The cast of "Circle Mirror Transformation" portrays characters in an acting class. (Photo by Emma Boersma)

Despite delays, ‘Circle Mirror Transformation’ rounds into thought-provoking play

On Feb. 7 and 8, five high school students performed in “Circle Mirror Transformation” by Annie Baker in the Multipurpose Room.

The play focuses on the lives of five people attending a drama class in Vermont. Through speaking and acting activities, the audience learns about the various characters. 

There’s acting teacher Marty (senior Savannah Rosenzweig), who is married to James (senior Aaron Graves); Schultz (junior Carter Joost), a recently divorced carpenter; Theresa (sophomore Kali Wells), a former actor; and Lauren (sophomore Clara Reynen), a high school junior.

With the aid of common drama activities, the play examines the characters’ lives and personalities, with plenty of purposeful awkward pauses and fumbling dialogue, culminating with a great reveal of their deepest secrets. 

According to drama teacher Brian Frishman, this year’s play was chosen for its numbers — there are five roles and five students in the play. It was also a relatively easy play to put on, as it all occurs in the same room with minimal prop changes.

The play had been delayed for several months, according to Joost, due to scheduling issues with the middle school play and rehearsal times for all members.

“We had to keep pushing back the dates, because of the unavailability for rehearsals,” Frishman said. “(The students) didn’t retain the memorization as well as they would have with a shorter rehearsal time. I was pleasantly surprised at their final performance.”

Reynen said she enjoyed playing Lauren. 

“She was the most fun to play, as a classic moody 16-year-old, since I already have some experience in that field,” Reynen joked.

 Rosenzweig said she “also liked playing Marty because she’s like the cool aunt that everyone wants.”

“However, it was hard to play her in the second half of the play, because I had to change my whole demeanor after she found out that James was in love with Theresa,” she said.

According to Reynen, the memorization was difficult.

“A lot of us struggled to memorize our lines, especially early on. But in the end, the hardest part was memorizing the scene order, partially because we’d save time during rehearsal by skipping scenes if the actors involved weren’t present,” Reynen said. “I also had to be engaged 100% of the time. In my elementary school play, no one noticed if I messed up.”

On the other hand, Joost enjoyed the step up in difficulty. 

“Last year, we didn’t do an actual play. It was read from scripts, so I liked this year exponentially better,” Joost said.

By Nihal Gulati

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