New York's venerable Circle in the Square Theatre, an institution on and Off-Broadway, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The announcement comes just days after the resignation of founding Co-Artistic Director Theodore Mann.
The Company is currently presenting Al Pacino in Eugene O'Neill's Hughie at the Circle in the Square Theatre on Broadway. This production is directed by Pacino, a long-time supporter of the organization. Hughie has been extended a second time and will now play through October 9.
The Company's original Off-Broadway space, Circle in the Square Theatre Downtown, has been leased for commercial productions for the past several years. Valley of the Dolls, currently running at this Greenwich Village location, is not a production of Circle in the Square.
The Circle had planned four revivals for the 1996-1997 season, including John Osborne's The Entertainer, George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance, Sidney Howard's Late Christopher Bean and Elmer Rice's Counselor at Law. However, Jeffrey Richards Associates, the press representative for Circle, has announced that dates for these productions will be changed due to the extension of Hughie. A leader in the Off-Broadway movement, Circle in the Square was founded in 1951 by Mr. Mann and Jose Quintero. Notable early productions include O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh and A Long Day's Journey Into Night, and Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke. Many of this generation's most notable actors have performed for Circle, including George C. Scott, Jason Robards, Colleen Dewhurst and Philip Bosco.
Although the organization's move to Broadway was initially successful, Circle has hit upon hard times in recent years. Last season's radical reworking of Moliere, Tartuffe: Born Again, was a significant box office disappointment.
Theodore Mann's departure leaves the management of the Company to Acting Chairman of the Board, Theodore R. Sayers, and Mr. Mann's Co Artistic Director, Josephine R. Abady. Off-Broadway luminaries Lucille Lortel, Paul Libin and John R. Russell joined Mr. Mann in leaving the board.
--By Kevin W. Reardon