The award-winning play Circle Mirror Transformation will be presented for eight performances in an intimate small-stage setting at the Bothwell Arts Center, opening on Friday, Nov. 15.

Circle Mirror Transformation, the second play to be fully-produced by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (LVPAC), continues the organization’s commitment to live theater following last year’s acclaimed staging of Red. Misty Megia returns to direct the play.

The 2010 Obie Award winner for Best New American Play, Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker has been called “a quiet masterpiece,” a charming and beautifully-crafted work that explores what it means to be human and the transformative effect our actions have on one another.

Named after a common acting class exercise, the play takes place within a six-week acting class at a community theater in the fictional town of Shirley, Vermont. Taught by Marty, a free-spirited and supportive leader, the class is made up of Schultz, a recently divorced, emotionally vulnerable carpenter, Teresa, an earnest and vibrant former actress, James, Marty's quiet and genial husband, and Lauren, a reserved and self-conscious high-school student. As the group moves through a series of acting exercises ranging from the heartbreaking to the ridiculous, their emotional wounds are revealed and nursed, and healing slowly begins.

Circle Mirror Transformation, the second play to be fully-produced by Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center (LVPAC), continues the organization’s commitment to live theater following last year’s acclaimed staging of Red.

Director Misty Megia said, in an intimate setting “you become a fly on the wall watching these lives unfold in front of you. The stolen glances, the touch of a hand, the pain someone is trying to hide, these are much more exposed, more raw and tangible when an audience is within breathing distance.”

In keeping with the acting-class setting, there are moments in the show that are completely unscripted and improvised, meaning every performance will be unique. But in this staging, depending on where you are seated and how you see the stage, “each person in the audience will also see each character’s journey from a different vantage point, creating a distinct and powerful experience every time,” Megia added.

The multi-generational cast brings together acting talent from around the Bay Area. Along with Ray Renati as James, John Girot as Shultz, and Rhonda Taylor as Marty, the five-member cast includes Rebecca Davis as Theresa, and Emma Nelson as Lauren.

Both Circle Mirror Transformation and last season’s Red were underwritten in part by LVPAC’s Producers Circle fund. The Producers Circle was established to support specific projects or guest artists that expand and stretch the organization’s artistic efforts. For information on contributing to the Producers Circle Fund contact Chris Carter at development@lvpac.org.

To learn more, visit lvpac.org or call 925-373-6800.