Circle Theatre opens its first show since leaving Oak Park
‘When the Rain Stops Falling’
Jan. 19-Feb. 24
Circle Theatre at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Ave., Chicago
(773) 404-7336; www.greenhousetheater.org
Updated: January 17, 2013 12:08PM
Circle Theatre, founded in 1985 with the mission of making exciting theater available to the western suburbs, is writing a new chapter in its history, said artistic director Jon Landvick.
The company, which long called Forest Park and Oak Park its home, relocated its professional acting company to Chicago this month. The company’s active youth program, The Circle Theatre Emerging Young Artists, will remain in Oak Park.
“This definitely wasn’t a decision we made lightly. There were long discussions about it. Some company members were for, some against, but in the end we all decided it was time for us to move,” Landvick said. “We are excited to bring new talent and reach a broader audience.”
At the outset, Circle Theatre will remain an itinerant company until it settles on a permanent home.
For its first production of the 2013 season, Circle will remount “When the Rain Stops Falling” by Andrew Bovell, with the original cast and director (John Gawlik). The show, which skips between continents and spans an 80-year period from 1959 to 2039, was first staged last May at the Oak Park Performing Arts Center
The show’s regular run is Jan. 19-Feb. 24 at Greenhouse Theatre Center in Chicago.
“It was definitely the most successful show of Circle’s last season,” said Landvick. “We had wonderful reviews, and audiences loved it.”
The play’s broad themes cover failed marriages, missing children, suicide and a fatal accident in a story that tracks two families over four generations. Landvick calls it a “haunting piece” — all about characters trying to break cycles in which acts from the past prove devastating to the next generation.
Landvick has not ruled out the possibility of bringing an occasional show to the western suburbs. “We have been very grateful to the Oak Park area and its residents and are close enough that our Oak Park family can come visit us and enjoy an evening in the city.”
Circle Theatre will continue its season with “Death Takes a Holiday,” a romantic musical, in April at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Gawlik will return to direct “Lovesong” in July, and Matthew Gunnels will direct “Evil Dead: The Musical” in October, both at spaces yet to be determined.
Since it began, Circle has presented numerous world, regional and Chicago premieres including works by Rebecca Gilman, Charles Mee, Jon Steinhagen and Harry Connick Jr. It also has gained a reputation for staging chamber-style productions of large Broadway musicals with such works as “The Secret Garden,” “Urinetown” and “The Life.”
In addition, the company has put its stamp on such classic works as “The Philadelphia Story,” “Design for Living” and “Hayfever.”