Circus Blogs: Camp News Big Top Tour News Residency News

The official Circus Smirkus Camp Blog

A Big Top Makes Space

CIrcus Smirkus

Editor’s note: This story first appeared on the Vermont Arts Council website on May 9, 2019 and was written by Susan McDowell.  “There truly is room for everyone under the big top.” Jennifer Carlo, executive director at Circus Smirkus posits that the history of the circus is a story of inclusion. “Circus really is all about celebrating differences and bringing it all into a cohesive whole.” Often performers excluded from more traditional art forms have been recognized and given a home. Circus, as she describes it, is built on “bringing different talents and different people together to create something that is just magical.” Jen…

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Meet Robin Allen LaPlante

Circus Smirkus

Welcome to our new Camp Administrative Director, Robin Allen LaPlante. Robin has a background in performing arts marketing and production. She spent four years working at NPR’s “From the Top,” a classical music organization in Boston that produces the weekly NPR show featuring kids playing classical music. In that role, Robin managed the marketing, box office, and ticketing plans with presenters around the country. Robin is excited to be part of the Smirkus family and believes that “if you give kids access and opportunity to the things they are passionate about, they will use those things to make the world a…

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Welcome Our New Summer Camp Director

Smirkus Camp is pleased to welcome William Forchion as our new Summer Camp Director. William is a seasoned circus professional, actor, writer and theologist. He is also a father to 3 children. William has been involved with Smirkus for many years. He was a coach at Smirkus camp in 1996,  a Big Top Tour coach in 2007 and 2008, and has since coached many young circus artists training for Smirkus, primarily on clowning, aerial straps & partner acrobatics. William says, “I’ve been passionate about circus for over 30 years. Now is the time in my life to take the knowledge I have…

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Letter from a Trouper: Frederick Buford

Smirkus Camp

Editor’s note: This post was written by Frederick Buford, longtime Smirkus Camper and 1st year trouper.  WATCH: Here is Frederick’s fall audition video for the 2019 Big Top Tour, which includes footage of his summers spent at Smirkus Camp. When I first arrived at the magical Circus Smirkus Camp in 2016, I had no idea that, three years later, I’d receive a call saying I would be accepted to perform on the Big Top Tour. I’ve loved circus for as long as I can remember. I was first introduced to circus when I lived in France and got to see one…

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How Smirkus Saved My Life

Editor’s note: This post was written by a 2017-2018 Smirkus camper who prefers to remain anonymous but willingly shared this beautiful essay about Smirkus Camp. During the summer of 2017 I was in a dark place. I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship and felt worthless and unwanted and that I was a burden to everyone around me. I was lost and depressed and my OCD was getting the better of me. I had no idea of what I was going to do with my life except a vague “art”. This was all until I stepped foot at Smirkus Camp…

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VIDEO: Audition for Smirkus

Will Ciardialli

Applications and audition videos for the 2019 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour and Advanced Smirkus Camps are due November 1. Make sure to start your applications early so you don’t forget anything last minute. Click here for more information.

Say Cheese!

Editor’s note: This story was written by Smirkus Camp Communications & Sales Associate Brady Rainville. Walking around camp with a camera in hand is a smile-filled experience. When one of the campers sees me peering at them with my lens, they start to showcase both their talent and their smiles. They briefly make eye-contact and pass along a message in just one quick glance. They are telling me to watch what they are about to do. With the camera on them, the spotlight is too. Knowing they now have mine, and more importantly, the camera’s attention, they look away from the lens…

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Fun With Choice Time

At Smirkus Camp, the morning routine is a series of rotations for the campers to go over general skills of the acrobatics, aerials, clowning, and juggling disciplines. This time is for the campers to get a basic understanding of what circus is. Campers move from one tent to the next with their group learning and practicing the different talents and acts together The afternoon routine looks much differently, however. In the afternoons for the first week of Session IV for example, campers are given the opportunity of choice time. These special blocks are for the campers to work even more…

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Did you know that our campers perform too? Smirkus Camp Road Show will have 7 FREE public performances. Come enjoy a display of circus skills including juggling, acrobatics, clowning, and more from our campers at Session IV and V! SMIRKUS CAMP JUNIOR ROAD SHOW: FREE PUBLIC PERFORMANCES Sunday July 29th 12:15 p.m. Lake Champlain Maritime Festival, Burlington, VT Tuesday July 31st 2 p.m. Powers Park, Lyndonville, VT Thursday August 2nd 10 a.m. Greensboro Free Library, Greensboro, VT SMIRKUS CAMP ROAD SHOW: FREE PUBLIC PERFORMANCES Saturday August 11th 12:15 p.m. & 3:15 p.m. Derby Line Day, Derby Line, VT Monday August 13th 9:30 a.m. Irasburg…

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Boogie Shoes and the Smirkle of Happiness

The last night of Session III came to an end in epic fashion, with the Camper Dance! As the day ended, Campers filed into our big top, Mamma Mia, to celebrate our time together by showing off our dance moves. With smiles on their faces and passion in their soles, this was one of the last memory making moments for these campers. Lyrics were sung and the YMCA was performed and it was a great way for our campers to relax after spending a majority of the day prepping for the showcase the following day. When the music finally died…

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