The story in Circle Mirror Transformation is told through the drama games of a six-week community centre drama class the characters have signed up for. It’s through the games, and the breaks in between that their characters are revealed.
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What did you think? Were you able to relate to the characters in the play? What’s the silliest drama game you ever played? Tell us in the comments below.
Circle Mirror Transformation runs at the Great Canadian Theatre Company now through June 10th. Full details at gctc.ca
If you haven’t done so yet, find out more about Circle Mirror Transformation in our preview article. Hear the cast talk about the show, sample a scene, and learn a bit about the artwork curated specially for the play and on display in the Fritzi Gallery in the GCTC’s 2nd Floor lobby:
For lovers of the written word, here’s the script in print form:
Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation, is about five ordinary people in a small-town drama class. The story unfolds exclusively through the games and exercises they take part in as they get to know each other, making for great comedy as the characters awkwardly stumble through.
It’s not all fun and games, though. Each of the characters has a personal trauma or demon and the games they play bring all these problems to the surface, where they’re forced to confront them and as the title suggests, transformation abounds as they make some terrible realizations about each other and their lives.
The core of this play is the characters, who are all really likable and relatable, but theatre fans especially will get a kick out of them. And all the actors bring their A-game. Mary Ellis is so convincing as a drama teacher. John Koensgen’s performance as Marty’s husband, James, is sticky and kind of awkward, perfect for the character. Sarah McVie is the aspiring actress Theresa, who is just so very into it. Everything about her, from her poses to her gestures, is theatrical and she takes them all so seriously. When she’s asked to play a tree, her first question is – What kind of tree?
Andy Massingham gives us a forth strong character, playing the awkward and attention seeking Schultz, characterized by an unconfident stutter that fades and vanished as he becomes more confident throughout the play. And rounding out the excellent cast is Catherine Rainville giving a strong performance as the sullen teenager, Lauren. The most fun is watching her play along half-heartedly, only to scurry away afterwards to avoid embarrassing herself more but slowly staring to engage more with the others.
The beautiful set looks exactly like a real community centre and the many scene changes in Circle Mirror Transformation are quick and efficient making for a well paced show with a lot of, often awkward, laughs, heartfelt moments and strong performances. If you love the intricacies of the theatre world, you’ll especially love it.
Photo in this article was taken by Andrew Alexander and is used here with permission from the Great Canadian Theatre Company
Video production courtesy of Valley Wind Productions, produced by Allan Mackey. Reviewed by Kurt Shantz.
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