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Circa Creates Comedic Circus on Stage at Juniata College

(Posted January 31, 2011)

The group Circa uses skills learned at the Circus to create 45 circus acts in 45 minutes -- all without a clown car or elephants

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Take the spectacle of a three-ring circus and remove the rings, the wild animals, the big tent and the boring parts and you have the breakneck bombast of "Circa: 46 Circus Acts in 45 Minutes," which will entertain at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 12, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

For tickets and information about the Juniata College Presents series, please call (814) 641-JTIX (5849). General admission tickets for single performances are $20, except where otherwise noted. Single-show tickets for seniors over age 65 and children age 18 and under are $12. Juniata College students are admitted free with a student ID.

Although no elephants grace the stage and hundreds of clowns don't exit a sports car, there are plenty of circus thrills in this show performed by five Australians well-versed in knife throwing, acrobatics, contortions, plate juggling and daring escapes.

The troupe performs with a giant screen on stage counting down the seconds and the show is scored with witty music selections DJ'd by one of the cast members that complement the banter of the other onstage performers.

While the stage is stripped down to the bare circus essentials, the performers will incorporate classic circus thrills as trapeze, tumbling and thrilling stunts. The only things missing are trained dogs.

While the stage is stripped down to the bare circus essentials, the performers will incorporate classic circus thrills as trapeze, tumbling and thrilling stunts. The only things missing are trained dogs.

Comedy and clowning will not be missing from the production, but don't expect clowns with big shoes and rubber-ball noses to be part of the action.

The performers also ratchet up the tension by making the audience wonder if they will complete their challenge of 46 circus acts in 45 minutes, a task made marginally more complicated by occasionally incorporating a member of the audience.

All of the performers were trained at a circus school in Brisbane, Australia. The cast members are:

--Chelsea McGuffin, who has been with Circa since 2001 and has trained at the Moscow State Circus school.

--Darcy Grant, who joined the Flying Fruit Fly Circus at age 13 and taught at an Australian circus school before joining Circa in 2004.

--Lewis West, who graduated from Australia's National Institute of Circus Arts in 2008, has performed with several traditional circuses.

--Emma Serjeant also graduated from the National Institute of Circus Arts, majoring in hand balancing.

--Jesse Scott has worked with the flying Fruit Fly Circus and teaches at the Brewarrina Youth Circus, Australia's largest indigenous youth circus.

The show was created by Yaron Lifschitz, artistic director and CEO of Circa.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.