The 2015 off-Broadway premiere of <em>Rasheeda Speaking</em>&nbsp;starred Tonya Pinkins and Diane Wiest

2017 for Circle Theatre

Circle Theatre's 36th season has five regional premieres, including works by Aaron Posner, David Lindsay-Abaire and Joel Drake Johnson.

published Monday, January 9, 2017

Photo: The New Group
The 2015 off-Broadway premiere of Rasheeda Speaking starred Tonya Pinkins and Diane Wiest


Fort Worth — The 36th season for Fort Worth's Circle Theatre has been announced, the first season since co-founder Rose Pearson's death in 2015, and the first season selected by Bill Newberry and Tim Long. As is typical with Circle, it's a season of regional premieres by playwrights who mostly are not national names, but are big or emerging on the regional circuit.

The line-up includes another work by Circle favorite Tom Dudzick, directed by Harry Parker, who has directed all of Duzick's plays at Circle. It also has a return of David Lindsay-Abaire, probably the biggest name here. And it begins with Aaron Posner's adaptation of three stories by Kurt Vonnegut. Circle did Posner's adaptation of I Am Asher Lev a few seasons ago, and interestingly, it will overlap with Stage West's production of Posner's Stupid Fucking Bird, a riff on Chekhov's The Seagull.

My only complaint is the lack of female playwrights, but the season has three women directors: Krista Scott, Robin Armstrong and Jennifer Engler.

"In her work, Rose often used the theatrical mantra 'The show must go on' and we intend to honor her memory by continuing Circle’s mission of producing innovative theatre in an intimate setting," the press release states.

It continues: "Her husband, Bill Newberry, Co-Founder of Circle, takes over as Executive Director. The two of them oversaw Circle into the regional theatre it is today. Tim Long, who began at Circle Theatre in 1999, is the new General Manager/Producer. Kyle Montgomery, who started as intern in 2011, will take over Tim’s role as Associate Producer."

The season lineup is:


Who Am I This Time? (And Other Conundrums of Love)

by Aaron Posner, adapted from stories by Kurt Vonnegut

The subject of this play—as we are told at the outset—is love, pure and complicated. Set on the stage of The North Crawford Mask & Wig Club ("the finest community theatre in central Connecticut!"), three early comic masterpieces by Kurt Vonnegut (Long Walk to Forever, Who am I This Time? and Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son) are sewn together into a seamless evening of hilarity and humanity. With a single set, wonderful roles for seven versatile actors, and Vonnegut's singular wit and insight into human foibles, this is a smart, delightful comedy for the whole family.

Directed by Steven Pounders

February 16 - March 11

Previews: February 16, 17, 18 (matinee)

Opening Night: February 18

Regional Premiere

Adult language & subject matter


Rasheeda Speaking

by Joel Drake Johnson

Rasheeda Speaking, Joel Drake Johnson’s psychological thriller, pits two co-workers against another, when one receives a promotion to monitor the other. Office politics, fueled by racial contention, creates a battle to control the workplace. This chilling, dark comedy blends the realities of racism, superiority, and friendship, and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

Directed by Krista Scott

April 27 – May 20

Previews: April 27, 28, 29 (matinee)

Opening Night: April 29

Regional Premiere

Adult language & subject matter

Photo: Courtesy
Aaron Posner


King O’ the Moon

by Tom Dudzick   

The Pazinski family returns to Circle’s stage in King O’ the Moon by Tom Dudzick, the second play in a trilogy inspired by the author’s childhood of growing up Catholic above his father’s bar in Buffalo, New York. Circle produced Dudzick’s Over the Tavern in 2005 and The Last Mass at St. Casimir’s in 2007.  Ten years after Over the Tavern, this sequel takes place during the rebellious ‘60’s as Apollo 11 is on its voyage to the moon. The Pazinski’s come together as their lives seem to fall apart. Prior knowledge of this working-class family is not a prerequisite to appreciate the hilarious and heartfelt end to the three part series at Circle.

Directed by Harry Parker

June 15 – July 15

Previews: June 15, 16, 17 (matinee)

Opening Night: June 17

Regional Premiere

Adult language & subject matter



by David Lindsay-Abaire   

Let it be war. David Lindsay-Abaire’s new high-stakes comedy, Ripcord, follows a seemingly harmless bet made between two residents of the Bristol Place Assisted Living Facility. Cheerful Marilyn wants the bed next to the window, but crabby Abby wants her to move out. In a risky game of one-upmanship, this hilarious regional premiere will have you laughing, crying, and scared for everyone involved. Who will pull the cord first?

Directed by Robin Armstrong 

August 17 – September 16

Previews: August 17, 18, 19 (matinee)

Opening Night: August 19

Regional Premiere

Adult language & subject matter

Application Pending

by Greg Edwards and Andy Sandberg    

Christine Evans is a kindergarten assistant at Edgely Prep, an elite Manhattan private school with an acceptance rate that puts Harvard’s to shame. On the day applications are due, Edgely’s head of admissions is ousted in a scandal, and Christine is unexpectedly thrust into the job. With phones ringing off the hook, she must balance beleaguered applicants, venal administrators, and an army of parents who will stop at nothing to get their kids in. Written by Greg Edwards & Andy Sandberg, Application Pending explores the cutthroat world of kindergarten admissions and what it ultimately means to be a good parent.

Directed by Jennifer Engler 

October 19 – November 18

Previews: October 19, 20, 21 (matinee)

Opening Night: October 21

Regional Premiere

Adult language & subject matter Thanks For Reading

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2017 for Circle Theatre
Circle Theatre's 36th season has five regional premieres, including works by Aaron Posner, David Lindsay-Abaire and Joel Drake Johnson.
by Mark Lowry

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