Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Circus Comes to Town

24th Annual Children’s Circus of Middletown to perform August 3
Design by Jason Leinwand

Oddfellows Playhouse and the Middletown Commission on the Arts present the 24th Children’s Circus of Middletown: The Circus of Science.  The one-time-only show will be presented on August 3 at 5 PM at Macdonough School, with a rain date of August 4 at 5 PM.
The talented young performers of the Circus of Science will bounce around like molecules in an atom, explore the elements of fire, earth, air and water, and of course a mad scientist or two.  The Circus of Science will explore a range of scientific subjects all the way from the dinosaurs and marine biology to string theory.  And of course many famous scientists, or at least famous scientist clowns, will be making an appearance.

The Children’s Circus is a 5-week, half-day program for 130 children ages 8-14 that has become not only a huge local event but also a national model for nonprofit municipal partnerships.  Over the five weeks, participants learn a huge variety of circus skills such as acrobatics, dance, juggling, unicycling, stilt walking, clowning, and visual arts.  After deciding on two areas of specialization, the participants train daily and perform for the camp at the end of each week.  For the last two weeks of the program, the participants are cast into featured roles in a circus act, and rehearse these acts before performing in front of over 1,000 people. The performance features the live circus band of local musicians led by Dirck Westervelt, costumes by Betsy Spiro, and scenic and prop design by Ro Seidleman.  
Photo by Andy Szegedy-Maszak

The Children's Circus offers an exceptionally unique program where the whole family and the entire whole community, can get involved in the making of something truly inspiring and special.  Jason Leinwand, this year’s circus director, is especially excited about the community focus of this arts program, “As the Technical Director I was fortunate to spend a lot of time building, paper macheing, painting, cutting watermelon and laughing with circus kids and their families during our bi-weekly tech sessions held in the evenings at the Remington Rand space.”  Leinwand goes on to say, “In my opinion, this is the essence of what the circus is. It's a place where everyone is welcome to participate. The circus is a place where all of our individual skills are collaged together to create an unbelievable spectacle that everyone can be proud to be a part of. We become a community of artists and over time, one big circus family.”
Photo by Andy Szegedy-Maszak

This year, Oddfellows is asking everyone to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Amazing Grace Food Pantry.  Bring a lawn chair and enthusiasm to Macdonough School and enjoy the spectacle.  The 24th Children’s Circus of Middletown: The Circus of Science will perform at 5 PM on August 3 at 66 Spring Street in Middletown.  Parking is limited to street locations, so carpooling is recommended. The Macdonough School lot is reserved for handicapped and elderly patrons.

Tickets are available at the gate for $5 for Adults and $3 for Students and Seniors.

The Children’s Circus is made possible by the Middletown Commission on the Arts, the Middlesex United Way, Stop and Shop Foundation, Peter Abare-Brown and Courtney Antonioli and Oddfellows Playhouse’s many generous supporters.  For more information, call (860) 347-6143.

For more information on programs, to register for classes or to purchase tickets to performances, call Oddfellows at (860) 347-6143 or log onto 

Oddfellows programming in 2012-13 is made possible through the generous support of the American Savings Foundation, the CDBG Scholarship Program, the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, the CT Department of Education, Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Fund, Elizabeth Carse Foundation, the Fund for Greater Hartford, the George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, the Irving Kohn Foundation, the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, Liberty Bank Foundation, Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Middlesex County Community Foundation, Middlesex United Way, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, Middletown YSB, the National Endowment for the Arts, Northern Middlesex Cable Advisory Council, Pratt & Whitney—Middletown, Price Chopper Golub Foundation, the Stare Fund, Stop and Shop Foundation, Thomas J. Atkins Foundation, Triple Frog, LLC and WESU (88.1FM).

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