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The Smirkus Season Ahead

Now, where did that winter go?

Honestly, no one in Vermont is really saying that… Winter was still with us last week! And if you walk into the woods around Smirkus’ World Headquarters, you’ll still find piles of snow and ice hiding in the shadows.

Despite the long, cold winter, it seems like only yesterday that we were parking our unicycles, stowing the trapezes, and lowering the tents for the season. And yet, here we are again: ready to launch an exciting new season for both Smirkus Camp and the Big Top Tour!

Smirkus Camp is in the midst of some exciting transformations, in particular as we welcome William Forchion as our new Summer Camp Director. William has had a long career in the circus world, both as a coach and performing in Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He has been (and will continue to be) supported by Mary Blouin Auffert, beloved Camp Director for so many years. We also welcome Camp Administrative Director Robin Allen LaPlante, who you’ve already met through many emails and phone calls to Headquarters during pre-season.

Smirkus Camp offerings have been redesigned this year to better serve campers in their quest to develop their circus skills. Advanced Camp has been extended to a full three weeks and we’re placing a new emphasis on skill intensives for the Intermediate level campers. Our ever-popular Advanced Camp Road Show will run for three weeks this year instead of two, so watch for us in more sites across Vermont! There’s still room in some of these camps, so it’s not too late to send in an assessment video to be placed in one of these camps.

The farmhouse at camp has also gotten a face-lift over the winter. She’s graced by a new roof, gotten repairs to the front porch and columns, and windows are being restored to preserve the historic character of the building while also helping with energy efficiency. We are immensely grateful to the Vermont Preservation Trust, the Freeman Foundation, the Canaday Foundation, and the generous individuals who have made these improvements possible.

Circus SmirkusAs you no doubt know, the Big Top Tour is going down the road this year with a new show – Carnival! – and I can’t wait to join in what promises to be a raucous romp down the midway. The troupers are eagerly training new skills for the show and the coaches are already working with them to develop their acts. Artistic Director Troy Wunderle and Creative Director Mark Lonergan are working tirelessly with their team to create the framework for this extravaganza before troupers arrive on June 8 and the real fun begins.

All of this will come together over the course of only three weeks here in Greensboro, when about 100 people live and work together to build out the whole of the show! It’s unheard of that a show of this quality comes together in such a short time, and yet our directors and creative team and our amazingly talented teenage performers continue to pull it off year after year.

It must be due to the Smirkus magic that permeates the air here in Greensboro…

I look forward to seeing you down the road this summer!

Wishing you joy and magic,
Jen Carlo
Executive Director