|Selection of Circle’s Theatre’s MainStage productions are selected with the opportunities for inclusion and equity.
The Wise Men of Chelm
By Sandra Fenichel Asher. Based on Jewish folktales.
NOVEMBER 18, 2023 (7:00pm)
NOVEMBER 19, 2023 (2:00pm)
Jewish Community Center, Alan J. Levine Theater
|On November 18 and 19, Circle Theatre will present two Chelm stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer at the Jewish Community Theater. The mythical comic town of Chelm is a beloved staple of Yiddish literature! Once upon a time an angel, carrying a sackful of foolish souls back to heaven for repair, snagged his sack on a tree growing on top a tall mountain top. The sack tore and the poor foolish souls rolled down the mountain side into the town of Chelm. Student dancers from the community will learn and perform tradional dances of the schtettle in a preshow sharing.
“The Wise Men of Chelm”, adapted by Sandra Fenichel Asher, will be performed by a core of Circle Theatre artists. An opening act of “When Shlemiel Went to Warsaw”, adapted by Jenni Castello, will be read by residents from Quality Living Inc. Shtetl, a form of Jewish dance, will be choreographed into both productions.
“THE LITTLE PRINCE”
APRIL 6 & 7, 2024
“The Little Prince”, a beloved fable written by Antoine De Saint-Exupery, will be the mainstage production for Circle Theatre’s 40th Anniversary ! The produc-tion will be performed April 6 and 7th, 2024 at the Jewish Community Center stage and feature vignettes from partnering organizations including Munroe Meyer Institute, Quality Living Inc, Gotta Be Me, and VODEC.
The narrator of the story becomes an aircraft pilot who encounters a small boy whom he calls “The Little Prince”. The prince travels to a series of asteroids, each featuring a grown-up who has been reduced to a “function”, including a business man, a king, a lamp lighter, a conceited man, a drunkard, a geographer and then Earth. Partnering organizations will be the “hosts” at these visits, de-livering the dialogue as well as building the props and sets for each visit.
Circle Theatre core actors will speak the character lines with the partners in a process called “shadowing”, a theatrical device that utilizes the individual strengths of several individuals to play one role. Individuals who are not being shadowed will create a fluid movement ensemble as visits are made to the as-teroids, stars and sun on every planet.
NOVEMBER 23 & 24, 2024
“The Brave Tailor”, an adaptation written by local playwright Brian Guehring, will be Circle Theatre’s 2024 fall production, to be performed at the Jewish Community Center November 23 & 24, 2024. Published by the Grimm Broth-ers in 1812, this German fairy tale tells the story of a humble tailor who tricks many giants and a ruthless king into believing in the tailor’s incredible feats of strength and bravery, leading to him winning wealth and power.
Gotta Be Me, a partner organization also providing all abilities program for peo-ple with disabilities and their families, will be the opening act for the “Grimm Tales” performances. Gotta Be Me actors will tell the story of the “Town Musi-cians of Bremen”, a Grimm tale based on the account of the German storyteller Dorothea Viehmann (1755-1815). This is the story of four aging domestic an-imals, who after a lifetime of hard work leave their farms to become musicians in Bremen and enjoy life. However, they find a den of thieves and decide to outsmart them. Munroe Meyer Institute acting interns will shadow
highlights of the performance.
“A TYPICAL BOY”
“A Typical Boy”, a comedy/drama by Laurie Brooks, will be presented at the Jewish Community Center in 2025. In a fantastical world (not entirely unlike our own) where “conformity is compulsory,” Boy cannot conform. Others make a desperate attempt to fix him, but neither they nor he can change his nature. Labeled a monster by the experts, Boy is shunned until, heartbroken and alone, he disappears into a world of monsters. There, Boy struggles with Hugo, ruled by his monster side, and is drawn to Girl, who is still in touch with her true feelings. A metaphor for invisible disabilities and disenfranchised youth, this play asks the question: Will Boy hold on to his humanity and accept himself, or will he become a monster?
Preceding the performance, partnering organizations will be invited to develop short stories or poems in response to their reading of the book by Leslye Orr, “The People on the Corner”. Born legally blind, Ms. Orr teaches workshops and performs all over the world to uphold the possibilities of disabilities. Circle Theatre will reach out to the unsighted community to create art to be on exhibit in the Jewish Community Center lobby.