Infidelity. Deceit. Sexual Curiosity. Circle, written by Suzanne Bachner is a thought-provoking play that interweaves the relationships of twelve different characters in various rendezvous spanning from New York City to Los Angeles, California. Based, very loosely, off of the Arthur Schnitzler’s Reigen, Bachner introduces 10 different sexual scenarios that are roughly seven to eight minutes in length and delve into the sexual encounter of two individuals. The identity of a character, especially in this particular play, is important to the plot because of the weight each character carries through their scenes. Because it is typically cast as four actors, the transition from scene to scene may be difficult to understand from the viewer’s perspective, due to the actor’s reoccurring presence in various characters.
In addition to the overall arc of the play, there are the ideas of a circle, from which the play gets its name, that, by definition, is a closed plane curve consisting of all points at a given distance from a point within it called the center”(Dicitonary.com). As described in the New York Times, the play is described as:
“… the 21st-century version of ‘Reigen,’ a series of 10 dialogues written by Arthur Schnitzler in 1900, reflecting with clinical precision on the sexual pathology of Vienna in its last imperial days. A ‘reigen’ was a popular German round dance, and in Schnitzler’s work 10 people get into bed, two at a time, until finally No. 10 ends up with No.1”