Want to see something amazing in eastern Vermont? At this year’s Circus Spectacular, produced by the New England Center for Circus Arts, you’ll get to do just that while also contributing to the community.
Be amazed, be awed, be delighted! Join the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) for an evening of incredible, world-class entertainment for the entire family in Brattleboro, VT, on March 4 and 5. The Circus Spectacular is a dazzling NECCA fundraising event and a unique opportunity to see some of today’s most renowned high-flying aerialists, acrobats, and jugglers.
These professional performers from around the world are donating their talents to raise funds for NECCA’s student financial aid, outreach, and programming. Last year, NECCA served nearly 3,000 students, awarded nearly $53,000 in financial aid to students of all ages across numerous programs, and performed seven free community shows valued at $36,000 in ticket sales, along with free tickets to groups in need throughout the year.
Executive Director Jenna Struble says, “We are so grateful for the community support of NECCA as a charitable not-for-profit organization. We rely on funds raised by Circus Spectacular and the generosity of our donors to support and ensure equal access to circus arts. Ticket sales and support from local businesses and donors help us provide student financial aid and free performances to the community, as well as discounts and free programming for youth with Winter Sports and programming for the Boys & Girls Club.”
There are two ways to enjoy the show: in person on the Latchis Theater stage on March 4 and 5, and via livestream on March 4 only, if you prefer to watch from the comfort of your own home.
Producing Director Serenity Smith Forchion is grateful for the expertise of Brattleboro Community Television in hosting the livestreamed event. “They set up cameras inside the theater and connect via the internet to an audience from around the world. We have seen hundreds of live stream attendees join our live audience at the Latchis and are grateful for this new technology that adds another option for accessible attendance,” says Smith Forchion.
Rising national circus star Guest Ringmaster Jan Damm will perform his signature act of diabolo juggling and acrobatic balancing high on a table before he joins the newly rebooted Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus as their lead character.
A Bellows Falls native and director of Circus Smirkus for 26 years, Troy Wunderle joins the cast again this year for a zany act. Among other achievements, Wunderle spent six years as Director of Clowning for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and is the 2022 recipient of the American Circus Educators’ Excellence in Circus Education Award.
Unusual handbalancer and contortionist Fleeky Flanko shares what he learned from Chinese acrobatic masters, and NECCA grad and successful cruise ship entertainer Joel Herzfeld performs an LED Cyr Wheel act.
“One great pleasure I get in producing The Circus Spectacular is bringing inspiring and talented people to town, where they energize us all during a low time at the end of the winter—laughter is good medicine!” says Smith Forchion. “I also enjoy being able to create an event that supports our programming and outreach so that we can then spread circus joy throughout Brattleboro and beyond.”
Executive Director Struble adds to that sentiment: “As inflation has risen and the community’s needs are greater, we are committed to providing more financial aid to students and more staff development so that we can make good on our commitment to being inclusive of every body and ability as they utilize circus arts to realize their potential.”
Enjoy awe-inspiring entertainment and support a good cause during two shows only on March 5 at 7:30 PM and March 5 at 1:00 PM. Tickets are $15-$50. Buy tickets, join classes, and donate on the NECCA website. For more information, call 802-254-9780.
Circus Spectacular support comes from lead sponsor Brattleboro Savings & Loan, as well as Back Roads Granola, Oak Meadow, Berkley & Veller, Inc., Trust Company of Vermont, Brattleboro Tire, Holiday Inn Express (BK Investments), Brattleboro Reformer, Peak Radio Group, Minuteman Press, The Works Bakery, Chroma Technology Corporation, Whetstone Station, and Bravo Botanicals.
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