Live Theatre is Back!


Ellery Koomen, Managing Editor

On Thursday March 12th, 2020, the main stage production of A Chorus Line performed their first and only show. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the musical was forced to shut down after opening night. Little did anyone know, this would be the last live theatre production at Southwest for almost two years.

Now, this fall, after a long season of virtual rehearsals and pre-recorded outdoor performances, live theatre is finally back at Southwest.

On Wednesday October 27th, the first unhinged show of the season, Circle Mirror Transformation, opened after much rehearsal. The 2009 play by Annie Baker, has a run-time of about 1 hour and 45 min and features a cast of five. Directed by seniors, Jacob McKinney and Tessa Naughton-Ron, the synopsis of Circle Mirror Transformation is as follows:

“Five people sign up for an adult creative drama class in the small town of Shirley, Vermont. The participants of the class bond with one another through theatre games, re-enactments of significant moments in their lives, and other exercises designed to push them out of their comfort zone. By the end of the class, romance, friendships, and family have all been altered dramatically. Circle mirror transformation is uncomfortably funny, awkward, heartbreaking, and most importantly, it’s a genuine story about how quickly things can change for better or for worse.”

Southwest’s Unhinged Theatre program is a unique and student produced theatre company committed to making theatre more accessible and inclusive. It’s shows have traditionally been in the blackbox, but due to COVID will be performed masked in the auditorium. Even with masks, a lack of mics and a bigger performance space, the actors were still able to connect with audiences and deliver a great show.

Kai Hirata, a junior at Southwest, plays the character of Shultz and shared not only how the production has really taught him the importance of projecting his voice while performing with a mask, but just how surreal it feels to be back on stage again.

Director, Jacob Mckinney added, “After a year of online theatre it was really nice to get back and be able to act together and have people react to each other not through a computer screen. I’m really really glad I was a part of this project.”

“It was really exciting,” shared Fausto who plays the character of Marty. “It’s really weird being back, you know, after like two years. And all of a sudden we’re just back and there’s an audience in front of us again and it’s just wild.”

The student run production of Circle Mirror Transformation, is not only a wonderful play, but it marks a momentous turning point for Southwest’s performing arts department. 

Circle Mirror Transformation

Show dates: October 27th-30th @7pm 

Location: Southwest’s auditorium

Tickets: $5 for students / $10 for adults

Directed by: 

Jacob Mckinney & Tessa Naughtonron

Stage Manager: 

Patrick Johnson

Tech Lead: 

Charlotte Johnson

Costume Leads:

Daisy Nichols

Roxanne Riebel


Theresa: Halimah Abdullah

Shultz: Kai Hirata 

Marty: Fausto Hoyos Vargas

Lauren: Mak Erickson 

James: Cicely Bass

Upcoming Southwest Theatre:

Nov. 1st & 3rd: Audition for Unhinged Theatre production of Charley’s Aunt directed by Peregrine Todd and Solenne Bideau

Nov. 19th-22nd: Fall mainstage play Almost, Maine