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The Circle
a world premiere play
written and directed by SHEM BITTERMAN
presented by Circus Theatricals

Opens November 6, 2004

The Stella Adler Theatre
in the historic Hollywood Theatre district
6773 Hollywood Blvd., 2nd floor

God provided the choice. Who provided the weapon?

In The Circle, a High School boy opens fire on a prayer group, killing two girls. In the aftermath, a grieving father desperately seeks to understand why the boy did it, and who’s really to blame. As he searches for the answers, he finds himself in a struggle for his own survival.

An important new play from the author of The Job (Circus Theatricals 1998), which won the Los Angeles Drama Critic's Circle Ted Schmitt Award for "World Premiere of an Outstanding New Play."

Opening Date:
Saturday, November 6th, 8PM

Performance Dates:
Through Saturday, December 18th
Thursdays thru Saturdays 8PM
Previews Thursday November 4th, Friday November 5th, 8PM
no performances Thanksgiving weekend:
November 25, 26, & 27

Theatre Address:
Stella Adler Theatre: 6773 Hollywood Blvd., 2nd floor
(NE Corner of Hollywood and Highland)

Discounted parking behind theatre, off Highland Ave.

866-811-4111 (toll-free)
buy tickets online
Visa, Mastercard and American Express welcome

Ticket Price:
Regular Run: $20
Previews: $15.00
Discounts for groups of 10 or more

Appropriate for audiences 16 and up, due to some strong language & violence
Wheelchair accessible.

Jack Stehlin and Dylan Kussman
in The Circle

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Joe Bays (Principal)
LA theatrical credits include Elegies for Angels, Punks & Raging Queens at the Attic.  New York credits include Dispatches From Hell, Streamers and W.C. Fields - 100 Proof.  He was also in As You Like It at the Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Death of a Salesman and O. Henry’s Christmas at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre.  Film and TV credits include “That Championship Season”, “Mike Hammer”, “3rd Rock From the Sun”, “Even Stevens” “Office Space”, “Space Jam”, “Office Space”, “Indecent Proposal”, and the upcoming film “Shopgirl” with Steve Martin.  Joe is very excited to be performing in his first Circus Theatricals production.


Yael Berkovich (Opposing Lawyer)
With Circus Theatricals: Abigail in The Crucible ("Great Scenes from Classic American Plays"). Yael Berkovich recently played Feste, Valentine, and the Captain in Twelfth Night and played Felicity Cunningham in The Real Inspector Hound at Theatre 40. She’s also played Helena and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a Hen in Animal Farm, and was the co-producer of the Botanicum Seedlings play reading series at the Theatricum Botanicum. Yael graduated rom Washington University in St. Louis, studied Meisner Technique for two years at Playhouse West, and studied Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre in London.



Trena Custer (Prayer Girl's Mother)
Circus Theatricals credits include: Macbeth, Antigone, As You Like It, Deconstructing the Torah. A graduate of CalArts , Trena has performed in numerous theatrical productions including Brave New World, directed by Oscar winning producer Bob Benedetti. Other credits include The Powder Room Suite with Sally Kirkland. Trena keeps busy doing independent features like "Bachelor Man," "The Last Moments," and "Untitled Love Story." You can also see her on that wacky soap opera, "Passions," on NBC. As always, she thanks her family and friends for their endless support. Member: Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble


Francesca Ferrara (Child Psychologist)
For Circus Theatricals: Ann in All My Sons ("Great Scenes from Classic American Plays"). Other theatre: Edward II (Knightsbridge), Strange Encounters (Tamarind), Taming of the Shrew (Olney Theatre), Romeo & Juliet, 1984 (National Players), Macbeth (Brooklyn Stage), Young Strangers (HB Playwrights).  Francesca recently completed Sven Stromson Blue, a short film loosely based on the life of Yves Klein. 


Kelly Franett (Crisis Councelor)
With Circus Theatricals: Horace in Little Foxes ("Great Scenes from Classic American Plays"). In Los Angeles, Kelly has been seen in a wide range of productions from classical to musical theatre at The Noise Within, Theatre West, Action-Reaction, Theatre 40 and The Actors Gang to name a few. Some favorite roles include: Higgins in My Fair Lady, the King in All’s Well and Gene in I Never Sang for My Father. He currently stars in the independent film "Broken Anchors." Kelly is a member The Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble.


Colette Freedman (Neighbor Woman)
Circus Theatricals credits include playwright/actress in Deconstructing the Torah and First to the Egg. Los Angeles: Hermia Midsummer, Juliet Romeo and Juliet. Off Broadway: Vera in Mark Troy’s Aggravation, Becca Bridesmaid #3, Egg First to the Egg. Colette’s plays have been finalists in several festivals including the prestigious Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. Film work includes the documentary "Making Shakespeare Accessible" with narration by Alfred Molina and "Finding Fred Mertz", (Best Screenplay of the Year, Member of Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble.


Kent George (Neighbor Man)
Circus Theatricals: Antigone, Tartuffe (Circus Theatricals/Odyssey Theatre), Loose Ends, As You Like It. Other Theatre: The Big Funk (Odyssey), Freedom Rider(PALEF Foundation world premiere musical), The Miracle Worker, Mame and Little Shop of Horrors (SRT), The Marriage Proposal and Baby with the Bathwater (Exit Theater, SF), Macbeth (Diego Rivera Theater, SF), Cyrano de Bergerac,Barbarians, Beggar’s Opera, Candida, Mikado and Hot l Baltimore (ACT and ACT Studio). Feature films include: "Gods and Monsters," "The Relic," "Art House" and "In Love with You." Television: "Murder in Small Town X" (series regular), "Alias," Passions." Kent is a graduate of American Conservatory Theater and Princeton University. Member of Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble.


Daniel Gibbons (Jock)
Circus Theatricals credits include: Malcolm in Macbeth, Valere in Tartuffe, Ratcliff in Richard III, Guildenstern in Hamlet, Orlando de Boys in As You Like It, Tuzenbach in The Three Sisters and Medvedyenko in The Seagull. Other stage roles include The Greeks Parts I and II (Odyssey Theatre), Hatful of Rain, Macbeth, Lil’ Abner. Independent films: “Dave’s Life,” (Chicago Film Festival), and “Last Cigarette.” Graduate of Bowling Green State University. Circus Theatricals Associate Artist.

Jerry Goble (Gun Dealer)
Circus Theatricals credits include: Macbeth, As You Like It, Tartuffe, Antigone, Loose Ends, Three Sisters, and Hamlet. Other theatre credits include: Burn This, The Marriage of Bette & Boo, New York Stories, The Shadowbox, Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Waiting For Lefty which he also produced and directed. Film credits include "Deep Blue Sea," "Diablo," "The Neighborhood". Television credits include appearances on "The Nick Cannon Show," and "The Amanda Bynes Show" for Nickelodeon. Member of Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble.
Ian Goldberg (Rave Kid)
"The Circle" is Ian Goldberg's first performance with Circus Theatricals. Previous roles include Jerry in "The Zoo Story" (Boston Directors Lab) Claudio in "Much Ado about Nothing" (Shakespeare on the Common) and Kent in "King Lear" (Third Wheel Theatre, Off Broadway.) He has studied acting at the American Repertory Theatre and with Ron Sossi and Jack Stehlin in Los Angeles. He has also directed three short films: "Dead Ringer," "Betrayal," and "Beyond the Sea." Ian received his BA in Film from Emerson College in Boston. Member of Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble.


Jim Grollman (Minister)
NYC credits include; Criminal Genius, Horton Foote One Acts and Winter's Tale. Regionally: Magnificent Yankee, Escape from Happiness, Maggie's Riff, The Dumb Waiter. TV credits include: "Malcolm in the Middle," "NYPD Blue," "Law and Order," "Homicide" (dir. by Barry Levinson), "Becker," "Hallmark Hall of Fame" (with James Earl Jones). Jim received his M.F.A. in Acting from The Catholic University of America.


Donna Guinan (Teacher)
With Circus Theatricals: Amanda in The Glass Menagerie ("Great Scenes from Classic American Plays"). Other theatre: Quilters, Love’s Labor’s Lost, As You Like It, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew, Third and Oak, A Couple of White Chicks Sitting Around Talking. Film: "Bulletproof," "David Proshker," "Between You and Me," "Notoriety."


James Karr (Man’s Father)
Circus Theatricals credits include: As You Like It. Broadway: The Ponder Heart, The Loud Red Patrick, others. LA: Three Sisters, Engaged, Cyrano de Bergerac, Major Barbara, As you Like It, Ah! Wilderness, Much Ado About Nothing, Heartbreak House, Another Part of the Forest, The Wild Duck (A Noise Within), Richard III, The Miracle Worker, Uncle Vanya, The Changeling (all w/Knightsbridge Theatre), As You Like It (Actors Co-op), The Three Sisters (Interact), Moonchildren Holy Ghosts (both w/University Wits Rep.). Education/Training: Beloit College, Yale School of Drama. Circus Theatricals Associate Artist.


Thomas Kopache (Man’s Boss)
Circus Theatricals: Macbeth, Deconstructing the Torah, Antigone, As You Like It. Many Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway and regional theatres. Film/TV: “Boston Legal,” “CSI New York,” "Catch Me if You Can," "Leaving Las Vegas," "Breakdown," "Stigmata," "West Wing," "The Practice," "Star Trek," "JAG," "X-Files," and others. Circus Theatricals Associate Artist.


Elizabeth Kouri (Dancer Daughter)
Circus Theatricals credits include Macbeth, Antigone in Antigone, Tartuffe (Circus Theatricals/Odyssey), As You Like It (Circus Theatricals), The 42nd Street Theatre Workshop, The Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago and The L.A. Women’s Shakespeare Company. B.S. in Theatre, Northwestern University; Graduate of The Teacher’s Development Program at The Actor’s Center in New York City. Member of Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble.
Dylan Kussman (The Boy)
Circus Theatricals: Macbeth, Tartuffe (LA Weekly Award, Best Comedy Ensemble). Other Theatre: Richard II, The Skin of Our Teeth (both w/Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Romeo and Juliet (San Francisco Shakespeare Festival), Missing Persons (Berkely Rep), The Birthday Party & Henry V, (both w/Shotgun Players), Andromache, Crimes in Hot Countries (both w/CentralWorks). TV: "Monk," "The X-Files," "My Sister's Keeper." Film: "X-Men-2," "The Way of the Gun," "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken," "Dead Poets Society." Crazy love to his wife, Amy.


Susane E. Lee (Lilith)
With Circus Theatricals: The Circle. Other Theatre: Under Milkwood and Never Swim Alone (both Williamstown Theatre Festival), The Laramie Project, The Bacchae, Sage, Miranda (Los Angeles City College Theatre) Film/TV: "A Couple of Days and NIghts (dir. Vaughn Verdi). Education: BS in phsychology and minor in Theatre, Duke Univerity. Training: Williamstown Theatre Festival apprentice scholarship (2003), Los Angeles City College Theater Academy, Jack Stehlin/Circus Theatricals. Member of Circus Theatricals Studio for Actors.

Robert Lesko (Man’s Lawyer)
Regional theatre includes Undiscovered Country, Galileo, After The Fall, Richard III, The Miser, The Tenth Man, and Flesheaters (Premiere). Other productions include Macbeth, The Seagull, A Man For All Seasons, Stephan D., and Antony and Cleopatra. TV and film credits include “The Passion According to John,” “One Problem Leads To Another,” and HBO’s “Countdown To Looking Glass.” Robert received his MFA from The Catholic University and is a member of Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble and The Actors’ Workout.


Eric Pierpoint (Boy’s Father)
Circus Theatricals: King Edward IV in Richard III. Other stage: Panache (Players Theatre, NYC), A Man for All Seasons, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Hasty Heart, A Streetcar Named Desire. Film: "World's Fastest Indian" (with Anthony Hopkins), "Liar, Liar," "Forever Young," "Where Truth Lies," "Maggie," "Holes," "Eulogy." TV: "Alien Nation" (series regular), "Mister Sterling" (recurring), "Fame," "Hot Pursuit," "Hill Street Blues," "WIOU," "Silk Stalkings." Plus many episodes and MOWS.


Denise Renee (Man’s Lover)
With Circus Theatricals: Masha in "Three Sisters" and Elizabeth Proctor in "The Crucible" (Great Scenes from Chekhov and Modern American Plays).  Operatic stage roles: Dorabella "Cosi Fan Tutte," Iolanthe "Iolanthe," Prince Orlofsky "Die Fledermaus," Papagena "The Magic Flute."  Musical Theater Credits: "A Chorus Line," "Anything Goes," "Funny Girl," "Guys and Dolls," "Bells are Ringing." Member of Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble


Elise Robertson (Boy’s Mother)
For Circus Theatricals: Antigone, Deconstructing the Torah, Loose Ends, The Three Sisters,The Seagull. As Director: What Went Wrong wth the King and Queen of America. Other Theatre: Ourselves Alone, Oleanna, Betrayal, Amadeus. TV: "Six Feet Under," "Grey's Anatomy," "Gilmore Girls," "2 1/2 Men," "10-8," "Miss Match," "Passions."  Film: "Good Humor Man," "Eros." Elise is also an Emmy and Cine Golden Eagle award winning television director.  Credits include:  Ralph Ellison's "King of the Bingo Game", F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Sensible Thing," director of dramatic scenes for "Ralph Ellison: An American Journey." Member: Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble.


Jade Sealey (Neighbor’s Daughter)
Circus Theatricals credits include: Deconstructing the Torah. Recently relocated from New York, Jade Sealey’s latest stage credits include the roles of Cavale in Sam Sheperd’s Cowboy Mouth, Indra’s daughter in Strindberg’s A Dream Play, Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew, The Princess of France in Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Constanze in Amadeus. Member: Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble.


Michael Steger (Wrestler)
With Circus Theatricals Studio for Actors: Jack in The Rose Tattoo ("Great Scenes from Modern American Plays") Other theatre: Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew (Cal State Longbeach Summerfest), Iago in Othello, Tartuffe in Moliere’s Tartuffe., Sweeney Todd, Myth of Pomona, Reverse Transcriptions and The Crucible. T.V. credits include Guest starring roles in "Chad’s World," "Royal Standard," and "V.R. Troopers." Michael recently received his B.A. in Theatre/Spanish from Cal Poly Pomona University. Hobbies include Martial Arts and Photography.


Alli Steinberg (Party Girl)
Circus Theatricals credits include Macbeth (Circus Theatricals/Odyssey). Off Broadway credits include: Nurse Susie in the Pulitzer Prize Winning play Wit and Karen in the critically acclaimed revival of Boys’ Life. Regional: Last Night of Ballyhoo (Helen Hayes), Wit (original company, Long Wharf Theatre), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare on the Sound), Gotham! (Goodspeed Opera House), The Sisters Rosensweig (Forum Theatre). Film/TV: "Fairytale of New York," "As The World Turns," "New York Undercover." Alli received her BFA in Theatre from The University of Michigan and trained in London at BADA. Member of Circus Theatricals Studio Ensemble


Jack Stehlin (Man/Circus Theatricals Artistic Director)
Notable Circus Theatricals productions include Macbeth, Hamlet, Richard III, Tartuffe, True West, The Cheats of Scapin, The Job. Other Los Angeles Theatre: Speed-the-Plow (Los Angeles premiere), and Habitation of Dragons. Notable NYC credits include Richard II (dir. Steven Berkoff), Henry V (w/Kevin Kline), Casanova (w/ Ethan Hawke, dir. by Michael Greif), Henry IV, I (w/Mandy Patinkin, dir by Des McAnuff), Julius Caesar (w/ Al Pacino and Martin Sheen),Timon of Athens (dir. by Brian Kulick), Richard Foreman’s Don Juan, and Romeo and Juliet (dir. by Les Waters). TV and film credits include guest star roles on "JAG," (recurring), "Buffy" (recurring ), "Judging Amy," "The Practice," "Crossing Jordan," "NYPD Blue," "ER."

Jack founded Circus Theatricals in New York in 1983, and has produced over 40 plays in NYC and Los Angeles. An award-winning actor, Jack has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, and stages around the world. Jack is an alumnus of John Houseman's The Acting Company and a graduate of the Juilliard School.

read more about Jack Stehlin


Patrick Vest (School Guard)
Circus Theatricals credits include: Macbeth and All My Sons ("Great Scenes from Classic American Plays").Patrick has performed in over 100 theatrical productions. Among his favorite roles are Macbeth, Mercutio, Prince Hal, and Petruchio. He also wrote and performed a one man show about Henry David Thoreau.


Susan Ziegler (Dancer’s Mother)
For Circus Theatricals: Lady Macduff in Macbeth, Rosalind in As You Like It, and What Went Wrong with the King and Queen of America. Off-Broadway includes: Oona and Lurleen (The Public Theatre), Angel City, Suicide in B Flat, Hamlet, The Duchess of Malfi and the title character in Co-Dependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (The Public Theate: W.O.W. Cafe.). LA theatre includes: the critically acclaimed Cheyenne (The Lillian), The American Way, Under My Thumb (as Marianne Faithfull), and Boiler Room (Actors Art Theatre). TV includes: “The West Wing,” “Silk Stalkings,” “Arrest & Trial,” and “Days of Our Lives.” Recent film: “Lying in Wait (w/Rutger Hauer), and “Big Brother Trouble.” A graduate of NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing; member of Circus Theatricas Studio Ensemble, The Sevedor Conderaccy, Actors ARt Theatre and FirstStage.

Production Team


John Fejas (Light Design)
Recent credits include The Devil Went Down, Sit and Shiver, First Love, Because I Said So, and The Secret Love Life of Ophelia at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble; I am Jill McVane at the Stella Adler; Tribute and Veronica's Closet at the Long Beach Playhouse.  John has been designing all over L.A. and Orange County since 1985.



Robert Cicchini (Associate Artist)
Circus Theatricals credits include: Tartuffe, Twelfth Night, Hedda Gabler, The Job (Garland Award), director: Antigone, First to the Egg, The Maids, The Lower Depths, The Sausage Eaters. TV/Film:"American Dreams," "The Gilmore Girls,' "The Sopranos," "Six Feet Under," "The Practice," "NYPD Blue," "Godfather III," "Primary Colors," "Deep End of the Ocean," "Path to War," et al. Circus Theatricals Associate Artist.
more about Robert Cicchini

Shem Bitterman (Playwright)
For Circus Theatricals: playwright and director of The Job which won the Stanley Award & Los Angeles Drama Critic's Circle Ted Shmidtt Award for "World Premiere of an Outstanding New Play."

He is a graduate of New York’s High School of Performing Arts and alumnus of Julliard and The Playwriting Workshop at the University of Iowa, where he got his MFA.

Plays include The Job at Circus Theatricals, Ten Below at the WPA, (National Play Award), Peephole at Geva (Davie Award), Night-Side at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, The Ramp at South Coast Rep California Playwright’s Competition, Beijing Legends at The Pacific Jewish Theatre, (Fund For New American Plays), Self Storage at PKE and Iowa Boys at The Ohio (CBS/FDG Award).

He has developed plays at The Mark Taper Forum, Sundance, Midwest Playlabs and Steppenwolf.

Films include "Tinsletown," directed by Tony Spiridakis, "Out Of The Rain," directed by Gary Winick, "Peephole, (which he also directed), "Off The Lip," directed by Robert Mickelson and Open House, which he also directed (available online at His newest script "Lenexa, 1 Mile," co-written with Jason Wiles, is being produced this summer in Kansas City. Shem has also taught screenwriting and playwriting in the California Prisons.

Anna Andersen (Assistant Director)
Directing: Macbeth, The Lion in Winter, A Room Without Corners, The Good-bye Girl, The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It. Acting: Taming of the Shrew, All in the Timing, Equus, The Insanity of Mary Girard, Fortinbras, As You Like It, Twelth Night, Comedy of Errors, A Piece of My Heart, Steel Magnolias. Anna co-wrote, directed and acted in Shaking it Up with Shakespeare, an outreach program that ran for two years and reached thousands of students throughout Southern California. This is her first Circus Theatricals production
Leah Roobini (Stage Manager)
Stage management: Lobby Hero, Things We Do for Love, Among the Thugs (winner of LA Weekly and Drama Critic's Circle Awards) Because I Said So, Communicating Doors (Odyssey Theatre), Summon Me Awake/Yo Despierta, and Dark of the Moon. Other: Criminal Hearts, Oliver, and Into the Woods. She currently attends USC's School of Cinema-Television. Special thanks to Jack, Jeannine, Dan S, and Christina.

Christina Burck (Associate Producer)
Associate Producer/Stage Manager on Circus Theatricals productions: Macbeth, Tartuffe, As You Like It and The Cherry Orchard. Stage Manager credits include Richard III, and True West (Circus Theatricals/Odyssey Theatre co-productions), BeckettFest 2004, 'Night, Mother, Diva on the Verge, Will Strip for Food and Spit Like a Big Girl. Production Stage Manager for Classic and Contemporary American Plays (CCAP).

Jeannine Stehlin (Producer/Circus Theatricals Producing Director)
Produced over 40 plays for Circus Theatricals, including Macbeth, Tartuffe, The Cherry Orchard, Richard III, Hamlet and The Cheats of Scapin, (Odyssey Theatre/Circus Theatricals co-productions) and the award-winning The Job by Shem Bitterman (LA and Off-Broadway). Acting credits include: Macbeth, Twelfth Night, The Job, Peer Gynt, Tartuffe, The Misanthrope, Hippolytus, The Stronger, The Art of Success, Women and Wallace. and the film, “Watch It,” and “Rancho Cucamonga" Jeannine holds a B.S. in Advertising from the University of Illinois, and an M.B.A. in Marketing from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

read more about Jeannine Stehlin







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