When The Show Must Go On

Author Archives: Circus Smirkus

When The Show Must Go On

“Ora,” said Troy, “go find your costume to see if it will fit Alexa.” So spoke Artistic Director Troy Wunderle to troupers Ora Lin and Alexa Wang.  Ora was fighting a stomach bug and Alexa needed to fill in for her and learn the act as soon as possible. In just two hours, in fact, Alexa would both learn and perform the act in front of a live audience. With her lunch in hand, Alexa studied a video of the aerial performance on a laptop, her eyes watching every move the girls made, and in particular, every move Ora made.  The act, called “lyra carousel”, features six troupers hanging…

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What’s In A Name?

Arriving on the Smirkus Camp site you are greeted by an assortment of colorful circus tents. Inside these tents is where the magic of camp happens. On any given day you will find clowns working on their improvisation, acrobats learning new tumbling skills, aerialists hanging high on trapeze, lyra or rope, jugglers tossing their clubs, and much more. As a new member of the Smirkus Family, my first tour of the campus included an introduction to all of the tents. Smirkus is my first experience of the circus world, and so I was unaware of the tradition to name circus…

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Four Sold Out Shows!

Essex Junction, VT proved to be a great success! We recently had four SOLD OUT shows at the Champlain Valley Exposition and it really gave life to our new show Vaudeville. There’s nothing like peeking through the curtain to see a full tent of happy ticket holders to drive the energy way up for the performers. Essex Junction was a happy reprieve after the recent heat wave in Waitsfield. Summers in New England, especially in Vermont where a large chunk of the shows play, aren’t known for their heat. Temperatures usually hover in the 80s, leaving the higher temps to…

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Cool Campers

With temperatures in the 90s all week it would have been easy for campers to become overheated, easily fatigued, and a little out of the Smirkus Spirit. Thankfully, this did not happen. Along with the constant reminders to campers to drink water, Smirkus provided plenty of fun water activities to keep campers as cool as their personalities. When the heat first started settling in on Monday, there were cold shaving cream filled trays and a hose on hand to provide both smiles and a break from the heat. Pie Day was a hit with campers and staff alike, all relishing…

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Circus Smirkus coming to Manchester

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the Rutland Herald on July 4, 2018 and was written by Patrick McArdle MANCHESTER — It’s news as American and exciting as Fourth of July fireworks: The circus is coming to town. Circus Smirkus will perform four times in Manchester, two shows each on July 12 and 13. The four shows are the closest to Rutland County this season. Troy Wunderle, creative director at Circus Smirkus, described it as the only touring youth circus in America. This year, the circus has 30 performers between the ages of 10 and 18 from 14 different states and Canada….

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Dinner Dress Up: Pirates vs Ninjas

After a full day of climbing silks, walking on stilts, and flying on the trapeze, it’s time for dinner. This is Smirkus Camp, after all, so not just any old outfit will do. In groups of campers and counselors alike, stealthy ninjas and rogue pirates arrive ready to fill up on some delicious evening fare. “Arggghhh,” they sneered, giggling as they held their hooked hands high into the sky. The ninjas were silent as their masked faces tip toed through the gravel path. Cabin by cabin, groups of campers streamed by, eyepatches, bandanas, tutus, trash bags, leotards, and so much more being looped and…

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Letter from a Trouper: Theo LeBlanc

Editor’s note: This post was written by Theo LeBlanc, 1st year trouper.  Before circus (B.C.) I did your typical after-school activities – soccer, baseball, and marching band.  I never really fit in or felt like I was in the right place. Around age 9, I started doing magic tricks for my friends and family.  Magic developed into a very fun hobby. After seeing one of my favorite magicians juggling knives, I decided juggling was the coolest thing ever.  My dad had some basic juggling skills and I asked him to teach me – I was hooked! One of my middle school friends did an…

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Glover Youth Joins Circus Smirkus

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the Barton Chronicle on June 26, 2018 and was written by Joseph Gresser  Asom Hayman-Jones of Glover stood with a crowd of casually dressed troupers in the Circus Smirkus ring on June 21. The first performance of the 2018 season was a little more than a week away, and there was plenty of work left to do to get the show ready to go. The sides of the big tent, or more properly the top in the language of the circus, were rolled up to let in light and air. Mr. Hayman-Jones, taller than most of…

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Spice Up Your Summer with a Circus Celebration!

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the Sentinel Source on June 29, 2018 and was written by Caroline Tremblay Grab your popcorn, take a seat and get ready to be dazzled by this year’s vaudeville-themed Circus Smirkus extravaganza! On Sunday and Monday, July 15 and 16, locals will flock to the Cheshire Fairgrounds for a Big Top experience like no other. With aerials, acrobatics, wire-walking, juggling, lively music and an array of brilliant costumes, this magical event is sure to awe audience members. Circus Smirkus’ performances in Swanzey are part of a 68-show tour across the Northeast, featuring top youth performers from…

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