Circus Campus Presents spectacles, circus and community featuring a mini circus festival within the 2023 Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Look for extraordinary performances during eleven original shows, plus five new exclusive circus workshops.
For 2023, the circus hub returns for the second year to showcase artistic styles that include circus, magic, juggling, theatre, music, and poetry – with everything in between (and often blended together). Each activity is designed to exemplify the different aspects of the region’s circus community while celebrating artistic expression in many different ways. All performances and workshops will run for one night only on weekends September 8th to September 24th at Circus Campus (6452 Green Street) throughout the historic restored church and campus in leafy-green West Mt. Airy. Tickets are on sale now by visiting www.phillyfringe.org (under Circus Campus Presents). General admission is $20 and student/artist tickets are $15. For more about Circus Campus, visit www.circuscampusphiladelphia.com/presents.
“Philadelphia Fringe Festival gives our city’s circus community a designated time every year when local artists have the chance – and the encouragement – to produce original work,” said Circus Campus Founder and Owner Shana Kennedy. “Circus Campus Presents formed last year and was a great success. We had hosted Fringe shows on and off for many years, but for the first time created a hub for something larger and much more collaborative. It was a win-win not only for our campus, our artists and for circus lovers throughout the region.”
She added, “For 2023, performances as part of the circus hub are designed to exemplify the broad spectrum of talent on Campus while pushing the creative boundaries formed through this unique collaboration. We also added on new workshops to foster new interest in circus and create a chance for Fringe Festival audiences to not just watch but to actually get involved.”
Circus Campus Presents during the 2023 Philadelphia Fringe Festival will kick off with Sweet & Sour Circus’s reprise of “Pink Lemonade,” and continue with the Innovative Juggler Team, Watermelon Bathtub, Krystal Younglove, Francis Menotti, Stephen Doutt, Circus Bliss, Ran’D Shine, Trenton Circus Squad, Cotton Candy Circus, then closes with Meadow Perry’s “Populance.”
For the first time ever, the public is invited to not only watch and experience performance, but to try circus skills. Five new exclusive workshops are designed for all experience levels and include Floor to Air Dance Trapeze, Intro to Chinese Pole, Roller Skating Workshop and Disco, Lollipop Lyra, and Dance Pole.
For faculty and artists, Circus Campus Presents will feature the talents of graduates from Circadium (a three-year academic program licensed with the state of PA), coaches from Philadelphia School of Circus Arts (an all-ages recreational circus program), artists-in-residence, local artists who have continually supported and created as a part of Test-Flights (curated showcase of works-in-progress), members of the weekly juggling club, and many others who have been integral to this unique forged circus arts environment that is exclusive to Philadelphia.
“It truly takes a village and for the 2023 circus hub all the formal and informal elements of the Circus Campus community are coming together for 16 nights of circus and spectacles that are not to be missed,” said Kennedy.
Circus Campus Presents
Philadelphia’s Circus Campus in Collaboration with Philadelphia Fringe Fest
Friday, September 8 to Sunday, September 24, 2023
Circus Campus (6452 Greene St. Philadelphia)
General admission: $20, Student: $15
Tickets available at The PhillyFringe website.
1) Floor to Air Dance Trapeze: Circus Workshop
Friday, September 8, 2023 at 5:00 pm
This blended level ground-to-air workshop guides students through an exercise that encourages intentionality on the ground (where we are most comfortable) and eventually onto the dance trapeze. The workshop will also cover basic dance trapeze vocabulary and movement.
2) Pink Lemonade
Friday, September 8, 2023
6:00 pm and 8:00 pm
Sweet & Sour Circus
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!).
This show will focus on playfulness and exploration (NOTHING TOO DEEP OR SERIOUS) utilizing simple storytelling, 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 plaything we think we want or need in the moment while taking care of and entertaining our audience (YAY! *CLAPS*).
3) The Sculpture Gallery
Friday, Saturday & Sunday September 8,9, & 10, 2023
September 8 @ 7:00 pm – September 9 @ 5:15 pm | 7:45 pm | 10:00 pm – September 10 @ 3:00 pm
The Innovative Juggler Team
Immerse yourself in the world of a reclusive sculptor and his curious apprentice. They’ve commissioned the help of a tenacious curator to present their unique juggling contraptions. However, art doesn’t always go as planned. Come be a part of the exhibit and experience these striking kinetic sculptures firsthand. Admire the craftsmanship and the artistry of these one-of-a-kind pieces and maybe become part of the art yourself at The Sculpture Gallery.
4) Intro to Chinese Pole: Circus Workshop
Saturday, September 9, 2023, at 4:00 pm
You’ll have a great time learning the basics of how to climb, flip, & spin on the rubberized vertical bar. This is an upper-body and core-intensive apparatus so it’s an awesome way to build strength while having fun! All levels welcome.
REQUIREMENTS: The poles are covered with friction tape, so students should wear full-coverage pants (no exposed skin on legs/feet) and flexible athletic shoes.
5) Red Flags
Saturday, September 9, 2023
6:30 pm, 8:45 pm
“Red Flags” will explore the dynamics of power in relationships. People will tell their experiences of a time when they were in a toxic situation and then perform their ultimate circus revenge act. The show will be a combination of drama and comedy, with audience participation encouraged. Our shows will also include themes of access to make the experience welcome to a wider audience. (FIX OUR/etc)
6) The Strangelove Sideshow Spectacle
Sunday, September 10, 2023, at 7:30 pm
Spotlighting Krystal Younglove: The Indestructible Lady. This classic 10-in-1 circus sideshow will leave you breathless with its squeamish-inducing delights. Watch in amazement as Krystal uses bone-shattering animal traps, walks on glass, eats fire, demonstrates invulnerability on a bed of nails, performs feats of strength, and hammers nails into her face—all the things your mama warned you not to do!
Krystal Younglove will have you gasping in amazement, covering your eyes, and laughing out loud—all in the same show!
Rest assured, Krystal is a Circus Sweetheart, and “The Strangelove Sideshow Spectacle” is a classy-ish affair, reminiscent of the classic sideshows of yesteryear. It is a family-friendly show that promises to leave you in awe, thoroughly entertained, and perhaps even slightly inspired.
7) Roller Skating Workshop and Disco: Circus Workshop
Friday, September 15, 2023, at 5:00 pm
Cotton Candy Circus
All levels welcome. This short, fun workshop is designed to get you familiar with the roll and is followed by a 45-min free-skate roller disco. REQUIREMENTS: Provide your own skates – helmet and padding suggested but not required.
8) Sisyphus & Siri
Friday, September 15, 2023
6:30 pm and 8:30 pm
The magician you are about to meet is already dead; he doesn’t know it yet. Join your host, Siri, as she introduces you and guides you through an evening of mystery and impossibility laced with dark comedy and a pinch of Greek mythology. Not suitable for audiences under 16 years of age.
9) Hazard House
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, September 15, 16, 17, 2023
September 15 @ 7:40 pm – September 16 @ 9:00 pm – September 17 @ 7:00 pm
“Hazard House” is a site-specific, contemporary circus experience… in an attic.
Inspired by dark rides and Rube Goldberg machines, and absolutely full of chaotic juggling.
10) Lollipop Lyra: Circus Workshop
Saturday, September 16, 2023, at 5:00 pm
Part Lyra, part pole, all fun! Learn the basics of this apparatus, including mounts & poses. Please note that due to the nature of the apparatus, this workshop will involve spinning. All levels welcome.
11) Add to Cart
Saturday, September 16, 2023
6:00 pm, 8:00 pm
“Add To Cart” is a 45-minute duo circus show, exploring themes of overconsumption, capitalism, minimalism, and the choices we make, both knowingly and unknowingly, in the human pursuit of happiness. The show features ground skills such as partner acrobatics, dance, and balance work, centered around two shopping carts used as innovative ground apparatuses. With bright colors, a lot of costume changes, and some deep inner work to unlearn our shopping habits, “Add To Cart” is an activism comedy, suitable for all ages.
12) Evidence of Things Unseen
Sunday, September 17, 2023, at 6:00 pm
Immersive, Surprising, Unexpected: “Evidence of Things Unseen” is an experience that uses magic effects as metaphor. Audience members will experience an uncanny demonstration of sleight of hand, and psychological illusions in a setting where is there is no smoke, no mirrors. Just Pure Magic.
13) Intro to Dance Pole: Circus Workshop
Friday, September 22, 2023, at 5:00 pm
Tricks, spins, flow, and routine. A great cardio workout while looking fabulous. No experience needed. REQUIREMENTS: Shorts & sports bra suggested. No lotion or jewelry.
14) Building Bridges
Friday, September 22 2023 at 7:00 pm
Trenton Circus Squad
Trenton Circus Squad believes that circus arts has the power to connect people and communities in a universal language of fun, curiosity, artistry and boldness. Join them in bringing their Big Top Tour experience to Philly Fringe!
15) ROLLER CIRCUS… The Greatest Show on Wheels
Saturday, September 23, 2023
6:30 pm, 8:30 pm
Cotton Candy Circus
Step right up and prepare to be amazed by “Roller Circus: The Greatest Show on Wheels!” The first circus cabaret of its kind, “Roller Circus” combines aerials, juggling, drag, clowning, fire, and sideshow performance with the art of roller skating in a way you have not seen before!
Featuring an incredible cast of talented performers from the Philadelphia area, “Roller Circus” is a high-energy variety show that is guaranteed to astound and delight audiences. Watch as these performers take both traditional and non-traditional circus skills and perform them entirely on roller skates! From the daring stunts of the aerialists to the mesmerizing juggling tricks and hilarious comedy routines, every moment of this show is designed to take your breath away and leave you wanting more.
Sunday, September 24, 2023
6:15 pm, 8:00 pm
Meadow Perry combines the beauty of bubble artistry, magic, and illusion with a dash of sophistication and sparkle to create a dazzling experience that can only be described as “Populence.” Join this charming but humble sorceress of soap bubbles as she takes you on a journey of dreams.
Photo gallery of artists (click on image to view gallery):
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