Chicago's Favorites: Circle Theatre in Forest Park

February 16, 2010 5:42:28 AM PST
Circle Theatre is an artist-based company whose mission is to produce exciting and innovative theatre accessible to our widely diversified suburban and city audience. Through variety-filled seasons including drama, comedy, musicals, and new works, Circle Theatre challenges, entertains, and educates audiences and artists of all ages.


History In 1985, performers Karen Skinner, Wayne Buidens and Joseph Bass founded Circle Theatre with the mission of making exciting, non-mainstream theatre available to the western Chicago suburbs. They chose the name "Circle Theatre" to represent both Circle Avenue (Forest Park's main thoroughfare) and the concept of infinity. Their work began in public buildings, and then moved to a church. In 1988, a fire the destroyed the church and forced Circle to find its own space. Ever since, Circle's home has been at 7300 West Madison in Forest Park, just a block east of Circle Avenue. In 1998, Karen Skinner -the company's Artistic Director and only remaining founder- chose to leave both Circle and the theatre scene. Karen's daughter Alena Murguia and fellow company members Greg Kolack and Tony Vezner stepped into Karen's position, leading the theater as co-Artistic Directors. Since then, Tony's position was passed Todd Cornils, then Todd's to Kevin Bellie. Alena's retirement in 2002 reduced the co-Artistic staff to two Directors - Greg Kolack and Kevin Bellie. Starting with the 2005-2006 season, Circle made another management change, with Greg's retirement. Circle once again has three directors: an Artistic Director, Kevin Bellie, a Managing Director, Rula Sirhan-Gardenier, and a Producing Director, Bob Knuth. Circle Theatre's artistic company is a formidable group of actors, directors, writers, musicians and designers ranging in age from 14 to 70. By day, its members are lawyers, teachers, fund-raisers, administrators, graphic artists, sales managers, business professionals and students. Artists invited into Circle's company are chosen for both their skills and their dedication to Circle's success. Every member takes an area of responsibility in pursuing Circle's mission, resulting in an all-volunteer, artist-based theatre.

CIRCLE THEATRE'S EMERGING YOUNG ARTISTS is committed to giviis committed to giving young people opportunities in the theatre that are innovative, exciting, and ground breaking. CTEYA strives to present quality theatre by and for young people, educate young people through hands-on technical and theatrical experience, and teach professionalism.

The Analytical Engine
Now - March 28
written by Jon Steinhagen
directed by Bob Knuth

In 1850 Connecticut, Hippolyta Powell has actually built the world's first computer, an analytical engine. Rather than use the machine to solve complex mathematical equations, she has used it to find her "perfect match," much to the consternation of her family, the chosen suitor, Lord Byron's daughter, and the man who truly loves her. Multiple Jeff Award winner Jon Steinhagen penned this period-perfect World Premiere with a wink to and eHarmony.

Bob Knuth, Circle Theatre's Producing Director, has directed/scenic designed Enchanted April, Jane Eyre, She Loves Me, The Secret Garden (nominated for ten Jeff Citations) and Meet Me In St. Louis, among others too numerous to list. His design credits include About Face, Red Hen Productions, Emerald City, Noble Fool Theatricals and the Chicago Children's Theatre. He has been nominated for eleven Joseph Jefferson Awards (winning for scenic design twice) and is currently the art director for Second City.

Featuring Denita Linnertz, Patricia Austin , Eric Lindahl , Jon Steinhagen, Catherine Ferraro , and Mary Redmon

Fridays & Saturdays @ 8:00 pm
Sundays @ 3:00 pm
All Tickets $20
Group Rates for 10 or More Available.
Call 708-771-0700