Yorkshire Playhouse 2017 Season: Circle Mirror Transformation

by Mitchell Roush

Who am I?......................................And who am I in relation to you?

Perhaps these are the two vast questions connecting all of us--at least in those few moments of existential exploration.  We all find ourselves asking the greater questions of humanity from time to time.  Cliche as it may be, it’s a unifying factor.

And that’s what makes Annie Baker’s play--Circle Mirror Transformation--so comedically poignant.  She brings these questions to the surface and dares to inquire:

Can we discover the answers we’re searching for among a room of strangers, hula-hoops, and silly games?

When four lost New Englanders who enroll in Marty's six-week-long community-center drama class begin to experiment with harmless games, hearts are quietly torn apart, and tiny wars of epic proportions are waged and won. A beautifully crafted diorama, a petri dish in which we see, with hilarious detail and clarity, the antic sadness of a motley quintet.

Absorbing, unblinking, and sharply funny.
— - The New York Times

An experiences filled with as many chuckles from awkwardness as authentic discoveries from silence--Circle Mirror Transformation manages to make the unconventional construction of narrative seem unapologetically honest.  The audience travels alongside these strangers as they dive head-first into juvenile and sometimes absurd “theatrical games.”  Just when they think their chance for growth fades, truth bubbles to the surface connecting them all on a deep level.

 

Annie Baker is considered by many to be one of finest young theatrical voices in the realm today.  Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize, multiple OBIE Awards, and a distinguished Guggenheim Fellow, Baker’s works breathe new life into the otherwise stagnant exploration of realism.  

Within Circle Mirror Transformation, the Yorkshire Playhouse is bringing a rare treat of splendid dramedy, refreshing intimacy, and slightly unconventional while maintaining consistent familiarity.  Tapping the outside-the-box creative, Mitchell Roush, to direct--an evening of laughter and self-exploration is promised to deliver a lasting and enjoyable evening of theatre.

Winner of the 2009 OBIE Award for Best New Play, Circle Mirror Transformation has been praised time and again.

“Circle Mirror Transformation” is a small play, but because it’s so genuinely alive, its stature ultimatley seems larger than works with more ambitious subject matter.”
— -The L.A. Times
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Secrets are revealed. Relationships are constructed and deconstructed, peeled back like the layers of an onion. But along with such awareness coming to the play’s characters also come varying degrees of trust, understanding and even dependence of both self and others.
— - Lincoln Journal Star

Plot summary provided by, Dramatists Play Services, Inc.