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Circadium: Innovations

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About the Show

Tonight, you’re part of performing arts history — a night of firsts.

You’re witnessing the first performance of the first class of students in the first higher-education program for circus arts in the United States.

Together, we — you, tonight’s performers and Circadium — are doing something big here.  Contemporary circus, as an art form, has been underdeveloped in this country for decades, while evolving beautifully in other parts of the world.  It is high time for our talented American artists to have the educational and performance opportunities to develop new circus work. And audiences, like yourselves, will be the greatest beneficiaries.

The artists on stage tonight have taken daring leaps all year long – on crash mats and trampolines, through hoops and over obstacles.  They’ve challenged themselves in theatre class, in dance class, in writing, history classes and music. But the leap we are recognizing tonight is their very first one – when they came here as part of Circadium’s pioneer class in September.

After three years of training at the new Circus Campus in Mt. Airy, Circadium students will earn a Diploma of Circus Arts.

We are grateful to them for embarking on this journey with us, for bravely sharing all parts of themselves, and working so hard in the creation of this show.

Welcome to the first glimpse of the future of American circus.   

-Shana Kennedy, Executive Director


De-rigged, ground trapeze

Trap, dance trapeze
     Luna Deasy, ensemble

Drag Me To Hell, acrobatics

Stuck, hula hoop
     Maya Zuckerman, Alex Russell

Definition of a Circle, rings
     Zak McAllister, Stephen Doutt

If It Ain’t Baroque, hoop diving
     Chauncey Kroner, Celeste Murman

Threesome, acrobatics
     Luna Deasy, Chauncey Kroner, Maya Zuckerman

These Hollow Bones
     Celeste Murman, Tara Talland

Express, clubs
     Delaney Bayles, Zak McAllister

Momy, rola bola
     Zak McAllister, Celeste Murman

Wisdom of Youth, cyr wheel
     Chauncey Kroner, Alex Russell

About Circadium

Building upon the strong foundations of the successful Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, Circadium is a full-time, 3-year, professional training program for circus artists. We are the first school in the United States to be state-licensed, granting a Diploma of Circus Arts. As a non-profit vocational college, we have the mission of cultivating, inspiring, and innovating contemporary circus performance in America.

For more information:

Creative Team

Performers Delaney Bayles, Luna Deasy, Stephen Doutt, Chauncey Kroner, Zak McAllister, Celeste Murman, Alex Russell, Tara Talland, Maya Zuckerman

Faculty and staff Susan Deutsch, L. Feldman, Jackie Fetzer, Megan Gendell, Ben Grinberg, Greg Kennedy, Shana Kennedy, Richard Kennison, Aidan O’Shea, Nicole Paulino-Trisdorfer, Ryan Tuerk, Allison Watman, Adam Woolley

Board of Directors Julie Goodman, Agatha Koprowski, Brett Mandel, Robin Marcotte, Marc Miller, Jennifer Neglia, Kitsie O’Neill, Brendon Shank

Artist Statement

Circadium is all about experimentation through the collision of multidisciplinary approaches to performance. How can circus transcend simple virtuosity to say something deeper about the human experience, and ultimately, move an audience? We ask students to answer this question through a course in autocreation: each week, students author original works of performance based off a variety of prompts. By themselves, as a whole ensemble, or in any group size in between, students create these works of performance without faculty supervision. Assignments range from the very specific (such as, a piece titled “When the Rain Stops Falling” that uses three levels of tension in your body) to the very open ended (a couple of “wild card” weeks, where students show anything springing from their own curious minds or recent circus research).  Each Friday, these tiny works of performance are presented for the faculty for review and discussion. Each of the pieces in tonight’s show was originally, in some form, created for a Friday showing. About a month ago, students re-presented successful pieces of their choosing from the entire year, with the caveat that any solos needed to become duets or group pieces. After an iterative process of presentation and feedback, and a small amount of Faculty coaching, some pieces fell onto the cutting room floor while others morphed and changed, and a show began to take shape. Students were responsible for transitions and are ultimately the solo authors to the show you are about to see, from start to finish. As you watch the show, enjoy not only the incredible talents on display, but also the window into these young maker’s minds — we can only expect even more incredible things from them in the next two years of school, and beyond in their lives as artists.

-Ben Grinberg, physical theatre instructor


Delaney Bayles is a juggler from Salt Lake City, Utah. She was on tour with Circus Smirkus in 2016 and is a three-time medalist at the International Juggling Association’s stage competition. Delaney has enjoyed her time training at Circadium and is excited for the next two years of the program.

Luna Deasy is a circus artist specializing in contortion, aerials, and hand balance. She is native to Philadelphia and has performed all over the country. She spent most of her time training and working at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts before attending Circadium last fall.

Stephen Doutt has been manipulating objects in space-time for 10 years. His next phase of evolution is currently underway at Circadium where he studies juggling and acrobatics.

Hi I’m Chauncey Kroner, 22 years old. I am a freshman at America’s first circus college known as Circadium, and my disciplines are Acrobatics, Hoop diving, Diabolo and Cyr Wheel.

Zak McAllister is a juggler from Central Texas.  He has been juggling for about 10 years and currently works under the coaching of Richard Kennison and Greg Kennedy.

Celeste Murman is a 19-year-old circus artist from Cleveland, Ohio.  She was a gymnast before she came to Circadium.

Alex Russell is a Food Scientist turned circus artist, who quit her 9-5 job to pursue her dream at Circadium. Trading in a lab coat for a leotard, she joined the trailblazing inaugural class after discovering her passion for circus just three years ago, and has been on one of the most challenging yet rewarding roller coasters that she’s ever experienced.

Tara Talland is a 22-year-old circus, dance, and theatre artist originally from Boston.  She studied ballet for thirteen years and aerials acrobatics for ten. She also studied acting at NYU before moving to Philadelphia in order to attend Circadium.

Maya Zuckerman is an 18-year-old hula hooper, juggler, and acrobat from St. Louis, Missouri.  She grew up performing with the St. Louis Arches, a youth partner acrobatics troupe, and knew since she was 14 that she wanted to pursue circus professionally.  She is ever grateful for the people she has met through the world-wide circus community, and is extremely proud to be a part of Circadium’s first class.


Hand to Hand Circus Festival is made possible through the support of PNC Arts Alive.

PNC Arts Alive
is a multi-year, multi-million dollar grant initiative of the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.  In its ninth year, PNC Arts Alive challenges visual and performing arts organizations to put forth their best, most original thinking in expanding audience participation and engagement. A very prestigious grant, only twenty arts organizations in the Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey region are selected.

“Through PNC Arts Alive, we continue to help invigorate local arts organizations while bringing new and exciting programs to our community,” said Joe Meterchick, PNC regional president for Philadelphia, Delaware and Southern New Jersey.  “The creativity and collaboration demonstrated by the local arts community is evident in the programs that will be introduced, while enabling new visitors and residents alike to experience a diverse range of exhibits and performances.”

For more information on PNC Arts Alive and the grant recipients visit

Coming Up at FringeArts

Auditions for Le Super Grand Continental
Choreography by Sylvain Émard
June 6-9

In 2012, the annual Fringe Festival was kicked off with a large scale performance unlike anything Philadelphia had seen before. One hundred and fifty residents of all ages and dance backgrounds assembled at the foot of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps, donned in the outfits of their choice, twirling into a rhythmic human kaleidoscope. Le Grand Continental® was a joyous and intoxicating dance spectacle, one that united people from across Philadelphia’s diverse communities and was praised by The Inquirer as “fantastic, a festive opening ceremony” for the Festival.

This year, the Fringe Festival will be ushered in once again with Émard’s unifying work, but with one key difference. As the title Le Super Grand Continental suggests, this time around Émard and his team are doing it bigger and are looking to gather 200 dancers to realize this remarkable performance. We hope that you’ll be one of them.

No prior experience is necessary to be a part of Le Super Grand Continental, just enthusiasm and a love of dance. A good sense of rhythm and coordination is recommended. Auditions will take place in the FringeArts theater June 6-8 from 6-8pm and on June 9 from 11am-1pm, 2-4pm, and 5-7pm. Auditions last the full two hours during which time you’ll be led through some of the piece’s choreography by members of the production team. Dress comfortably and bring some water.

FringeA-Thon 2018
Presented by Penn Medicine
June 16

FringeA-Thon isn’t just a fundraiser. It’s an enormous party that celebrates the power of dance to unite people of all ages and backgrounds.  With Philly-favorite DJs spinning all day, an outrageous “dance mom” host, pop-up performances, dance demos, dance battles, games, giveaways, and many more surprises, FringeA-Thon is a day you’ll never forget.

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