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updated: 3/11/2013 11:11 AM

Wheaton Drama director on the best show you've never heard of - "Full Circle"

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  • Sean Ogren of Villa Park is directing "Full Circle" at Wheaton Drama's Playhouse 111.

    Sean Ogren of Villa Park is directing "Full Circle" at Wheaton Drama's Playhouse 111.
    Courtesy of the director

Sean Ogren and Jo-Ann Ledger

Wheaton Drama, Inc. is presenting "Full Circle" as its fourth show of the 2012-2013 season. Director Sean Ogren explains what drew him to the show and why audiences should not miss it.

"Full Circle" takes place in Berlin in April 1945, just as the final curtain is coming down on WWII's European theatre. An escaped prisoner comes to an apartment thinking there is a man there who can help him. When the escapee finds a strong-willed young woman there instead, their reluctant attraction for one another threatens to destroy them both, especially when the Group Leader of the Gestapo comes looking for him. A powerful play that combines drama, suspense, humanity, and an unexpected richness of humor, "Full Circle" should be one of the classic dramas of American theatre. But my guess is you've likely never heard of it.

Over the last year or so, many people have said to me, "'Full Circle' is such a great script - where did you find it?" The answer was always so simple that it almost sounded untrue: I found it while browsing at the library. Erich Maria Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front" is still one of the most powerful novels about World War I. Peter Stone's book for "1776" makes it arguably one of the most gripping musicals of the last fifty years. So how could I not be intrigued when I came across a WWII drama written by both of these men?

Imagine my joy as I discovered that the story "Full Circle" tells is even more moving and compelling then I had hoped. Better still was my complete surprise when I discovered that this play has been virtually forgotten since it was staged at the Kennedy Center in the early '70s. Why? Who knew? All I knew was that I wanted the opportunity to direct it. No. Not want. I had to direct it.

Once I was given the blessing to do just that, all I wanted then was to avoid screwing it up. Thankfully, I found a cast that is just as remarkable as the play itself. This play strongly reflects what it means to truly survive, the power that love and hope can hold, and the ease with which one's mere identity can mean the difference between life and death. The talented cast - Dave Amato, Lauren N. Filip, Lisa Dawn Foertsch, James Klein, Randall W. Knott, Jerry Moore, Rob Reinalda, Jaime Sandoval, and Lars Timpa - aim to share that with each audience. I hope, for your sake, that you don't miss it.

"Full Circle" is performed Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm (no show March 31) from March 15 to April 7 at Wheaton Drama's Playhouse 111, 111 N. Hale Street in downtown Wheaton. Show tickets are $13 each for Thursdays and $16 each for Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For full production staff information and to purchase show tickets, visit or call the Playhouse at 630-260-1820.

Wheaton Drama closes the season with "Into the Woods". Shows in the 2013-2014 season are "Lend Me a Tenor", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", "And Then There Were None"(AKA "Ten Little Indians"), "Steel Magnolias", and "The Music Man". Details at Contact at Follow on Twitter at WDIpublicity.