The digital theatre library for the 21st century

Circle
by Suzanne Bachner

Production photo

Thaddeus Daniels and Bob Celli in a scene from Circle | Patrick Hillan

Author: Suzanne Bachner

Description: 10 diverse characters—gay, straight and bi—are linked through a daisy chain of sexual contact, hooking up in Starbucks, an S&M dungeon, a bedroom, a kitchen and cyberspace, as they strive for a deeper connection with one another.

Year Written/Copyrighted: 2002
Date Added: 12/8/2011
Content Advisory: Strong language, adult, sexual situations
Keywords: Comedy · Gay and Lesbian · Literature and Writing · Many Locations · Philosophy · Pop Culture · Sex
1 Act, 90 Minutes
2 Females, 3 Males

NOTE: Circle is fully protected by copyright law and is subject to royalty. All inquiries concerning production, publication, reprinting or use of this play in any form should be addressed to suzannebachner@mac.com.

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From the Author:

I wanted to do a real “2K” update of Arthur Schnitzler’s Reigen (La Ronde). Most of the productions that existed at the time were very strict adaptations, for the most part mimicking Schnitzler’s masterpiece beat for beat, preoccupied with class as the play’s driving progression like the original, told from a straight white male POV and in one particularly successful case, featuring the reveal of Nicole Kidman’s bare ass. So I felt that there was room to create more of a riff on the piece, to reflect the full spectrum of human sexuality and 21st century sexual practices and instead of replicating the class issues, to infuse the sexually linked daisy chain story with what I tend to explore in my theatrical work—intimacy, power and human connection.

One of my favorite things about the production we did was that, while it contained absolutely no nudity, audience members who saw the show walked away swearing that the actors were naked. I have always maintained that while the play is built around sex, that’s not what it’s about. Late in our run, a couple came to the show on the verge of divorce. Apparently, the last two scenes inspired them to start talking to each other again, and saved their marriage. Not bad.

We assembled a truly extraordinary group of people to put on this show, which was lucky, since we ended up working on it together for almost two years. It was a true theatre family, which miraculously was able to keep the drama on-stage. During the time we were working on the show, there were huge life changes that occurred in the company personally—marriages, divorces, new relationships, new babies. I can’t think of a more harmonious and supportive artistic team that I’ve been a part of before or since.

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Original Production Information

Circle opened its five month off-Broadway run at The Kraine Theater on February 15, 2002, Horse Trade Theater Group presenting The John Montgomery Theatre Company production with the following cast and creative team:

BEN/JASON/PHIL: Bob Celli
DEREK/CHAD/CYBERBOY: Thaddeus Daniels
KAREN/EVELYN/BONNIE: Felicia Scarangello
LOIS/RITA/CYBERGIRL: Judy Charles
THE UNDRESSER: Danny Wiseman

Understudy – Men: Anthony Giangrade
Understudy – Women: Rachel Shapiro
Standby Undresser: Francis P. O'Flynn

Director/Set Design: Trish Minskoff
Lighting Design: John Tees, III
Technical Director/SM/Sound Design: Alexander R. Warner
Costume Design: Deborah Alves
Projection Design: Danny Wiseman
Assistant Stage Manager: Dennis Davies
Assistant Tech: Jeff Goldschmidt
Production Assistant: Jonatha Bates
Photography: Blanche Mackey
Art Direction: Robert Nuell & Carol Hahn
Marketing: Barbara Okishoff & Harold Marmon, ArtVoice
Press Representative: Shirley Herz & Nancy Khuu, Shirley Herz Associates
Associate Producers: Laura Delano & Bob Celli, Delano Celli Productions
Co-Producers: Kimo DeSean, Artistic Director and Erez Ziv, Managing Director, Horse Trade Theatre Group

Excerpt from Circle

BEN

How long have you and your boyfriend been together?


DEREK

Six years.


BEN

(Indicates HIMSELF)

Five. Do you love him?


DEREK

Yes, of course I do. That’s why we have an open relationship. One built on honesty and true commitment.


BEN

You don’t see the irony there?


DEREK

We tell each other everything.


BEN

Oh, I couldn’t do that. No.


DEREK

Why does that not surprise me.


BEN

So, you love him, but are you still “in love” with him?


DEREK

Yeah.

Pause. THEY lean in close.

BEN

So here we are, two married men.


DEREK

Yeah. It’s kind of hot, isn’t it?