Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater and Circophony Youth Circus present Circus of Joy: Finding Happiness in Who You Are.
Performances are Friday, April 29, at 7 pm and Saturday, April 30, at 2 pm and 7 pm at Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street in Middletown. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.
The eleven members of Circus of Joy are all trained circus performers between the ages of 12 and 17. Circophony is a teen circus training and performance program co-run by Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater and ARTFARM.
Circus of Joy is an original piece of circus theater that addresses issues of mental health, self-image, and the development of resilience in children and teens. Circophony director Dic Wheeler and Lead Trainer Allison McDermott developed the show in collaboration with the cast members, using their experiences, aspirations and struggles to develop a circus story built around finding happiness within yourself and in your own circumstances. The show is filled with juggling, stilting, acrobatics, roman ladders, physical comedy, hoop diving, and music, and the performances highlight individual journeys through doubt and darkness that each performer makes in finding a way to self- appreciation and confidence.
“This is more than just a youth circus performance,” said Wheeler. “Circus of Joy represents the challenges of being a kid in the modern world, the pressures, the forces that can pull you down, questions of identity, and suggests that through individual action and community support we can all make the journey easier for each other. This performance will speak to elementary school students, adolescents and teenagers with freshness and familiarity, and will be moving and affirming for adults as well.”
After the opening weekend Circophony’s Circus of Joy will tour to local schools, fairs and festivals through the end of June. Anyone interested in bringing the show to their school or other venue should contact the group immediately while there are still dates available.
Circophony is a year round youth circus program that provides high-quality circus training and performance opportunities to Connecticut teenagers. The Traveling Company is a select group of performers, chosen annually by audition. Every year, the company develops an original circus theater performance that is available to tour throughout the region.
Founded in 1975, the Playhouse’s mission is to promote the growth of young people, in skills, knowledge and self-confidence, through the performing arts. It is committed to the art of theater at its most adventurous; to education in the broadest sense of nurturing every student’s full potential; and to social justice, building a multicultural community and providing opportunities for all children.