How One New England Circus Pulled Through the Pandemic

Circus News

How One New England Circus Pulled Through the Pandemic

With the upcoming fourth tour of its show RagTag: A Circus in Stitches, the New England-based circus collective Cirque Us enters its seventh year on the road. RagTag follows a group of threadbare, yarn-spinning characters as they explore a new patchwork world. But after two years of pandemic, getting to tour the show again was not a surety. As part of a world- and industry-wide conversation about the return to live shows, Cirque Us Founder and Operations Director Doug Stewart gives us a look between the seams at how his company kept itself stitched together during the pandemic. 
We are very excited to be returning to the stage! It’s no surprise the last few years were extremely challenging for all small companies, and performing arts companies were no exception. Cirque Us had toured every summer since 2016 across New England and the East Coast. In 2020, we decided to switch things up and do our first-ever spring tour. We were in the middle of a three-week rehearsal period when the world shut down that March. Doug Stewart in RagTag At first, we were cancelling show by show, hoping we could salvage the end of our tour. Of course, we all kno...
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Cirque Us

Cirque Us is a Boston based circus entertainment and education company. We produce and tour full length, original work, as well as curate customized circus experiences. Additionally, we provide educational resources, such as workshops and camps, for people of all ages and abilities. Based in New England, the Cirque Us team draws performers, directors, educators, technicians, and choreographers from all over the United States. Our circus collective seeks to bring the most passionate, committed, and talented circus artists to the hearts of local communities, whether it’s through a performative or educational lense. We choose to tell our stories through circus because this multidisciplinary approach to performance not only inspires our audiences, but also inspires our company members. Training and performing circus requires immense discipline, commitment, and passion. Every member of the Cirque Us team embodies these characteristics, which helps fuel a collectively strong work ethic to create content of the highest caliber. Circus enables us to express ourselves both physically and artistically. Through this unique medium, we are able to emphasize the necessity of human connections and relationships in order to uphold community. Moreover, through circus we demonstrate that the impossible is possible, that through trust and communication we can hold one another up literally and figuratively, and that with an open mind and heart, we can be the best versions of ourselves, both on and off stage. Circus has profoundly impacted our lives, and we want to spread the “circus magic” wherever we go.