SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford Theatre opens its 50th season this fall with a production of “Circle Mirror Transformation” by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Annie Baker. Dan Day, associate professor of theatre, will direct two alternating casts of Wofford students in this play, which runs at 8 nightly Nov. 7-9 and 13-16 in the Sallenger Sisters Black Box Theatre in the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts.
“Circle Mirror Transformation” takes place in the fictional town of Shirley, Vermont, where five characters from very different walks of life come together for an acting class. As the students and their eccentric teacher perform acting exercises together, they slowly come to make discoveries about themselves and about one another. The creative process engenders unexpected personal challenges for the group, as relationships are tested and long-hidden truths are revealed.
Day finds that, as an actor-centered ensemble piece, the play serves as a valuable training vehicle for students studying theatre at Wofford. He was drawn to direct the play because “it explores the nature and importance of the live theatre and centers on the power of art, empathy and community.”
While the title of the play refers to an improvisational game the actors play together, Day notes that each word also reflects key aspects of the process of creating live theatre. “The circle is the community of actors, audience, artists, technicians and other collaborators. The mirror is empathy and identification with others, including the unique relationship between actors and audience, and transformation is the potential for the process of the live theatre to change lives.”
Baker’s plays have been produced both nationally and internationally. In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2014 for “The Flick,” she has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship and multiple Obie Awards, among many other honors and accolades. “Circle Mirror Transformation” premiered off-Broadway in 2009, winning the Obie Award for Best New American Play that year.
Seating for this show will be limited, and discounted tickets may be purchased in advance at www.wofford.edu/boxoffice. Same-day online ticket sales close at 6 p.m., and the box office opens at 7 p.m. in the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts. No late seating is permitted. Unclaimed tickets are released for resale five minutes prior to showtime.
All students – $3 online / $5 at the door
Wofford faculty and staff – $10 online / $12 at the door
General public – $13 online / $15 at the door
Wofford Theatre’s 2019-20 season continues with Theresa Rebeck’s “Seminar” (Jan. 23-25), Tony Award-winning musical “Cabaret” (April 16-18 and 22-25) and an original play for young audiences, written and directed by local playwright and Wofford lecturer Kerry M. Ferguson (May 7-9).