Mark Lamos Staging of The Circle Starts in San Francisco Jan. 4

By Ernio Hernandez
January 4, 2007

Mark Lamos directs W. Somerset Maugham's The Circle, which begins performances Jan. 4 at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater.

The show officially opens Jan. 10 for a run at the California stage through Feb. 4.

Broadway (Brighton Beach Memoirs, Much Ado about Nothing ), television ("As the World Turns") and A.C.T. veteran Kathleen Widdoes (The Rose Tattoo) heads the cast as Lady Kitty. Ken Ruta (A.C.T.'s The Voysey Inheritance, A Christmas Carol) also stars as Kitty's husband Lord Porteous.

Newcomers to the S.F. stage, James Waterston, Trish Mulholland and Craig W. Marker are also featured with A.C.T. veterans Allison Jean White (Travesties), Phillip Kerr (Tiny Alice, The Three Sisters) and Tom Blair (The Constant Wife).

Penned before Maugham's popular The Constant Wife, this work centers on a woman who left her husband for his best friend only to find herself back in town as her son is about to repeat history. A.C.T. previously presented The Constant Wife in the 2002-03 season.

Director Lamos last staged a re-imagining of Christopher Marlowe's Edward II at A.C.T. "I am thrilled to return to A.C.T. and take a crack at one of the great comedic masterpieces of 20th-century theatre," said Lamos in a release. "Our challenge as a company is to find the fire and passion within these wonderfully amusing characters and to let Maugham's trademark wit work its own wonders." Lamos' credits include Broadway's Our Country's Good, The Deep Blue Sea and The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm and Off-Broadway's The End of the Day, Tiny Alice, Love's Fire, Thief River and Measure for Measure.

The design team for The Circle includes John Arnone (set), Candice Donnelly (costume), York Kennedy (lighting) and Jeff Mockus (sound).

The season at A.C.T. continues with Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler (Feb. 9- March 11), Philip Kan Gotanda's After the War (March 22-April 22), David Harrower's Blackbird (April 27-May 27) and Molière's The Imaginary Invalid (June 7–July 8).

Tickets are available to The Circle at A.C.T., 415 Geary Street in San Francisco, CA, by calling (415) 749-2228. For more information visit www.act-sf.org.