It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the Smirkus Camp Session V Road Show! Flying around Vermont during Week 2 of Session V, our “Superhero” themed Road Show performers worked incredibly hard the first week of camp! After many hours of rehearsal they launched their mini tour around Vermont on Monday!
This year, Road Show includes 14 young Smirkus Camp performers between the ages of 13 and 17. Although there is no traveling Big Top, these Road Show performers bring their all when performing in a variety of venues across Vermont. Clowning and Performance Coach extraordinaire Suzanne Santos returns to direct The Road Show for a second year. Suzanne is an actor, clown, and educator who is known for her magician clown act “The Amazing Juan,” which she performs at Smirkus Camp for every staff talent show, much to the delight of her audience!
She is backed up by a team of coaches including Acrobatics Coach, Crosby Sandoval, and Head Coach Danny Frank.
Suzanne has four a half days to create an entire 30 minute show from scratch. Curious how such an intense performance comes together in a short amount of time, I asked her how that process begins. She told me that the Road Show campers brainstorm theme ideas on Registration Day and then everyone votes on a theme through a collaborative and democratic process. As Director, Suzanne leads by allowing campers to share their artistic vision by being an integral part of the show’s creation from the very beginning. She says, “the process is exhilarating and inspiring because it brings coaches and performers together. We’re constantly collaborating.”
Road Show, like it’s big sister program, the Big Top Tour (see Angelia Rorison’s blog for Big Top Tour updates- they’re finishing shows at Montpelier and heading back to Greensboro this week!), is a mini touring show that includes free performances at nursing homes, community centers and our big public performance on Church St in Burlington, Vermont! Today the Road Show performers did their entire show street performance style along the pedestrian only thoroughfare, Church Street Marketplace. It was such an incredible show. A few of my favorite moments from the event are below.
While all campers gain valuable experience performing for audiences at Smirkus Camp, The Road Show offers an even higher level of live performance experience for campers as they travel to 12 different venues around Montpelier, Burlington, Craftsbury, Greensboro, Glover, Morrisville, Barton, and Newport. Suzanne says that being a part of Road Show artistically benefits the campers because they gain the valuable ability of being able to adjust to any situation. The audience benefits as well because performing at nursing homes and community centers exposes circus arts to a wider variety of people. One of my favorite parts after the show is when the Road Show cast is beaming from their performance and they interact with the audience, giving high-fives and answering questions about their characters and Smirkus Camp. Congrats to Road Show for all their hard work!
– Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.
All the best,