Circle Mirror Transformation

Assistant Director’s Note by Lindsey Neville


      Annie Baker is known for the silences in her plays; they’re long and sometimes awkward. But isn’t life? The silences in her plays make them relatable. They make the characters real. Sometimes as humans, we struggle for words; things don’t always come to us as quickly as we’d like them to. Annie Baker not only recognizes this, but showcases it as a beautiful imperfection. She once said, “I comfort myself by finding the rhythms and accidental poetry of everyone’s inadequate attempts to articulate their thoughts.”

Baker also writes by creating very detailed characters, plopping them into a situation, and seeing what happens from there. She lets them live without choosing a destination for them or an archetype that makes their actions predictable. Plays such as Circle Mirror Transformation are written to give us an experience akin to observing true life in action. The performance of them requires a focus on honesty, vulnerability, and thoughtful discovery.

      Throughout Circle Mirror Transformation, we follow a mismatched group of humans in the fictional town of Shirley, Vermont throughout the course of a six-week adult drama class. Through Marty, James, Shultz, Theresa, Lauren, and their silences, Annie Baker shows us the extent to which brief interactions such as this can impact our lives and propel us into the future.