at Invisible Theatre. (Clockwise from upper right - Carrie Hill, James Henriksen, Lucille Petty, Brian Weez. Center - Molly McKasson

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
TucsonSentinel.com

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.

'Circle Mirror': Life, after all, is an acting game

'Circle Mirror': Life, after all, is an acting game
Kathleen Allen Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011

"Circle Mirror Transformation," a gentle, well-done comedy that Invisible Theatre opened Tuesday.
All actors have got to start somewhere.

And unfortunately for many of them, that's in a basic acting class.

But this class exacts a transformation in these students as they go through the motions.

Of course, any class led by the teacher Marty (Molly McKasson) is bound to have an impact. McKasson infuses her with passion, generosity and compassion, and it's hard to refuse Marty her goofy games.

...good things can come in small packages. This production is a case in point.





TIM FULLER / COURTESY OF INVISIBLE THEATRE
Clockwise from bottom are Molly McKasson, Brian Wees, Carrie Hill, Lucille Petty and James Henriksen in "Circle Mirror Transformation," a small play overflowing with improvisational acting exercises. It opened Tuesday at the Invisible Theatre.