B'way's Circle Closes, But The School Goes On

News   B'way's Circle Closes, But The School Goes On Circle In The Square, that venerable Broadway theatre institution, may have suspended operations, but the theatre school that shares its name is unaffected by the company's hard times.

Circle In The Square, that venerable Broadway theatre institution, may have suspended operations, but the theatre school that shares its name is unaffected by the company's hard times.

Executive director Colin O'Leary told Playbill On-Line, "Five years ago, Ted Mann and Paul Libin looked at the problems the theatre was facing and set up the school as a separate corporation and financial entity. We hold the lease to the space, which the theatre -- in its various administrations -- rents from us. Therefore, the school is not in jeopardy. We've continued through each peril the theatre's been through, even when the theatre's been dark for over a year."

"I have no idea what will happen with the theatre," said O'Leary. "Mosher announced on Friday (June 20) he was hopeful the theatre might resurrect itself as early as September. My concern is simply making sure the school is on a stable financial keel. We're opening our summer workshop program July 7, and our full-time program opens, as usual, Sept. 15."

The biggest impact Circle's closing has on its theatre school is that students won't have the opportunity to do bit parts in productions at the theatre. "We've had an Equity candidacy arrangement with the theatre for the last couple of years," said O'Leary. "So we're hoping our students will align with another production company, though we anticipate our primary alumni, The Willow Cabin Theatre Company, will be helpful in that regard." Willow Cabin's Wilder Wilder Wilder moved from Off-Off-Broadway to Broadway -- at Circle In The Square. The theatre company produced the show, but it was mainly a production of the theatre school.

For more information on Circle In The Square's current suspension, please see the Playbill On-Line story, "Circle In The Square Suspends Operations." --By David Lefkowitz

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