Circle Mirror Transformation is carefully populated. A smart balance to the four other characters, who have accumulated various regrets over their lives, is 16-year-old Lauren (Amanda Ruggiero), who is too young to recognize whether she has fumbled opportunities. The playwright doesn't make her bright and boppy, a shiny contrast to attract our attention. No, most of the time Lauren skulks about petulantly, to all appearances a typical adolescent wanting to be entertained. Yet she stays in the class week after week, even after being told that they won't be reading scenes, as she'd expected to do. Hmmm.
Ruggiero is wonderful in maintaining that ongoing quality and yet giving us a sense that there's much more to her. Rather than being the weakest of the five links here, as we might conclude at first, she is the strongest. In the beautiful concluding scene, she fantasizes what each of this troupe will be doing in 10 years. Despite their confusions, what she imagines for them is clear and convincing. Like an honestly wrought play.
, Karen Carpenter, Theater, Theatre, More