The Audience Can Wait: Putting the Process Before the Production - CircusTalk

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The Audience Can Wait: Putting the Process Before the Production

Four days into development and rehearsal for their upcoming show, the artists participating in Circus Sessions 2017 are taking a well-deserved lunch break, but it certainly doesn’t seem like many are relaxing.  With such a tight timeline — only 5 days to delve into the collaborative process that is creating a show from inception to showing — many are studiously practicing their juggling. None want to disappoint their mentor, world-famous juggler Sean Gandini. A few are sipping coffees and checking their phones. Some are casually chatting with one another, making connections with other artists from other places and disciplines. Holly Treddenick, producer and creator of Circus Sessions and artistic director of Femmes du Feu, sits behind her laptop working on last minute details for the showing taking place the following evening. She’s also organizing rigging for HabourKIDS Circus, another event she has been curating and which is taking place over the Victoria Day long weekend in Toronto.
When Sean Gandini enters the room the group starts to come together. Lunch is over and rehearsals need to get started.  The showing is only 24 hours away and there is much to work on yet. The pressure to have a completed show looms heavy in the room, but the emphasis and purpose of Circus Sessions is really focused on the artists’ learning and development, and not on having a polished piece of work to bring to an audience. The audience that will be coming to see the show is a part of the sharing process, their input and reactions will be added to the week’s collection of creative mining that has occurred over the course of the week. ...
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Jackie Houghton

Jackie Houghton is a recreational circus performer, elementary school teacher, and freelance writer. When she is not teaching visual arts to school children, Jackie dreams about running away with the circus, but until then she is happy to write about it. She has been the exclusive writer for Femmes du Feu's Circus Sessions residency program for the past two years, and has also written for Circus Talk and American Circus Educators magazine.