Circophony's Fall Circus Training Program begins September 13 and runs Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:30 - 9 pm in Middletown. The program is open to all young people ages 12 to 18 and will culminate in a Fall Circus Showcase on Friday, November 18.
Circophony is a collaboration between two Middletown arts organizations -- Oddfellows Playhouse and ARTFARM. The program is held at Oddfellows Playhouse and directed by ARTFARM’s team of circus trainers. Training includes strength and flexibility, acrobatics and tumbling, juggling and other forms of object manipulation, stilt dancing, unicycling, clowning and physical comedy, and other performance skills.
Core Trainers Dic Wheeler and Allison McDermott run the program with Visiting Coaches and Guest Artists. The Fall Program is open to all teens regardless of circus experience. Regular attendance is expected. The training is physically demanding and will stretch your own sense of what you are able to achieve. This is a great program for actors, dancers, gymnasts, athletes, parkouristas, clowns, and anyone with a willingness to try new and exciting things. Circus is a place where any young person can find a role.
The program is open by registration. Tuition for the ten week program is $250 (some financial aid is available). To register contact Oddfellows Playhouse: email@example.com, or go to www.oddfellows.org.
Students who have completed the Fall Training Program will be invited to prepare an audition for the Circophony Traveling Company. Traveling Company auditions will be held January 17, 2017. The Spring Touring Show opens April 29 and will be available for bookings throughout May and June. Auditions are competitive and the Traveling Company is made up of a small group of experienced young performers chosen for their skills and commitment. Weekly Training also continues throughout the Winter and Spring for Circophony participants who are not in the Traveling Company.
Both the Training Program and Touring Company are directed by Dic Wheeler with Assistant Director and Lead Trainer Allison McDermott.
Dic has been performing, teaching and directing circus in the United States and Europe for over thirty years. A charter member of the American Youth Circus Organization, Dic is founder of the Children's Circus of Middletown, ARTFARM's Circus for a Fragile Planet, and was Artistic Director of Oddfellows Playhouse from 1981 to 2005. He is currently Executive Director of ARTFARM (www.art-farm.org)
Lead trainer Allison McDermott is an aerialist, acrobat, stilt dancer and circus performer. She has been Lead Teaching Artist in ARTFARM's Circus program since 2009, performs with Circus for a Fragile Planet and independently, directs the Advanced Program at the Children's Circus of Middletown, and is a graduate of the Professional Track Training program at the New England Center for Circus Arts in Vermont (www.allisonmcdermott.com).
(Photos by David Schulz of Circophony Traveling Company performer Jasmine Peck in 2016’s “Circus of Joy”)
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