Eagle Theater Presents “Circle Mirror Transformation”

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originally published: 04/22/2022

(HAMMONTON, NJ) — Acting is about human connection. Such is life. With Circular mirror transformationa powerful and insightful debut work by Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker, Eagle Theater will present an unforgettable evening of theater that skillfully proves why the ability to connect and shine with others is more vital than ever, through the stories of five people whose acting classes at the community center changed their lives to still. Circular mirror transformation will take place May 12-29 at the historic Eagle site in downtown Hammonton.

In Circular mirror transformation, each of the five people who have come together to attend an acting class at the small-town Vermont community center have their own reasons for doing so. But over the course of six weeks of theatrical “exercises”, each of them will come away with the one thing they never expected: the chance to reimagine who they could be. This witty and insightful piece doesn’t just explore why art is important in our lives. It proves it, right before your eyes, one transformation at a time.

Guest director Tai Verley, a Philadelphia-based theater artist, says that Circular mirror transformation is a “gift of a play” that explores the concepts of empathy and connectedness that she always tries to engage with in her work as an actor and director.

“All I ever wanted, as a theater maker, daughter, friend, lover, was to be understood; having what I say and what I do matters,” says Verley. “This piece condenses and multiplies those feelings, in a way I can’t describe but absolutely feel. It reaches into the simplest, silliest moments of all our lives and charges the silence.

A little like Xanaduthe first show of Eagle Theater’s 2022 mini-season, Circular mirror transformation draws on the themes of creativity, artistic expression and empathy. But unlike the high-profile musical that opened the season, production art director Angela Longo says this production is about real, everyday people and situations — so much so that the company will host numerous events and workshops to audience engagement before and during the performance of the show, intended to simulate the experience of being in a community center, much like Baker’s play.

The cast includes Bob Weick (James), Caitlin Alvarez (Lauren), Charlotte Northeast* (Marty), Benjamin Bass* (Schultz), and Parker Sera (Theresa). * Stakeholder Equity Association

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The list of events planned for the race includes:

Thursday Talks: After performances on May 19 and 26, audience members are invited to stay for a discussion with intimacy choreographer Abby Weissman, who will talk about her work on the show and how it relates to the themes of Circle Mirror Transformation .

Friday Night Art Club: Prior to Friday evening performances, members of the Hammonton Arts Center will host a free demonstration of how to ‘Portrait Doodle’.

Saturday Makers Craft Night: Before Saturday night performances, their friends at Hammonton Makers will give a workshop on how to create clocks from old vinyl records. (suggested donation of $5)

Sunday theater workshops: Before Sunday morning, join members of the Eagle Theater team for a short acting workshop built around some of the same acting exercises used in Circle Mirror Transformation.

“Part of the reason I’m so excited for Eagle to perform this play is because it perfectly captures how theater can create a sense of community,” Longo says. “Similar to Marty’s goal in the play, our goal with these workshops is not to turn anyone into an amazing actor, but to show how theater can teach empathy, build trust, promote a increased self-awareness and strengthened relationships.”

The cast includes Barrymore Award winner Charlotte Northeast as bandleader Marty, Bob Weick as husband of Marty James, Benjamin Bass as recently divorced carpenter Schultz, Parker Sera as former actress Teresa and Caitlin Alvarez as high school student Lauren.

Circular mirror transformation performances will be May 12-29, 2022 (Preview Pay What You Choose Thursday, May 12; Opening Night Friday, May 13), at the Eagle Theater, 208 Vine St. in Hammonton, NJ. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased online at eagletheatre.org or by calling 609-704-5012 x. 1 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Circular mirror transformation is produced with the support of seasonal producers Dr. Amerigo Falciani and Dr. Melissa Graule.

Eagle Theater is dedicated to telling meaningful stories through innovative, dynamic and professional productions that advance the experience of live theater on our main stage, in our community engagement and through educational opportunities. Founded in 2009, the Eagle is a cultural center in Hammonton town center and the largest Equity theater in South Jersey.