If you've ever wanted to run away to join the circus, you should meet Doug Stewart. He’s an entrepreneur and a circus aerialist who didn't exactly join the circus; he created one. Doug did all of this before graduating from college, which he accomplished this spring at the age of 22.
Cirque Us is back for its third summer, with four upcoming performances on June 23 and 24 at the Barrette Center for the Arts in White River Junction, VT. This is a youthful, soulful, fresh interpretation of the traditional circus. This production, StarStruck: A Cosmic Circus, invites you to "dance among the stars" and watch as they "chase comets, dive through black holes, juggle moons and defy gravity." Having seen Cirque Us for the past two summers, I can attest that your eyes will never leave the stage.
Among the returning performers (all of whom are creating and rehearsing the show at the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro VT) is Delaney Bayles from Salt Lake City, who has three world records in juggling, and won the World Juggling Federation's Advance Overall Championship in 2016. Ivan Jermyn of Montpelier VT is rejoining the cast after a year spent performing at the Italian Embassy in Washington DC. Even closer to home, Norwich VT native Sam Gurwitt will be bringing his clowning skills to the stage, following his recent graduation from Yale University. Other veterans include performer and Assistant Director Marieke Dailey, and Alec McGowan, who "hopes to make the audience laugh."
That person balancing on a single hand? (top photo, by Bertil Nilsson) That's Justin Durham. He is joining Cirque Us for the first time along with contortionist and black-belted Rena Dimes, California's Lindsey Barrows (one of the company's many alums from Vermont's Circus Smirkus) and Cam Zwier, fresh off a national tour of Pippin.
Rena Dimes describes herself as “flexible, fidgety and nit-picky.” Photo by Jeff Lewis.
Zweir and Barrows share the sense of excitement--and the immense challenge--of “putting together a show in just three weeks.” Stewart says: "Each year, we return with a new show, new cast, and new tour schedule . . . The way we do things is constantly changing. It feels as if we are starting over every year, but that is one of our greatest strengths."
White River Junction is just one of the many stops on this year's tour but it is among the most popular. For the full itinerary and for tickets to performances at the Barrette Center on June 23 and 24, go to www.thecirqueus.com or https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3413885. $18 for adults, $15 for kids, $20 for all the day of the show.
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