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‘Circle Mirror Transformation’ a slow, but thought-provoking, play

Actors Theatre is wrapping up its 25th season with “Circle Mirror Transformation,” currently running at Herberger Theater Center.

The show follows five characters as they spend time together in a creative drama class in Shirley, Vermont. As the class goes on, they build relationships with one another and learn about themselves in the process.

The play definitely has a unique script. Whereas most plays follow a more traditional plotline, this play is more focused on specifically developing the characters. The audience watches as the actors participate in different theater exercises together, and then interact with one another before and after each class session during the six-week span of the course.

It’s interesting to watch the characters develop onstage, but the storyline is also slow. As someone who has been in theater classes before, it was odd for me to watch a whole show mainly consisting of games that I have played. I was left squirming, waiting for something more to develop.

This is, however, not a reflection on the actors. They all portrayed their parts well, but the main downfall for me was the script.

However, while I would have like something more to come from the play, there was a specific line that stuck with me long after leaving the theater.

In the last scene of the play, two of the characters, Shultz (Rusty Ferracane) and Lauren (Alyson Maloney), perform an exercise together where they meet up and have a conversation as if they were meeting again ten years from current time.

Lauren asks, “Do you ever wonder how many times your life is gonna end?” to which Shultz replies, “Uh…I’m not sure I know what you —”

Lauren then interrupts him to answer, “Like how many people you’re … like how many times your life is gonna totally change and then, like, start all over again? And you’ll feel like what happened before wasn’t real and what’s happening now is actually …”

This is, personally, the best part of the play for me. The rest of the show was entertaining enough, but this thought-provoking line really hit deeper than anything else.

On the surface, it might seem like a silly question, but think about it. How many times do you feel like you know exactly what your future will hold in store, and then one thing happens and everything is suddenly different? Perhaps it’s a breakup or a shift in your education. Whatever it may be, one small change can alter the whole outlook of the rest of your life.

If nothing else, I left “Circle Mirror Transformation” thinking about Lauren’s question.

Tickets can be purchased online at or The theater is located at 222 E. Monroe St., near ASU’s Downtown campus. For more information, visit the Herberger Theater Center’s box office or call 602-252-8497.

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