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Escape the everyday with 'Infinity Boundless' at Stars Playhouse

Consider an escape from everyday life with “Infinity Boundless,” a completely original piece from local troupe The CCircle that will be held outside Stars Playhouse in northwest Bakersfield.

Featuring live music and physical performance, the original work is a 20-minute movement piece charting 24 hours, with a focus on the "transformative relationship of light and dark." It involves an aspiring writer and dogged office worker who seek meaning in their mundane lives as well as an anachronistic shaman who struggles with "the very fabrics of reality."

If that sounds a bit too heady for people who have spent the last few months streaming their programming at home, take heart. This theater group is all about connecting with their audience.

John Spitzer, The CCircle's founder, said this is "different than anything else Bakersfield has seen."

"Physical theater and specifically Michael Chekhov's work, there is a sort of universality to it," he said. "With language and a lot of cultural stuff there isn't (that universality).

"Even if there are not words ... if we do our job right we will be able to communicate what we’re trying to communicate."

The CCircle is rooted in the techniques of Michael Chekhov — the extra C in the group's name is for Chekhov — who encouraged actors to seek a rich internal life through movement dynamics. His instructional style is continued today with the National Michael Chekhov Association, through which Spitzer studied last year under the instruction of Lisa Dalton in Texas.

"Chekhov teaches us that everything in life is movement, through this lens we approach the art," Spitzer said.

Along with Spitzer, the performance features Julia Stansbury, Patrick Reyes, Lindsay Sharp, Natalie Underwood, Spirit, Ivan Mendoza and Cory Geurtsen.

"The whole group created this show," Spitzer said. "The musicians, all the performers, created this as democratically as possible. It really was a group effort and we put a lot of love in this show."

Scheduling this performance on the spring equinox was intentional in presenting the balance of light and dark, of the self and the other, Spitzer said.

Holding it outside is a necessity but also a benefit for this presentation, although Spitzer cautions it may be chilly for those not in their cars.

Three of the four performances have sold out of their audience car spaces that accommodate those remaining inside their vehicles. Limited space is available around the lot for those who want to bring a chair and sit outside. 

In addition to his other creative pursuits, Spitzer will be stepping into the role as artistic director of Stars Playhouse. Once restrictions lift for live theater, he not only wants to schedule productions but also classes for performers of all levels.

"Something that we do want to offer is workshops that I'm certified for. This will be not just a place to put on shows but a place for people to cut their teeth and expand their artistic capabilities."

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.