Meet the 2024 Big Top Tour Troupers!

Author Archives: Circus Smirkus

Meet the 2024 Big Top Tour Troupers!

Are you ready to meet the 2024 Big Top Tour troupers? Congratulations to these 30 young circus artists ages 11-18 who will perform across New England this summer! Tickets go on sale May 1! For more information, visit

Meet the 2024 Big Top Tour Directors

Step into a world of whimsy and wonder, as Circus Smirkus celebrates playfulness, discovery, and childlike curiosity with the 2024 Big Top Tour: The Imaginarium. A magical toy shop comes to life with tumbling teddy bears, high-flying marionettes, and a very mischievous Jack-in-the-Box, in this awe-inspiring and laughter-filled production. This year’s show will be co-directed by Smirkus alum, clown, and director Joshua Shack, and Julie Jenkins, former Smirkus coach and show director (2003 & 2004) and Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Chicago-based Midnight Circus. About Josh Joshua Shack decided to become a clown when he was just three years…

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Circus Smirkus Announces New Executive Artistic Director

Circus Smirkus Comes Full Circle FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Greensboro, VT The Circus Smirkus Board of Directors is thrilled to announce the appointment of Rachel Schiffer as Executive Artistic Director – a role that provides strategic and artistic oversight for the entire Smirkus organization. A Vermonter and Middlebury College graduate, Rachel joined the Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour in 1995 for the first of her ten years (!) as a trouper. She later worked as a Smirkus Residency Coach, and on the Big Top Tour as House Manager and Trouper Head Counselor. She was also an active member of the Smirkus Alumni Committee for many years. Rachel traveled the…

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Do You Want to Apply for Circus Smirkus?

Our troupers share why you should audition! Applications are now open for the 2024 Big Top Tour and for Smirkus Camps requiring placement: Intermediate Skills Intensive, Advanced Camp and Road Show. The Big Top Tour application is due November 1. Smirkus Camp applications are on a rolling, first come, first serve basis. We hope to see you next summer! For more information about auditions, visit

NBC Visits Circus Smirkus

Watch this video of NBC Nightly News Kids Edition with Lester Holt: The NBC Nightly News team came to visit Circus Smirkus in Greensboro, VT. Reporter Kristen Dahlgren got to know our troupers, watched the show and met with Interim Co-Executive Directors Josh Shack and Rachel Schiffer. You can watch the episode above. For more information about the Big Top Tour or Smirkus Camp, visit

There’s A Lot Going on at Advanced Camp!

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Camp Photographer & Communications Assistant Will Ciardelli The last few weeks during our Advanced session were amazing! And Road Show session campers headed out on the road to perform over 20 shows. On July 23, when the Advanced campers arrived we did some fun games to get everybody acquainted with one another before heading into our busy week! Our days were structured with rotation groups as per usual, the individual session campers had their own group, and the ensemble was broken into three different groups while Road Show remained on their own schedule. Campers went tent to tent doing different exercises…

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Watch the 2023 Smirk-o-Thon!

Watch this video of our 2023 Smirk-o-Thon: On July 28, we hosted a live stream of our 2023 Smirk-o-thon Fundraiser where our troupers and alumni competed in circus contests of skill and endurance (with lots of fun sprinkled in), hosted by Big Top Tour alum and coach Patrick Tobin and alum Sarah Tiffin! You can still donate to help us meet our goal of raising $10,000 to support the programs and mission of Smirkus and create life-changing experiences of memories, friendships, and a summer of success under the Big Top! Donate here!

Shows, Shows and More Shows!

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Camp Photographer & Communications Assistant Will Ciardelli Our Intermediate and Skills Intensive session was jam-packed with incredibly productive training sessions, tiring rehearsals and two fabulous shows. The focus of our second week was put towards creating a showcase that was presented on the final Friday to family and friends. Coaches brainstormed with the intermediate campers to decide a theme for the show they were working to create, ideas such as Outer Space, Western, even a Beyoncé theme were considered but we ended up building the show around the theme of Adventure. This opened up a great pool of ideas including an Indiana…

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Watch the 2023 Big Top Tour Trailer!

Watch this video trailer of the 2023 Big Top Tour: The 2023 Big Top Tour: A Midsummer Night’s Circus is on the road! Check out this trailer created by trouper Ian Kent and you’ll see what the show is all about. We’d love to see you at a show this summer. The tour travels all over New England from July 1 – August 19. The schedule and tickets are available at

Circus Smirkus Works its Big Top Magic at Farr’s Field

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the Waterbury Roundabout on July 9, 2023 and was written by by Olivia Conti and Sadie Ensana with photos by Gordon Miller As performers wearing colorful costumes entered the Circus Smirkus ring, they captured the gaze of wide-eyed children among the 750 audience members seated under the big top tent on a hot July afternoon. Performers Avery Steere and Cora Williams playing the roles of a king and queen effortlessly and elegantly rode unicycles as audience members’ eyes followed them in circles. Although this was Waterbury’s first year hosting the Vermont-grown youth circus, ticket sales were…

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