Photos by David Allen
by Laura Shamas
Honorable Mention, Kilroys List (Best New Plays by Women Writers)
When war crashes from Afghanistan through time into Homer’s Odyssey, a battle-scarred soldier seeks refuge in Odysseus’ timeless place of solace. On Circe’s island, a combat doctor and her commanding officer must face off against the known and unknown, modern and ancient monsters, determined to leave no one behind..
A new play from AlterLab playwright Laura Annawyn Shamas
Playing in San Francisco, in partnership with A.C.T.'s ArtShare
June 13th - June 22nd
A.C.T. Costume Shop Theater
1117 Market Street.
San Francisco, CA
And in San Rafael June 28th - June 30th
WCAF West End Studio Theater
1554 Fourth Street (behind United Liquors, between E & F Streets)
San Rafael, CA
Cast & Crew
Laura Annawyn Shamas has written over thirty plays. Among her published plays are: PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK (adaptation), PORTRAIT OF A NUDE, AMELIA LIVES, MOLIERE IN LOVE, THE OTHER SHAKESPEARE, RE-SOURCING, LADY-LIKE, LIVING DOLL and UP TO DATE. Her plays have been produced, performed and developed at many theaters, including: Capital Stage/Sacramento (where CIRCULAR was part of their annual Playwrights Revolution series); Artemisia Theatre/Chicago (where CIRCULAR was part of their annual Fall Festival); The Lark /New York (where CIRCULAR had its first table reading); The Public Theater; Native Voices at the Autry; Native Earth Performing Arts (Toronto); Williamstown Theatre Festival; Golden Thread Productions; Walnut Street Theater; New Native Theatre (St. Paul); Utah Shakespearean Theater Festival; Philadelphia Theater Company; The Geva Theater; and the Annual Native American New Play Festival at Oklahoma City Theatre Company. Shamas was the 2017 winner of the Von Marie Atchley Prize for Excellence in Playwriting from Native Voices at the Autry for her short play SEEDS, which will be published in Silk Road Review, Fall 2019. She’s a 2018-2019 member of AlterLab at Alter Theater. Born in Oklahoma, Shamas is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation. She has a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies.
has produced 24 world premiere and First Look productions with AlterTheater. She is the architect of AlterTheater's AlterLab playwright residency program; the inaugural AlterLab production was the world premiere of Ann Brebner's THE DEAD GIRL in 2013. She co-directed with Ann Brebner THE RIVER BRIDE by Marisela Trevino Orta (2013 co-winner, National Latino Playwriting Award). Other recent directing credits include the award-winning productions of two AlterTheater commissions by Larissa FastHorse, LANDLESS (2016 USA PEN Literary Award in Drama), and COW PIE BINGO (2018 Theatre Bay Area Award, Best Featured Actor); the multi-Theatre Bay Area Award-winner THE AMEN CORNER by James Baldwin, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, with the University of Southern California's BFA juniors. She's worked with many Bay Area theater companies, including Berkeley Rep, the Magic, Cutting Ball, Theatre Rhino, Aurora Theatre, Golden Thread, SF Shakes, Women's Will.
has performed in a number of AlterTheater productions, including The River Bride, by Marisela Treviño Orta and the award-winning production of References To Salvador Dali Make Me Hot by Jose Rivera. Carla has also performed with other Bay Area companies, including Marin Shakespeare Company, The Cutting Ball Theater, Porchlight, Open Tab Productions, Curtain Theatre, Woman’s Will, Golden Thread Productions, Brava, NCTC’s YouthAware, Magic Theatre and a number of other independent theatre companies. Carla has studied independently with various acting coaches as well as at American Conservatory Theater Studio.
Besides working as an actor on stage, Carla has also worked as a theater arts educator for grades K-8, leading workshops, directing, writing and producing. This line of work inspired Carla to further investigate the power of drama and theater as a vehicle for change and healing. She is now one semester away from completing a masters degree in Counseling Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies, with a concentration in drama therapy.
Carla is dedicated to the development of new works. She has worked as an actor and a playwright with several writers and new works programs across the Bay Area.
SF/Bay Area Theatres: Ubuntu Theatre Project - Rashomon, Streetcar Named Desire, Hamlet; A.C.T. - Monstress (The Strand Theatre), After The War (understudy), The New Americans (First Look Workshop Series); Magic Theatre - Dogeaters; Crowded Fire Theater – 100 Flowers Project, The Late Wedding; Ferocious Lotus – Lu Shen, the Mad; Center REP - Sisters Matsumoto; Playwrights Foundation – Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Other Regional Theatre: La Jolla Playhouse – Bay and the Spectacles of Doom; South Coast Rep. – Caucasian Chalk Circle, Dogeaters (Pacific Playwrights Festival); Mark Taper Forum – Architecture of Loss, L.A. Stories - 900 miles from Iraq; Antaeus Theatre Company/Boston Court – Pera Palas; Singapore Rep. – Hamlet; East West Players – The Tempest; Cornerstone Theatre Company/East West Players - As Vishnu Dreams; Playwrights’ Arena – Sleepwalk, Gumsimao; Nevada Shakespeare in The Park – Othello; Deaf West – Romeo and Juliet; East L.A. Classic Theatre - Midsummer Night’s Dream; Sledgehammer Theatre – Three Sisters; Theatre Nada – The Battles of Coxinga, SoHo Rep. – Malibu. Film & T.V.: Day Without A Mexican, Pink as the Day She was Born, How to Make your First Billion & Save the World, My Bad Dad, One West Waikiki, First Years, 2 Guys and a Girl, L.A. Heat, Models Inc. Member of Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company.
is happy to make her AlterTheater debut! A dramaturg, director, writer, and administrator with over a decade of experience, she has worked at many Bay Area theaters including A.C.T., Aurora Theatre, Crowded Fire, Cutting Ball Theater, foolsFURY, Golden Thread, Marin Theatre Company, Playwright's Foundation, San Francisco Playhouse, Wily West Productions, and Z Space. Currently she's the Creative Content Manager at California Shakespeare Theater.
is known on the Bay Area jazz scene as a spirited performer on both piano and vibraphone. A passionate, stylistically diverse composer and songwriter, he was awarded "Song of the Year" by the West Coast Songwriters in 2004. Grosz's credits include original songs for a stage production of "The Phantom Tollbooth", music for the documentary "PDA (Public Displays of Affection)", and he cowrote the song "Bathtub Gin", the title track on the current cd by Roberta Donnay & The Prohibition Mob Band. Grosz is a local piano teacher and dance accompanist by day, and is happy to be working with AlterTheater again, after his work as Composer / Sound Designer on "The Amen Corner", "Bondage", and "Cow Pie Bingo".
Christine L. Plowright
Christine L. Plowright (Stage Manager) returns to AlterTheater, where she staged managed the inaugural AlterLab production, THE DEAD GIRL by Ann Brebner, and BATCC Award winner (Best New Script) BABA by Denmo Ibrahim.
is extremely excited to be on board as costume designer for CIRCULAR. Based out of Los Angeles and Sacramento, she is currently attending her first year at Los Angeles Trade Technical College for the fashion design program. There she plans to get her A.A. to go on to pursue costume design for films and theatre. Abduljalil is also very active in environmental sustainability practices in her communities and is determined to learn how to consciously mesh both her passions together.
Marc L. Jensen
is a 16 year old freelance lighting designer based in Oakland, California. Marc has collaborated and worked with theaters, companies, directors, choreographers, and visual artists all around the East Bay for the past 2 years.
He has done recent design projects for: The Jai Jagat Touring Company, Skyline High Schools Visual and Performing Arts Department, HBO Documentary, Bay Area Women Against Rape, TheatreFirst, Diamano Coura West African Dance Company, Oakland Ballet Company, California Ballroom, and Laney College's Dance Department. Marc was recognized at Skyline High School for Outstanding Achievement In Theatre Tech and Lighting Design; he wants to continue this as a career in the future.
is a Canadian-born, San Francisco-based designer working in theatre and film. She began her career as a camera assistant on feature films and TV series (Watchmen, Psych) in Canada, and as a Line Producer at the Banff Centre’s New Media Institute. Her music is heard on over 100 shows airing nationally and internationally, and recent sound design credits include School Girls, Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Kansas City Rep/Regional Premiere), The Grapes of Wrath (Los Altos Stage), For Colored Girls (African-American Shakespeare Company), The Revolutionists (Town Hall Theatre Company/Bay Area Premiere), and Dracula (Inferno Theatre), for which she was nominated for a TBA Award for Original Music.
Elena Wright (Fight Choreographer) is a Bay Area actor, teacher, director and fight choreographer. She has designed violence for the Aurora Theatre, Shotgun Players, Role Players Ensemble, Ross Valley Players, California Shakespeare Theatre Conservatory, Marin Shakespeare Company, Sonoma County Repertory Theatre, and Laney College among others. She has also taught combat for Berkeley Repertory Theatre, University of Washington, and Napa Valley College. Elena received her MFA in acting from the University of Washington, and a BS in theatre from Northeastern University and is a teaching candidate with Dueling Arts International.