Currier's direction wisely lets the actors sit with a lot of silences, showing their patience, uncertainty, disapproval, or hurt. On a few expository occasions the pace could be more taut (Butler takes a long time, for example, to distribute pens and paper for an exercise), but generally, we learn as much in the characters' silences, in gazes met or averted, as when they speak.

And as for what these characters themselves learn, perhaps it actually is something about "how to act" — just not in the way Lauren meant it: Maybe the kind of acting they're learning with Marty is ultimately less about how to make believe, and more about how to do.

Circle Mirror Transformation | by Annie Baker | Directed by David Currier | Produced by Mad Horse Theatre Company, at Lucid Stage | through May 20 | 207.899.3993

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