Archikulture Digest

Circle Mirror Transformation

Circle Mirror Transformation

By Annie Baker

Directed by Mike Marinaccio

Mad Cow Theatre Company, Orlando FL</strong>

Sometimes the story is all in the subtext. And tonight, the story is completely embedded in the pauses between the subtext. I had a bit of a cheat; someone showed me the author’s notes for this play where pauses and beats were carefully categorized, timed and dissected for the benefit of the producing company. And there was some very fine pausing and beating by the cast of Mad Cow regulars. The top level action occurs in a small town acting class at the local community center. Marty (played by Marty Stonerock – how often does anyone play someone with their own first name?) runs the class with an optimistic and accepting hand. Her husband James (Mark Edward Smith) tags along to help fill out the class. Shultz (Jay T Becker) builds chairs, mourns for his lost marriage yet is willing to find another woman to control completely. His target is Theresa (Rebekah lane), an actual actress with time on her hands. Rounding out the crew is teen aged Lauren (Jolie Hart) who hopes to star in the local high school production of West Side Story. They all play acting games, and when they think they’re not acting, they play grown up power games. Shultz and Theresa have a whirlwind romance: They meet during Zip Zap Zog and split up before “When I Go To India.” Marty and James have a deeper rift, they used to have the hippie days to hold them together, but now even that seems inadequate to bond them as man and wife. And Lauren? She’s learning from masters – her future relations will give here the life experience to play a truly tragic diva.

This is not an easy piece to grasp while sitting through it. What’s not said is more important that what is, and the subtleties may elude you until the next morning. The main action revolves around acting warm ups and the sillier aspects of the profession, so these familiar with the stage will get more out of this than civilians. Its sneaky comedy, one that will nibble at your heals on the way home, and then piddle on your carpet. Take an actor along as a guide; they can explain why the “Counting to Ten” exercise is actually useful.

For more information on Mad Cow, please visit http://www.madcowtheatre.com


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