International Director Joins NECCA’s Educational Team to Create High-Flying Circus Tour

Circus News

International Director Joins NECCA’s Educational Team to Create High-Flying Circus Tour

The New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) has teamed up with Mark Lonergan, the Canadian-born Founding Artistic Director of Parallel Exit, to elevate the educational experience of ProTrack students at NECCA’s internationally recognized circus school.  Lonergan comes on board as show director of the Circus Springboard show, a creative project that culminates in a five-stop, three-state tour. NECCA’s professional training program has become the only full-time educational circus program in the United States dedicated to launching emerging professionals with an eye to reinvigorating the future of circus in America.
Mark Lonergan

Mark Lonergan was chosen after interviews with several international applicants, and his extensive resume includes productions for The Big Apple Circus, Opera North, Disney Cruise Lines, and Theatreworks/USA. As the creative director for the Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour for five seasons, he adds a strong awareness of the intersection of educating emerging artists while also holding them to professional standards in order to create a show that is entertaining, high-flying, safe, and a learning experience.

“We are excited about the opportunity to give our students access to someone who plays on the world stage,” is how Serenity Smith Forchion, NECCA co-Founder and former Cirque du Soleil performer, framed the importance of connecting with Lonergan.  “Mark is the real deal when it comes to devising creative shows from the ingredients our students now have to bring to him. I’ve had a chance to watch him work during their initial research week back in February—showing him acts on swinging trapeze, handstands, German wheel, and more—and I’m eager to see the show after their three-week intensive in April. The show is called INTERTWINE, and when completed, they will take it to theaters across New England.”

“For most of our students, this is their first creation process with a director who guides their acts and creativity to create an original work that embodies them, their talents, and a theme. It’s a true collaboration,” says NECCA Executive Director Jenna Struble. “This experience prepares them for their futures as performing circus artists, and NECCA is the only school in the United States preparing students in this way.”  Students learn tour-specific skills including how to rig in a theater, coordinate travel logistics, manage props and costumes, communicate with producers, and cohabitate with each other during the three weeks of productions.

INTERTWINE debuts at NECCA’s trapezium on April 22nd in Brattleboro, Vermont. Tickets are on sale at, with links to the full tour at Lake Placid Center for the Arts (Lake Placid, NY / April 27); Highland Center for the Arts (Greensboro, VT / May 5); Claremont Opera House (Claremont, NH / May 7); and Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College (Keene, NH / May 13).  The creation and tour are funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Arts Council, and the New England Foundation for the Arts, as well as sponsor businesses Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Holiday Inn Express, BackRoads Granola, Oak Meadow, Berkeley & Veller, and Bill Sapsis.

Main image: Mark Longergan brainstorms with Intertwine performers. Photo Serenity Smith Forchion

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