USD Theatre Presents Circle Mirror Transformation

circle mirror transformation publicity photo Pictured left to right - USD students Alexondrea ThongVanh, Isaac Otterman, Gloria Kelly, Tess Jones, and Thomas Sepulveda.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota’s Department of Theatre presents the play “Circle Mirror Transformation.” Written in 2009 by Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Baker, this play received the prestigious OBIE Award in its original production.

“Circle Mirror Transformation” offers a glimpse into how four strangers explore themselves by taking part in a seemingly innocent six-week acting class filled with games, struggles and creativity.

Megan Weidner is excited to direct this play for her second year project as part of her MFA in Theatre Directing program. “I picked this play because playwright Annie Baker creates really beautiful, realistic people; her characters are people you want to get to know, people that you’re curious about. They are very accessible and the way that the characters are vulnerable and open onstage is beautiful, and it’s great insight into how humans work and how we change throughout our lives.”

The cast comprises five USD Theatre students: Alexondrea ThongVanh, a junior BFA Acting major, plays Marty, the empathetic leader of acting class; Isaac Otterman, a junior BFA Musical Theatre major, plays her romantic husband James; Gloria Kelly, a junior BFA Musical Theatre major, plays former New York actress Theresa; Thomas Sepulveda, a freshman Acting major, plays Schultz, the recently divorced carpenter/artist; and Tess Jones, a senior Acting major, plays Lauren, a high school student with dreams of becoming a real actress.

Weidner praised the work of her team: “I’m lucky because they have all done their research and they bring a lot to rehearsals with them. It’s a great collaboration between us where we can fill in the gaps for each other. And the production team is great: the show is going to be beautiful because of them. The actors are great, but if we don’t have the lights and costumes and sets for them to play with and play on, it just isn’t the same.”

“Circle Mirror Transformation” performs March 15 – 17 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on March 18 at 2:00 p.m. in the Arena Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets ($15 Adults, $12 Senior Citizen [62+], $10 K-12 & non-USD students with ID, and $5 USD students with ID) can be purchased in the afternoons (12 – 5 p.m.) starting March 12 at the USD Theatre Box Office or by calling (605) 677-5400; tickets can also be purchased now online.


USD's College of Fine Arts encourages students to pursue their chosen professional field in art, music or theater through their study with nationally recognized faculty who are working professionals. Students learn and grow to be professional fine artists with great job potential anywhere in the country. The college offers opportunities for additional real-world experiences through work with guest artists, study tours abroad and opportunities at the National Music Museum and the University Art Galleries on the Vermillion campus and the Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park. The college brings more than 80 guests artists to campus annually to work with students.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News