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Main Street Musicals


MainStreet Evaluations

The Circle (019)

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  • Title of Work: The Circle
  • Subtitle: a group therapy musical
  • Please select one: Original
  • Referenced Work: (Title and Authors, please.)
  • MUSICAL STYLE: Standard Broadway
  • NATURE: Drama or Tragedy
  • STRUCTURE: Some spoken dialogue: Mostly sung
  • APPROXIMATE DURATION (Hrs/Min): 1 hr/50 min
  • BRIEFLY STATE THE THEME, MESSAGE, OR POINT OF VIEW OF THIS WORK: Group therapy helps some people resolve their issues.

Cast Description

Faith —Female therapist in her late 40’s {contralto}
Faith is gorgeous, and self-confident. She dresses beautifully. She laughs easily and tends to lighten the darkness just in time to save her clients from descending too far to survive the hard work of therapy. She is a person whose playfulness is balanced by her intelligence, clear vision, and dedication to guiding the clients with whom she works to the knowledge that nearly anything is possible if they work hard enough. She can be relentless in making her clients face the facts of their lives and the truth. 

Michael —Male therapist in his late 40’s {baritone}
In contrast to Faith and her way of stating things strongly, Michael is softer and sweeter. He tends to comfort and gently offer a perspective that is humorous. He is slightly rumpled in both his clothing and his thought processes. He is the perfect counterpoint to Faith’s pointedness.

Alex -Male, late 20’s {tenor}
Even as a young child Alex always felt somehow “other”, as though he didn’t quite fit anywhere. It wasn’t something he could put his finger on, but it was there from the time he was old enough to have a sense of himself. He didn’t have any interest in chasing the girls, to taunt them and kiss them. He did have girl—friends though. Sensitive, gentle, and kind, he did not relate to the rowdy boys in his class. Several years later, when he felt new and confusing sensations inside himself when he was close to a certain boy in his neighborhood, it scared him. He wasn’t sure what to do, so he set about acting like other boys. It was a good act, and he was a good actor. He married the first young woman he felt something with. He thought it might work but more and more he was becoming aware that it wasn’t what he wanted or needed. His wife felt it too, and she wanted whatever was right for both of them. She loved Alex and still does.

Amy – Female, mid-30’s {alto}
Amy has tried to be everything to and for her mother. Raised without her father (he left them early in Amy’s life), Amy was groomed to be successful and not “need” a man. Her mother’s friends, all affluent feminists like her, underscored those lessons. Her mother and all her mother’s friends take pride in Amy’s intelligence and in her development into a junior version of themselves. Amy was floored when she met Cole and found herself responding body and soul to him. Was it rebellion? Her mother was hysterical. What to do about that and how to go forward living her own life where her reasons for coming to the group.

Beth – Female, 40-something {alto}
Beth is clearly overweight, but her weight is a non-issue at this point in her life. She is attractive and dresses with style and flair. She has come to group after periods of individual therapy in which she sought to make herself into someone her husband would love and be attracted to as he once had. She is deciding what to do with the second half of her life. The first half was a struggle which she has won. The struggle with her weight aside, she has realized that she is loveable and that her husband is the one who has the lion’s share of the problems. He told her she has no willpower. She showed him by finding the “will” to tell him to leave. Still, it’s very sad.

Bill – Male, mid-60’s {baritone}
Bill was raised in a working-class family in a medium sized city. He was not particularly good at academics, and had no plans for college. So he was drafted and sent to Viet Nam. He never considered fleeing to Canada. He had learned from his parents about duty to country. He was immediately disillusioned by the realities of what that was. He returned in a wheel-chair, after seeing his buddies blown to pieces around him. Now he felt that the country he loved and fought for had betrayed him and abandoned him. He did not feel he could trust anyone, and he was angry all the time. Recently, in a fit of anger, he hit his wife. She had decided to leave him.

Charlie – Male (or female), 24 (baritone}
At 24, Charlie looked and seemed much older. Part of that was, no doubt, due to the fact that he hardly slept. He was abducted by Aliens starting when he was five years old.  From the first time the light washed over him, nothing was ever the same again. He did not know what had happened to him, where they took him, who they were, or what they looked like. His nerves were on fire. He saw shadows everywhere. It was killing him. He couldn’t keep a job or hold onto a relationship. He had to do something or die. His mother feared for his life, so begged him to get some help.

Christine – Female, early 30’s {alto}
She arrived late. She is flippant about it, and is only in the groups “because her friend told her to come”. It seems that no one is good enough for her, but she has begun to suspect that her friends is right about her being unable to commit to a relationship. She is think, perhaps a little too thin, and is showing off her legs with leggings.

Diane, Female, 59 {alto}
Diane is approaching her 60th birthday and has decided that she is going to leave her husband. She has been a doctor’s wife for most of her adult life. The children are grown, and she remains sorry that she did not “live” more while they were still young. But, she had hope that she could make the marriage work. She is picture perfect, not a hair out of place. She is trying to cover the shame she feels for having failed at her marriage—for not being able to make her husband love her as he did (seemed to) when they married.

Emily, Female, early 30’s {alto}
She is depressed and in a relationship with a domineering man. If she marries him, this will be her third marriage. She is a gentle and kind young woman. She is empathetic and her emotions are close to the surface. Emily’s first two marriages were to men who “needed her”. She wanted to help them—to rescue them. She found that her rescuing them did not make them deal with their substance abuse. She doesn’t want to have another relationship end, so she is in the circle to hopefully figure out what a good relationship would look like.


The Circle, a musical theatre drama in two acts of three scenes each, is set in any room where mental health therapists might hold group therapy sessions. Chairs are set in a half circle with the implication that the audience completes the circle.

Six women and four men play the roles of two therapists (one male, one female) and eight clients. The characters range in age from twenty-something to sixty-something. All roles are singing roles.

The therapists open the show with a duet, _ We Are One , welcoming clients and outlining the _ rules  for the group. In an overture-type piece titled _ My Issues Is  each client sings an excerpt from pieces that will be heard in their entireties as the show progresses.

Clients  issues range from trouble in relationships, to body image, to the aftermath of war, to homosexuality. One character is an alien abductee. Comic relief is used to lessen the tension that would be expected in therapy.

The timeframe for the show is five months. Some characters make dramatic changes in their lives. Others are not as able to avail themselves of the help the group might give.

The show s closing number is a reprise of the opening, _ We Are One , with new lyrics, sung by the entire cast. It is a joyful anthem in which the audience is encouraged to sing along.

Evaluation Form

If you did not receive the Form via email, please email Tim.


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