Circle Square

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Circle Square
Circle Square Title Card.jpg
Original Title Card
GenreChildren
Directed byJohn Spalding
StarringReynold Rutledge
Blair Stewart
Sabrina Paul
Marcy Ien
Composer(s)Carl Merenick
Ann Hilsden
Bruce Stacey
Jana Rutledge
Country of originCanada
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes165
Production
Executive producer(s)David Mainse
Producer(s)Maggie Spalding
CinematographyJohn Luscombe
Dan Marritt
George McEachern
Steve Faul
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)Crossroads Christian Communications
Release
Original networkSyndicated
Picture formatColour
Original releaseApril 15, 1974 –
October 24, 1986

Circle Square was a Canadian children's television series that ran from 1974 to 1986.[1] Crossroads Christian Communications produced the series in cooperation with its Circle Square Ranch network of summer camps for children.[2] Circle Square Ranches, founded by Crossroads, are Christian-based non-profit camps welcoming children of any faith and race. The first ranch was based at Severn Bridge, Ontario.[3]

Mixing human actors—both youth and adult counsellors—with puppets in a Sesame Street-like manner,[4] the series was set at a Circle Square Hotel library. Each episode taught a lesson in moral values.

The series was syndicated to television stations in Canada, the United States and Jamaica,[4] often airing in a weekend slot on stations that also aired Crossroads' 100 Huntley Street. Reruns of Circle Square were shown Saturday mornings on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) until late 2005 or early 2006, and episodes of the original Circle Square program can be viewed on the Circle Square Ranch website.

In 2003 a pilot for a new version of Circle Square called Circle Square Network (CSN) was produced by Crossroads, but was never picked up.

Canadian journalist and talk show host Marci Ien of The Social appeared on Circle Square as a child actress at age 10.[5]

Characters[edit]

These were the main ongoing characters in the series; the children featured on the show tended to rotate through too quickly to establish an ongoing presences on the show.

  • Durk (Reynold Rutledge): a kindly, grandfatherlike figure. He is the library's maintenance man, and in every episode, the kids come to him with problems. Durk answers these problems with a story, which often features the real kid facing a similar problem.
  • Vince (actor unknown): a furry white dog-like puppet character with a straight, rounded nose and a little work hat. He is Durk's assistant and companion, and is frequently seen with him. Vince mostly speaks gibberish, but he can say short little words like "uh-oh" and "uh-huh". His predecessor was a parrot named Polly.
  • Gert and Egbert (Blair Stewart and Sabrina Paul): the main puppet characters, Gert and Egbert (a librarian and her assistant, respectively) help provide questions and thoughts (but mostly comic relief) for the segments at the library with the kids. Gert is the scatter-brained, overly-worried, patronizing of the pair, while Egbert is childish, goofy, and dumb. Gert and Egbert's puppets had exaggerated features and silly looks during the show's starting season. But as Gert and Egbert started to mature (only a little bit), their puppets were replaced with new figures whose appearances were less silly and more basic. The old Gert puppet disappeared into oblivion, but the old Egbert puppet managed to spend the rest of his days as a puppet character for the stories.
  • Glen Rutledge

The Circle Square Children[edit]

  • Nadine Albreish
  • Aaron Ambrose
  • Christina Ariss
  • Marc Betsworth
  • Matthew Biswas
  • Naomi Bock
  • Monica Burch
  • Tanya Burch
  • Lonnie Burkeholder
  • Harriet Chang
  • J.C. Cunningham
  • Jason Dodd
  • Susie Duggan
  • Brock Ferguson
  • John Glenn
  • Jomo Hendrickson
  • Marci Ien
  • Aaron Johnston
  • Janice Johnston
  • Jayson Jones
  • Toby Kilby
  • Sue Madsen
  • Jerry Martinez
  • David Mazzoli
  • Houi Meng
  • Brianna Mustard
  • Martin Samuel
  • Stacey Spalding
  • Scott Heald
  • Adam Sternbergh
  • Lyndon Stewart
  • Dani Jane Tollefson
  • Marisa Troja
  • Ian Wick
  • Kassi Willis
  • Carolynn Wryghte

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tom Harpur, "For Heaven's sake". Toronto Star, June 13, 1987.
  2. ^ Fred B. Rainsberry, A History of Children's Television in English Canada, 1952-1986. Scarecrow Press, 1988. ISBN 9780810820791. p. 113.
  3. ^ https://kidsumers.ca/2013/08/circle-square-ranch-a-family-tradition/
  4. ^ a b "Camp ministry produces new generation". Kingston Gleaner, October 21, 2006.
  5. ^ Marci Ien. Who's Who in Black Canada, January 4, 2011.

External links[edit]