Past Productions


2016 The Who’s Tommy
directed by Suzanne Richard

castHarvard is a kinetic, highly musical presence as the primary Tommy — and the way this version of Pete Townshend’s rock opera works, you sometimes see as many as four of the traumatized kid at once. Among the multiple Tommys — different ages, different communication methods, sometimes regarding each other from both sides of the story’s conceit of a mirror — Harvard dominates the second act as the older Tommy. He delivers songs in impassioned ASL while dancing and working in sync with Will Hayes, who sings the part in a vulnerable tenor. Younger Tommys are played by Chloe and Kira Mitchiner, and if director Suzanne Richard’s stage is often crowded, it’s never confusing.

The Washington Post October 31, 2016

2007  Songs for a New World
directed by Suzanne Richard

Songs for a New World Photo

One thing not to miss: Watch, when Brown assembles a series of expansive chords at the end of a big number, how sign master Monique Holt and choreographers Shula Strassfeld and Peter DiMuro stagger and stack the ensemble’s gestures in a visual echo of the music’s build—it’s thrilling, and it makes you think about how many channels of communication we take for granted, and how many we usually overlook. Turns out a show driven by the idea of possibilities—of openings to new worlds—was a very fine choice indeed.

City Paper August 17, 2007

“In creating little collisions of expectation and possibility, the troupe finds expressive, often exciting modes of communication that are less about limits overcome than about boundaries shattered—taking vocabularies or styles or images that wouldn’t exist but for those limits and those boundaries, fusing them with theatrical techniques both traditional and experimental, creating something that, at its best, is vital and energizing and new.”

 City Paper August 18, 2006

2005 The Caucasian Chalk Circle
directed by Grady Weatherford and Monique Holt

Caucasian Chalk Circle Photo

“ Open Circle comes at the play with an inventive fusion of sign language, spoken dialogue, singing, and dance, with a healthy mix of actors who can fling themselves headlong into a wheelbarrow and others who need to stash their crutches somewhere before they can flee pursuing soldiers across a bridge thrown up by castmates’ backs. .., Open Circle scales the sharp-peaked mountain of a play with no little panache.”

Washington City Paper July 14, 2005

2004  Jesus Christ Superstar
directed by Suzanne Richard
(received 4 Helen Hayes nominations)

Last Supper from Jesus Christ Superstar

“Director Suzanne Richard found a way, without altering a word or a note, to give a freshness to this piece, make it surprisingly relevant to the moment, and, in the process, reveal the rock solid dramatic structure that underlies Rice’s script….. They do it all with a staging that, due to Open Circle’s approach of utilizing the abilities of artists with disabilities, is both unique and tremendously satisfying.”

Potomac Stage, November 7, 2004


2005 Low Level Panic
directed by Suzanne Richard

Jessica Lynn Rodriguez, K. Clare Johnson, and Selene Faer in Low Level Panic

“Low Level Panic probes how we as a society view women and more importantly how we view women with disabilities. Not just an exercise in lip service, Suzanne Richard the Artistic Director of Open Circle Theatre seeks to help us understand that women with disabilities have all the same desires, feelings and emotions that women without disabilities have. Open Circle has succeededin bringing overdue issues to the stage and the stage to everyone.”

DC Theatre Review,
 November 11, 2005

2003  Laughing Wild
directed by Suzanne Richard

Suzanne Richard and Dan Via battle it out over tuna fish in Laughing Wild

“Suzanne Richard’s performance was executed with stunning intensity. Watching Richard…it becomes clear that an actor with a visible disability is sometimes able to add depth to a role: vulnerability, strength or, in some cases, even a slight edge of discomfort for the audience that heightens the excitement of the performance.”

Laughing Wild
Review by The Washington Blade, July 11, 2003


“View the Visible Language performance at the Kennedy Center online!

Open Circle Theatre presents a new musical "Visible Language" by Mary Resing

Join Us
for a performance of the music from
a musical about the battle for control of deaf communication.

lyrics by Mary Resing, music by Andy Welchel
directed by Suzanne Richard and W. Thompson Prewitt
Featuring: David Berkenbilt, Katy Carkuff, Rob McQuay, Patti Papworth,
Richard Pelzman, Scott Sedar, Erica Siegel, Jaclyn Young

Be part of the creative process!

Monday, August 3rd at 6pm
on the Millennium Stage at

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20566

Performance was simulcast at

*This project and discussion are funded in part by grants from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, the Maryland Humanities Council, the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the office of Prince George’s County Council Member William Campos. We have also received support from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Gallaudet University.

Mary C. Resing, Artistic Director
Active Cultures Theatre

For more information please visit:

2009 Is there ANYBODY OUT THERE?

Is There Anybody Out There Poster

Director: Suzanne Richard



Sunday, May 19, 2019
11 AM and 2 PM
Reston Fine Arts Festival
Open Circle collaborates in Heidi Latsky’s project

Open Circle was pleased to participate in two public performances of Heidi Latsky’s international dance/installation movement piece, On Display, celebrating the unique attributes of all people.  OCT’s Suzanne Richard, JP Illaramendi, Elver Ariza, Ashley Ivey and dancers from Ms. Latsky’s company from New York and Reston’s Gin Dance Company collaborated to make a truly moving and thought provoking piece

These performances were open to the public as part of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, sponsored by Reston Community Center, at Reston Town Center.