Philadelphia Circus Campus Brings the Big Top to the Fringe Fest with 14 Extraordinary Shows

-Courtesy of Aversa PR & Events

Philadelphia’s Circus Campus announces a mini-circus arts festival as part of this year’s Philadelphia Fringe Fest. Look for extraordinary performances highlighting the vast and varied community cultivated at Circus Campus since its creation in 2017. The 14 original shows will run for a series of one-night-onlys on weekends September 9th to October 1st at Circus Campus (6452 Greene St. Philadelphia) in the newly renovated ground floor theater space. These shows exemplify the broad spectrum of talent that grows on Circus Campus grounds and serve to attract attention to the potential of creativity fostered through Circus Campus Presents: a hub in collaboration with the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

“As we celebrate our 5-year anniversary at Circus Campus, we thought it was a great time to bring together a collection of performances from our community, to showcase all of the amazing circus talent we have right here in NW Philadelphia,” said Circus Campus Founder and Owner Shana Kennedy.  “[My husband] Greg has also recently renovated our downstairs Stage, with a new lighting and sound system, which will be great for these artists.”

She added, “Having a Hub is not something we were really aware of as a possibility before.  We’ve hosted Fringe shows on and off for many years.  Some years we’ve even hosted multiple performances.  But when Cannonball Festival started up last year, we discovered how great a Hub can be, really making the Fringe Festival feel more like a collaborative venture between artists.  We’ll be excited to continue this in future years.   With or without a Hub, collaborating with the Philadelphia Fringe Festival has always been valuable for us.  The Philadelphia Fringe gives us a designated time every year when local artists have the chance – and the encouragement! – to produce original work. It’s never an easy process; making the finances work is hard, and being so far from Center City has always felt like a hurdle to overcome.  But we think that it’s worthwhile.  We build our annual schedules around the Fringe, and we think that this Hub will be an even stronger way to engage with the Fringe Festival in the years ahead.”

This fall, Circus Campus will host its inaugural hub with the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, entitled Circus Campus Presents. Since the establishment of Circus Campus in 2017 Circus Campus has been fostering a tight-knit community of teachers, students, performers, creators, movers and shakers. This hub strives to showcase the skills and variety of these incredible human beings. Many of the hub performers are circus artists, but there are also musicians, poets, dancers and theatre artists. Everyone from the Philadelphia metropolitan area is invited to visit Circus Campus and the restored church facility in leafy-green West Mt. Airy, located directly adjacent to Upsal Station. Circus Campus is an educational headquarters, and it’s also a home for some of the most unique talent in the Philadelphia area.

Circus Campus Presents
Philadelphia’s Circus Campus in Collaboration with Philadelphia Fringe Fest
General admission: $20, Student: $15
Tickets available at http://fringearts.com

1)  The Give & Take Jugglers
Friday, September 9 / 7:00pm
Appropriate for all ages
Give and Take has been a consistent hit with both children and adults for over 40 years. Our highly interactive, comedic show uses traditions from vaudeville, circus arts, theater, and music to create a lively and wholesome performance that feels fresh and contemporary.

2) I.D.: Intimate Deceptions Ran’D Shine
Saturday, September 10 / 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm
Appropriate for ages 13+
I.D.: Intimate Deception is an uncanny demonstration of sleight of hand, and psychological illusions performed in a close up setting. This 30 minute personal, blackbox show is not just about tricks, it’s about how magic can be used as metaphors for time, the significance of numbers, and connecting with strangers in surprising ways.

3) Funicular Circus
Sunday, September 11 / 3:00pm
The Funicular Circus (from the Latin funis, for rope, as in funicular railroad) is a contemporary circus effort founded & directed by Dave Gillies based in Mt Airy on the spacious wooded grounds of Circus Campus. We combine traditional materials and techniques of wire walking with elements of sculpture and design. These are blended together with circus skills while implementing singing, music, poetry & yoga in our approach to walking the wire.

We’re taking the circus out of the arena, out of the tent, & into the landscape. We explore connections to trees, rivers, sky, & tides. We draw attention to the space between – light, wind, & to how we are not only part of the landscape but supported by it. We highlight that we are all literally supported by our trees and rivers & believe that we need to be good stewards.

The installations make use of traditional tightwire methods combined with things we have learned from arborists, rock climbers, recreational tree climbers, a network of riggers, & other long wire walkers from Philadelphia, Brussels, The Netherlands, & Norway. Inspiration comes from colleagues, Dave’s liberal arts studies, the pulley systems of Leonardo da Vinci, tensegrity concepts of Buckminster Fuller, the precise and exact positioning of words of Emily Dickinson’s poems, the ephemeral creations of Andy Goldsworthy, the playfulness of Juan Miro, & the attention to joy we saw in the installations of Christo.

We have created installations in the Philadelphia area over the Wissihickon, the Schuylkill, a tidal portion of the lower Delaware, the Susquehanna and the Brandywine Rivers. We have walked over canals in Brussels. We rigged and walked wires in the Dolomite mountains in Italy. We rigged in relation to the tides on the rocky south coast of the Dominican Republic , Grand Canaria, and on the Wild Atlantic Way on the west coast of Ireland.    

4) Science, Engineering & Art: A Juggler’s Perspective
Greg Kennedy: Innovative Juggler
Sunday, September 11 / 5:30pm
Appropriate for ages 7+
An eye-opening show. This production focuses on Greg’s journey from professional engineer to world renowned juggler. Science, Engineering & Art gracefully transitions between inspirational, real-world anecdotes and amazing, kinetic creations. Every moment of this lecture gives the audience perspective on how science and art unite. It illustrates the process of using the knowledge you have to pursue your passions.

This show is presented as part of Circus Campus Presents. Circus Campus, established in 2017, fosters a tight-knit community of teachers, students, performers, and creators. Its inaugural Philadelphia Fringe Festival hub showcases the skills and variety of these incredible people. Visit their beautifully restored church facility in leafy-green West Mt. Airy, directly adjacent to Upsal Station. Learn more at circuscampusphiladelphia.com/presents/.

5) Pink Lemonade Sweet & Sour Circus
Friday, September 16 / 6:00pm and 8:00pm
Appropriate for all ages
We want to build a carnival ride of child-like wonder (*BOING BOING BOING* *POP*). Our props and bodies will be manipulated, thrown, flounced, shaped, caught, dropped, flown, rolled, and morphed in order for us to share our thoughts, emotions, memories, and stories (YEEE! HOW EXCITING!).

Our show will focus on playfulness and exploration (NOTHING TOO DEEP OR SERIOUS) utilizing simple story telling, lots of juggling, sky-high aerial ventures, partner movement, stuff resembling dance (WE REALLY TRY…), and standing on each other. We will also bring to life a Candy Land-like landscape as we assemble our curious original set designs on stage during the show (BUT YOU CAN’T EAT THE ARCHITECTURE!). Much akin to Legos, we build whatever prop or play thing we think we want or need in the moment while taking care of and entertaining our audience (YAY! *CLAPS*).

This show is presented as a double feature with Pocketbook Diaries.  Buy one ticket and see both shows!

6) Pocketbook Diaries Magic Fingaz Productions
Friday, September 16 / 6:00pm and 8:00pm
Appropriate for ages 7+
The Pocketbook Diaries is based on a poem written by my collaborator, Eugene “the Composer” Brown. Over the years of Eugene presenting this satirical piece, I suggested, why not create a series of skits/proofs based on his poem. This project begin in 2017, had its first reading last November and was well received. A very. visual and whimsical piece that represents the attachment and survival of the average handbag thru various situations. This is a presented as a double feature with Pink Lemonade.  Buy one ticket and see both shows!

7) Character Juggler Chris Ivey
Saturday, September 17 / 7:00pm
Appropriate for all ages
The lights and sounds of an arena rock concert are combined with the costumes and theatrics of a Broadway performance to create an intense show of epic and entertaining proportions! World championship juggling skills are presented with high levels of choreography, clean comedy, dangerous stunts, and audience participation. All shows are family friendly and easily adaptable to any age group or venue. Give your audience an unforgettable and unique experience that will leave them laughing, clapping, and on the edge of their seats! This performance contains strobe lights and fog/smoke effects.

8) Lindsey Noel: I’m a Magician
Sunday, September 18 / 6:30pm and 8:30pm
Appropriate for ages 13+
Ever wonder what it’s like to be a professional trickster? Or to have to kindly lie for living? Or how it feels to be a woman in a male dominated art form? Well, this is the show for you! Join professional magician, mind-reader, stylist, and emcee extraordinaire Lindsey Noel as she takes you on a journey from her time in the cabaret and nightlife world to working crazy hours on film sets to traveling the world as a magical woman! You’ll laugh, you’ll gasp, and at the end of it all, you’ll have no doubt: Lindsey Noel tells no lies when she says “I’m a Magician.”

9) Social Media Circus David Darwin: One Man Sideshow
Friday, September 23 / 7:00pm and 9:00pm
Appropriate for ages 13+
If you spend an hour or more scrolling on the For You Page before bed, this show is for you. If social media has reduced your attention span down to an embarrassingly small window and listening to an entire 3 minute song feels like a long commitment, this show is for you. If your ADHD has only gotten worse In the pandemic and you need entertainment that changes drastically every 30 to 60 seconds, this show is for you.

This show is presented as part of Circus Campus Presents. Circus Campus, established in 2017, fosters a tight-knit community of teachers, students, performers, and creators. Its inaugural Philadelphia Fringe Festival hub showcases the skills and variety of these incredible people. Visit their beautifully restored church facility in leafy-green West Mt. Airy, directly adjacent to Upsal Station. Learn more at circuscampusphiladelphia.com/presents/.

10) STUNKERED: Stuck in a Bunker E & J Circus
Saturday, September 24 / 6:45pm and 8:45pm
Appropriate for ages 13+
Stunkered is a show exploring the dynamics of two people stuck in a small-ish space together for a very very long time. Using the naturally comedic setting, we will go through what they do when they are bored, when they are fed up, when they lose all track of the concept of time, when they adopt a rat just so they have someone else to talk to besides each other! All told using juggling balls, bounce juggling balls, juggling clubs, partner acrobatics, and a whole lot of uncanny weirdness!

11) Bodies Watermelon Bathtub
Saturday, September 24 / 6:45pm and 8:45pm
Appropriate for ages 16+
Come and explore with us the various experiences people have with their bodies through spoken word and circus movement. Bodies is a cabaret style movement based performance, where each artist will share their narrative through combining spoken word and movement. Narratives span the myriad of relationships that people can have with their bodies, the equipment, and the audience. Each narrative can showcase a specific time or a specific relationship, understanding that the way we relate to our bodies changes over time and with various situations.Thematic elements of access are used to broaden the pathways for individual audience members connect to the work. These pathways include the incorporation of an American Sign Language interpreters, exploration of the use of audio descriptions, braille programs, and various visual aids. This show is presented as a double feature with STUNKERED: STUCK IN A BUNKER.  Buy one ticket and see both shows!

12) Andrew has Projects, Cubby Has Comments
Sunday, September 25 / 6:00pm and 7:30pm
Appropriate for ages 7+
Andrew here: Like many people, I have a lot of projects that have always been on the back burner. Drones, shadow puppets, gags, audience participation ideas, all kinds of things. There’s nothing like an offer to be a part of PSCA’s Fringe Hub to give me a deadline to get them done. Most of these ideas just wouldn’t work without Cubby and the ones that don’t involve Cubby, well, I’m exited to see what Cubby has to say about them. Oh and by the way, I’m getting a small surgery on August 22nd so don’t expect me to like move around too much or very quickly. This is good, right? Art coming from constraints or something? That’s totally a thing. I read it in a blog post once. (And by read, I mean skimmed.) So come see “Andrew’s got Projects, Cubby has Comments” to bear witness (I’ve always wanted to say that) to a brand new 2 person variety show unlike any other.

13) Trick Machine Zak McAllister
Friday, September 30 / 8pm
Trick Machine is an eruptive showcase of juggling! Surrounded by piles of wood, power tools, & cables – Zak will demonstrate what juggling has meant to him over the last 15 years. He hopes to show you a new way to think about juggling & its infinite potential.

14) Spherus Innovative Juggler Team
Saturday, October 1 / 8:30pm
Appropriate for all ages
Spherus is extra-dimensional modern circus where the performers interact with light and multimedia to create a new world for the audience. The cast manipulates fabric, acrylic, & wooden shapes in a sea of projected light – seamlessly integrating their unique circus skills to delight the imagination. The full program includes international juggling champion Greg Kennedy complemented by two aerial dancers interacting with projections; the trio combines juggling, technology and dazzling aerial artistry on silks, ropes, & spinning hoops in never-before-seen ways.

ABOUT CIRCUS CAMPUS
Circus Campus is three beautiful green acres including a 30,000 sq/ft converted church and a 10,000 sq/ft mansion. Circus Campus prides itself on being an inclusive movement community and a hub for Circus in Philadelphia. This campus is home to the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts: an all ages recreational school; Circadium: a 3-year, full-time circus program licensed with the state of Pennsylvania; and several artists in residence: Greg Kennedy Studios (Innovative Juggler), Funicular Circus (tight-wire artists), Give & Take (jugglers), Trey Lyford (physical theatre instructor), Rachel Tavani (music instructor), Ralph Lemon (visual artist) and many more.

The performance spaces include a large open sanctuary space with 40-ft ceilings with aerial rigging points throughout, trampoline & tramp-wall; a gymnasium with fully-functional theatrical stage; a dozen office and artist studios; & a variety of improvisational outdoor areas. For the 2022 Fringe Festival Circus Campus will be hosting our VERY FIRST HUB: Circus Campus Presents in the newly renovated theater-space.

For more about Circus Campus, visit https://circuscampusphiladelphia.com/

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