It really is quite remarkable that Circle Theatre has done so well over the last 25 years. The non-profit theater company lives in the shadows of a major city’s dominant arts scene, and in a town that isn’t exactly known for artistic creativity. Despite financial barriers, risky performances and amusingly humble beginnings, Circle Theatre has earned a stellar reputation that deserves every piece of praise that critics have offered.

During an Aug. 22 anniversary celebration, the emphasis was rightfully on basking for a moment in all the glories that such a warm company can offer. There were only small reminders that the uphill climb toward financial stability would still be there in the morning.

Residents, business owners and local government have benefited from Circle Theatre’s presence in more ways than most of us may be aware. Beyond cash and foot traffic and even caché, there is an enhancement to the quality of life in Forest Park that only an artistic force can provide. It exists even if you never attend a show. Art entertains us and makes us think, and is always far better than anything on television. We promise.

Congratulations, Circle Theatre – and thank you.