Circle in the Square Theatre School opened its doors in 1961 in Greenwich Village with the aim of helping professional actors improve their craft. Working actors could sign up for courses taught by producers and actors connected to Circle in the Square Theatre that lasted upwards of six weeks at a time. The atmosphere was that of colleagues teaching colleagues. This created an eclectic series of classes that were each meant to individually address the actor’s needs.
In 1971, Circle moved uptown to the current location on West 50th street and changed its focus. Instead of providing short-term classes exclusively to the professional actor, the School became a full conservatory that opened its doors to aspiring professionals as well. A full-time training program, The Professional Theatre Workshop, was developed initially with the hope of training the next group of actors for Circle in the Square productions. This two-year workshop strove to combine a collegiate and eclectic style with a rigorous program meant to prepare an actor for any challenge, whether they had worked professionally or not. In addition, the school instituted the Summer Workshops, which offered similar training to the Full-Time program but in a shorter 7-week intensive.
By 1996, the School introduced a musical theatre program. Like the initial workshop, The Professional Musical Theatre Workshop provided intense acting training, but added components that would be specific to the musical theatre actor.
At its inception, Circle in the Square Theatre School only had fifteen students. Now, every year, between its four programs, Circle has approximately 150 students walk through its doors to hone their craft and become great actors.