Holmdel Theatre to Stage CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION, 11/1-16
The play, billed as a comedy with the subtext of a drama, premiered originally Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in October 2009. The plot centers on a small town group of five Vermont residents, some of whom are strangers to one another at the outset of the play. Their lives intersect through a six-week, amateur drama class which consists of an engaging series of "theatre games". It's through these interpersonal "games" that their lives are laid bare for all - fellow "classmates" and audiences alike - to see. The carefully and uniquely constructed play provides an unusual depth of reality for audiences, who are more likely to feel they are observing something actually happening in front of them rather than simply viewing a fictitious work.
"I think it centers on the transformative power that classes can have if The Players are ready, willing and able to participate," director Kathy Hendrickson said of the play. "It's not about what is being said, but what is not being said. I told the cast that we are not going to act this play; we are going to do this play; Annie Baker is a great writer and a specific writer, so I felt guided by her and the pacing of the play."
Producer Laurie Devino felt inspired to bring the play to the attention of company members soon after reading it. "It was so beautifully and concisely written, and so real. We learn about the characters in such novel ways. I was drawn to its simplicity and thought it would be a good fit for us because it was a play about a drama class that could very easily be taking place in our own HTC space."
This marks Hendrickson's directorial debut with the Holmdel Theatre Company. She is a performer, director, and teacher who has taught and performed all over the world. Recently, she was Assistant Director of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman directed by Mike Nichols and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. Ms. Hendrickson also worked for Nichols' Production Company on the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park stage production of The Seagull (starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Philip Hoffman, Natalie Portman) as well as the HBO films Wit (starring Emma Thompson, Harold Pinter, Aileen Atkins), and Angels in America (starring Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, Jeffrey Wright, Mary Louise Parker); she has also coordinated master classes with Kevin Kline, Stanley Tucci, Edward Albee, Edie Falco, Andre Gregory, and Brian Bedford. She resides in Jersey City with her husband and five year old son.
"Circle Mirror Transformation" will open on Friday, November 1 and play for eight performances on the following dates: Friday, November 1 at 8pm, Saturday, November 2 at 8pm, Sunday, November 3 at 2pm; Friday, November 8, at 8pm, Saturday, November 9 at 8pm, Sunday, November 10 at 2pm; Friday, November 15 at 8 pm, with the final performance on Saturday, November 16 at 8 pm.
All performances are at the Duncan Smith Theater, 36 Crawfords Corner Rd., Holmdel, New Jersey in front of the Holmdel High School. Ticket prices are $22 general public ($17 for seniors and $12 for students). Reservations may be made by calling the box office at 732-946-0427 or via the website at www.holmdeltheatrecompany.org.