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Theater review: ‘Circle Mirror Transformation’ at Mad Cow

By Elizabeth Maupin
Elizabeth Maupin on Theater


Mark Edward Smith, Jay T. Becker, Marty Stonerock, Becky Lane and Jolie Hart in 'Circle Mirror Transformation'

E.M. Forster put it baldly: “Only connect.”

But connections between people do not happen so easily – not in Forster’s classic novels, and not in Annie Baker’s wry, elliptical new comedy, Circle Mirror Transformation. The connections between people are fraught with complications, as you’ll see in this sweet-tempered little play set in an adult-ed acting class in small-town Vermont.

At Mad Cow Theatre, director Michael Marinaccio doesn’t answer all the questions put forth in Baker’s enigmatic script, which was first performed off-Broadway in 2009. But he and five terrific actors fill in the blanks – not with words, but with emotions, both subtle and raw, that flicker across their faces.

Rebekah Lane (Theresa), Jolie Hart (Lauren) and Jay T. Becker (Schultz) perform a creative-drama game, while Marty Stonerock (Marty) coaches them and Mark Edward Smith (James) looks on.

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