A Candid Interview with Circus Legend Jeanette Williams - CircusTalk

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A Candid Interview with Circus Legend Jeanette Williams

In mid-September, at the 2019 Circus Fans Association of America convention in Springfield, MA, I had the immense honor to sit and talk with circus legend Jeanette Williams. Daughter of Harry Williams and Carola Althoff, Williams hails from a dynasty of German circus owners and performers. Her contributions to the world-wide circus scene are abundant. After a hugely successful career as an animal purchaser, trainer and presenter, Williams is now the president of Entertainment & Circus Agency, LLC, a company that produces shows and books performers all over the world. At a spry 77, she is witty and bright-eyed. She carries herself with an air of forthrightness and glamour but is approachable and casual from the start. It was a warm evening in Springfield, and the convention attendees were enjoying a refreshing buffet dinner on the top floor of the hotel. Williams and I stole away from the cluster of round tables and chatted for over an hour. 
She spoke with a cadence which indicated that she had told her story many times. Her sentences were factual, clipped — the headlines of her life. And indeed, how else could she possibly cover the enormity and depth of her outstanding career in one interview? Her wide bright eyes sometimes drifted, thinking into the past, but most often held mine, unabashedly, while she recounted the particulars of joys and hardships.  ...
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Madeline Hoak

Madeline is a NYC based performer, producer, professor, and choreographer specializing in aerial, acrobatics, dance and movement direction. She is an adjunct professor of Aerial Arts at Pace University, on staff at Aerial Arts NYC and The Muse Brooklyn and initiated the Aerial program at Muhlenberg College where she taught from 2011 - 2017. Her movement direction contributed to Circle Theater NYC’s production of The Mountain winning Outstanding Original Choreography/Movement, 2015. She co-choreographed The Battles, a musical voted by Broadway producer Ken Davenport one of the top 10 new scripts of 2016. Madeline's choreography has been presented at Dixon Place, Circus Warehouse, BAX, The House of Yes, Abron Arts Center, Times Square, The Flea, STREB, Galapagos, and The Muse. She received BAs in Dance and Theater from Muhlenberg College and is currently studying at NYU’s Gallatin school of Individualized Study where she is designing a master’s degree in circus studies with a focus on dramaturgy and creative processes. madelinehoak.com.