Audition For Smirkus


Are you a gymnast, clown, dancer, juggler, unicycler or physical theater performer looking to have the summer of a lifetime on tour with a real circus? Here is where you can learn how to apply for the 2020 Big Top Tour or the 2020 Advanced Camp Sessions.


Applications for the 2020 Circus Smirkus Big Top Summer Tour will open October 1, 2019. On that date, we will post a link to the tour application. If you would like more information about 2020 auditions, please send an email to

Application Process

Who should apply:

If you are a trained student, between ages 10 and 18, in circus or other physical disciplines, have strong teamwork skills, excellent stage presence, and are interested in gaining more insight and knowledge about performing, traveling, and traditional circus arts, we encourage you to apply! All applicants must submit a video audition and application form.

Your adventures on a Smirkus Big Top tour will require physical and emotional fortitude. The Directors and Coaches are seeking performers who have the potential to become exemplary Smirkos: an exceptional level of talent and skill in your chosen discipline(s), a strong work ethic, a positive and generous spirit, and a boundless passion for circus.

Important Dates for the 2020 Big Top Tour:

  • November 1st Deadline: All 2020 Big Top Tour applications must be submitted by November 1st. All applicants will be notified by letter the week of November 24th whether or not they have been selected to take part in the live auditions. 
  • January 17-19, 2020 LIVE AUDITIONS: Live auditions will be held the weekend of January 17-19, 2020 at New England Center for Circus Arts  located at 10 Town Crier Drive. If you are invited to audition in person, you will need to prepare an act to perform.
  • June 2019: Training will begin approximately June 6, 2020. The tour will run until approximately August 16, 2020. (Dates will be finalized once the tour schedule has been completed.)

Tuition & Scholarships:

Please note that there is a tuition fee for the touring program. (The 2019 tuition fee was $7,000; the 2020 tuition fee will be similar in pricing and will be announced in November.)  This cost covers training, housing, food, uniforms and transportation costs for the rehearsal and tour period. No one is denied participation because of financial need. If you are accepted into the troupe, you may apply for scholarship aid at that time.

About the Big Top Tour

Since 1987, The Big Top Tour has brought together 30 highly motivated young performers in a traditional traveling circus environment. These young performers (called Troupers) experience a unique opportunity—performing 60-70 shows across New England, bringing circus arts to over 50,000 children and adults during the course of a summer. They work with professional circus coaches from across the country and around the World to create the 2 hour show  in a 3 week period in early June. Troupers deepen their skills in performing and the circus arts, become physically stronger, and gain maturity from the 10 week adventure. Many Big Top Tour Troupers continue onto circus and other performing careers around the world.

For further assistance with the application process or if you have any questions at all, contact

We recommend that if you plan to apply for the Big Top Tour, but are also interested in Smirkus Camp, that you make sure to apply for Smirkus Camp in the fall as camp sessions tend to fill quickly. The 2020 camp registration forms will be available on our website,, starting October 15th, 2019. If you are selected to become a Trouper on the Big Top Tour, we’ll transfer your camp deposit to your tour tuition.



2020 Smirkus Camp registration opens October 15, 2019. If you are interested in Smirkus placement-based camps, please contact for more information.

If you have already submitted an application for Tour, we strongly recommend that you also apply for placement-based Smirkus Camp (these are two different applications).  If you are selected to become a Trouper on the Big Top Tour, we’ll transfer your Camp deposit to your Tour tuition.  

Application Process

Who should apply:

Youth ages 10-18 trained in movement or circus arts who have the desire to improve upon their existing skills and learn from public performance opportunities in a variety of programs.

We have several camp programs that require a video for skills assessment. You only need to make 1 video to apply for 1 or more of the placement-based camps for any session. Selection to each program is determined based on recommendations from our coach-led review committee. Everyone who submits a video will be placed in a session.

Video Information:

Your video should be approximately 2-3 minutes long and showcase a wide variety of circus skills, highlighting 2 or 3 of your best moves. Please also answer the following questions on camera:

  • What is your name, age, and background as a circus performer?
  • In which program(s) are you most interested in participating? Please state your preferred camp.
  • Why do you want to participate in an advanced Smirkus Camp program?
  • Make sure to let your personality shine through!

Your video needs to be submitted using a link. Most campers upload their video to their YouTube page, and then copy the link for submission during the registration process. Based on your placement video, the review committee will determine which program best suits your skill set, skill level, and performance. You will be notified via email of your placement on a first-come, first-serve basis.

* Note: We charge a $50 fee for applications in order to pay our review committee of coaches for their time and expertise.

A video submission is part of the audition application process. Watch the video above to see some excerpts of last year’s submissions – as you can see, home videos are fine and professional quality is not required.