WBU theatre presents ‘Circle Mirror Transformation’ 

February 20, 2014

PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University School of Fine Arts will present Circle Mirror Transformation on Feb. 27, 28 and March 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box theatre located in Harral Memorial Auditorium.

Tickets cost $8 and can be purchased by logging onto www.wbu.edu and clicking on the “Buy tickets now” link near the bottom of the page.

The play, written by Annie Baker, won the 2010 Obie Award for Best New American Play. Set in a small Vermont town, the play looks at the lives of five individuals who participate in a six-week drama class at the local community center.

Director of Theatre Dr. Marti Runnels said the play looks at the relationships that develop between these people as they participate in acting exercises that cause them to reveal more about themselves than they normally would to those with whom they have no prior relationships. In the course of a six-week class, these processes are accelerated as relationships form and fail.

“It ends up being a venue to talk about the delicate ways in which we reach out to connect to other people and how it sometimes works and it sometimes doesn’t,” Runnels said.

Runnels said the overall theme of the play is how life unfolds for these five individuals as they work through processes. He said it is a difficult play to classify as it doesn’t fit into the classical modes of comedy or tragedy. It is just life.

“There is a lot of funny stuff that happens, and there is some stuff that happens that is not funny at all,” he said. “Nobody dies and there is not a big party at the end. You just get to see a slice of life of these people taking this creative dramatics course.”

When deciding on the play, one of the aspects that Runnels said appealed to him is the inside look at the acting life that it gives the audience. Runnels said people hear or read about what actors do, but they never really see it. This play gives them the opportunity to see and understand part of the process and how challenging and difficult it can be.

“It’s kind of like you get to peak into the inside of a world that most people aren’t familiar with,” he said.

The award-winning play has received quality reviews. The New York Times said, “Annie Baker’s play is an absolute feast. Circle Mirror Transformation is the kind of unheralded gem that sends people into the streets bubbling and bright-eyed with the desire to spread the word.”

Wayland students Joshua Walters, Alexander Hubbard, Haley Bonner, Ashlee Elizabeth Taylor and Jordan Sisson make up the ensemble cast.