Life Imitates Art When Blinn-Bryan Theatre Troupe Stages
Annie Baker’s Comedy ‘The Circle Mirror Transformation’
Information courtesy of Blinn College
Performances run Feb. 23-26 at the Blinn-Bryan Student Center with a post-show discussion featuring the Brazos Valley TROUPE, StageCenter Community Theatre, and the Theatre Company of Bryan-College Station on Feb. 23
The Blinn-Bryan Theatre Troupe (BBTT) takes a comedic look at a group of amateur actors in Annie Baker’s Obie Award-winning play “Circle Mirror Transformation” running Feb. 23-26 at the Blinn College-Bryan Campus.
“All of the shows this year have been about reconnecting and being back in the same place together,” Blinn-Bryan Theatre Professor Greg Wise said. “We adapted the stage space so that the audience wraps all the way around the stage and feel more included in the classroom setting of the play.”
Originally staged in 2009, “Circle Mirror Transformation” is set in the small town of Shirley, Vermont, and focuses on several people who sign up for an acting class at the local community center. Led by Marty, the energetic acting teacher, characters like a recently divorced carpenter, a shy high school student, and a former actress begin to bond as they go through dramatic exercises. With scenes that are both poignant and funny, “Circle Mirror Transformation” blurs the line between acting and reality to connect strangers on a personal level.
Theatre arts major Lizzete Valez, who plays Lauren, said her part allowed her to reconnect with her high school self.
“Lauren is a 16-year-old high school student who turns to this theatre class and finds out it’s not what she thought it was,” Valez said. “I’ve tried to make her as authentic as I can. She thinks that she knows it all, so it’s been fun looking back and trying to remember how I felt at that age. It also is a very fast-paced show, but the best part of the play has been meeting all of the really cool actors I’ve been in rehearsal with. It’s been great.”
In addition to Valez, other cast members include Matthew Burhus (James), Michael Colonica (Schultz), Ellie Davis (Marty), and Ashley Wienecke (Theresa).
Production team members are Róisín Alexis, stage manager and sound; Marie Townsend and Isabel Rios, assistant stage managers; Fabián Santana, lighting; Hendrix Taylor, props; Leah Hamilton, costumes; Lara Rodriguez and Scott Wigington, scenery; and Patrick Rodriquez, Kristian Sparks, Yarida Figueroa, and Abby Quinn, crew.
“My favorite part of this production is watching this ensemble come together,” Wise said. “We have some theatre and non-theatre majors and it’s always so fulfilling to see everyone discovering each other and just having a lot of fun. We’ve been laughing an awful lot.”
The show is recommended for ages 13 and up.
The Thursday night performance will feature a post-show discussion with local theatre companies, including Brazos Valley TROUPE, StageCenter Community Theatre, and the Theatre Company of Bryan-College Station, about the transformative nature of acting.
The BBTT will stage their final production of the season, Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” April 20-22 and April 27-29. This performance is a collaboration between Blinn and Texas A&M University’s Department of Performance Studies with cast and crew consisting of students from both schools.
To learn more about the BBTT’s season, contact Wise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Blinn’s Theatre Arts Program, visit www.blinn.edu/theatre.
About the Blinn College District With innovative programs and award-winning co-enrollment partnerships, Blinn’s academic transfer rate ranks No. 1 among Texas community colleges. For more information, visit www.blinn.edu.