For actors, work can be a game - unless it's for real. Life throws some twists into Vermont residents taking an acting class at the local community center in Annie Baker's "Circle Mirror Transformation."
Bismarck State College Theatre presents this Obie Award-winning drama about human intimacy and the games people play Dec. 11-15. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Sidney J. Lee Auditorium.
BSC again uses its winter play to reach into Bismarck-Mandan's theater community. Amber Rae Bernhardt, Dakota Stage Ltd. executive director, directs the contemporary drama and has an acting role.
"This is a real actor's piece and shows what we do, but it's not just about an acting class," Bernhardt said. "The play is more about the relationships we make and how you grow as a person. This is about people and making connections to other people."
"Circle Mirror Transformation" opens on the first day of acting class for a small group of people and their teacher, Marty. She begins leading them through a series of acting games that reveal as much about their real lives as their acting ability.
A New York Times reviewer said, "By the play's end, we seem to see to the very bottom of these souls and feel how the artificial intimacy of the acting class has shaped their lives in substantial ways."
Bernhardt plays Marty, instructor of the adult Creative Drama Class. Her husband, James, is in the class and portrayed by George C. Welder (Bismarck), a veteran DSL actor. Zack Watson (Bismarck) is Schultz, a carpenter and single man. He's sweet on Theresa, an actress moving into a different career and played by Allison DeKrey (Bismarck). Matty Singer (Mandan) plays Lauren, a high school student studying acting. Watson, DeKrey and Singer are BSC students.
Dan Rogers, BSC Theatre director and associate professor of theatre, produce the play with technical direction by Dean Bellin, assistant professor of technical theatre. Reserved seat tickets are $10 or $3 with BSC ID at the box office in Schafer Hall or call 224-5511.
"Circle Mirror Transformation" premiered Off-Broadway in 2009 and received an Obie Award for Best New American Play, Best Performance and Best Ensemble. The play also earned a special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance.
About Bismarck State College Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information, visit bismarckstate.edu.