Hudson Guild artistic director Jack Stehlin announced that the Hollywood-based theatre company is changing its name to Circus Theatricals. The acting company, which was established in 1995 by Stehlin and Jeannine Welles, is taking on the new name to eliminate the confusion surrounding the various names of the theatre spaces at the Hudson Theatre complex -- and to prepare for a move to a larger location "in the not-so-distant future."
The Hudson Guild is the name of the 49-seat theatre in which the acting company resides.
Circus Theatricals as a company dates back to 1983, when Stehlin produced Uncle Vanya (with Kevin Spacey as Serebryakov) in New York, followed by many other productions, including his Off-Broadway multi-media hit Macbeth in 1995.
Stehlin comes from a long line of circus performers. His great-grandfather, who was an Australian prize fighter at the turn of the century, melded his ten children into a traveling circus act. Discovered by P.T. Barnum, they came to the United States and joined his troupe. Stehlin's Uncle Con is in the Guinness Book of Records for doing the first foot-to-foot somersault on a high wire. Stehlin's mother, who was a juggler and tumbler, retired from the circus shortly before his birth.
Shem Bitterman's The Job is in its sixth month at the Hudson Guild. The play was produced by Stehlin's company and features Stehlin in the cast. It has won numerous critical awards.Call (310) 442-0816 for information.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent