Genuine encounters between people as they learn, grow, and challenge themselves are at the core of Circle Mirror Transformation. Running at Patio Playhouse through Jan. 31, this comic drama takes an intimate look at the attendees of a Vermont Drama Class as they interact with – and learn about – one another through theatrical exercises. Performances are at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees.
The emotionally affecting comic drama by Annie Baker that won the Obie Award for Best New American Play in 2009. Set in Shirley, Vermont, this unique play reveals as much in silence and body language as it does in dialogue, bringing to life the emotions, relationships, and struggles of the adults enrolled in Marty’s creative drama class.
Shelley Benoit plays Marty, a Bohemian vintage Earth-mother who has had success with using her acting games and exercises with children… but may be a bit over her head with adult clientele and their fully-formed neuroses.
Joining the class at her behest is her husband, James (played by Neha Curtiss), an economics professor working to reconnect with an upset daughter from a previous marriage; Maisy Holmes as angsty teenager Lauren (who wants to become an actress or veterinarian when she grows up); Vani Neelakantan as Theresa, a New York transplant recovering from an unhappy relationship who can’t resist flirting with every man in sight; and Spencer Farmer as Schultz, a recently divorced carpenter looking to get back into the dating game.
Through the fumbling explorations of her characters, Baker holds a mirror to the audience, gently revealing beauty and pain in the tiny absurdities inherent to the study of drama, and leaving us with the question “what makes life ‘real?’” When the drama class experiments with seemingly harmless games, hearts are quietly torn apart and tiny wars of epic proportions are waged and won.
Tickets: All shows will be presented at Patio Playhouse, located at 116 South Kalmia Street, Escondido (between Vinz Wine Bar and Continental Deli). Tickets for this production are available for the cost of $20 — no, make that $18 — for Adults and $15 for Senior, Military, and Students, and $10 for Youth 16 and under, based on comment info below. For reservations, contact the Patio Playhouse box office at 760-746-6669, email, or via the website at www.patioplayhouse.org. Directed by Samantha Goldstein. Produced by Peggy Schneider.
About the Company: Patio Playhouse is Escondido’s only community theater. Established in 1967, Patio Playhouse is located in the heart of Escondido, and puts on a full season of entertaining, varied performances, including musicals, adult dramas and comedies, and a unique fee-free youth theater model which introduces live theatre to children through performance/crew opportunities and school performances. Patio Playhouse is an independent, all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To find out more about Patio Playhouse, please visit www.patioplayhouse.com or find us on social media.