Explore the Playbill
About the Show
Springboard is the exciting first glimpse of the innovative minds and incredible talents of the Circadium class of 2021.
Throughout their first year of study, these student artists — including jugglers, wire walkers, acrobats, aerialists, and more — have been creating original, ensemble-driven circus pieces driven by theatrical concepts every single week. Springboard is a mini-retrospective of the first year of study, featuring the best of these pieces newly crafted for public audiences.
The 12 artists will astound and delight with absurd contests, acts that go wrong, strange worlds, and synchronous group work. Enjoy the work of the future of American circus.
All pieces have been collectively created by the artists who perform them, in many cases with other ensemble members supporting as outside eyes, with design help, or by offering feedback. The show that you are about to see is truly collectively owned by the students who perform it.
In the first piece, you may see some “image parades,” throughout the building and on stage. These image parades are created through and intuitive creative process, in which artists create circumstances in which “images” surface from the environment, the subconscious, and particular constraints placed on the body and mind. Students “harvest” these images, which stem from structure improvisation, and compose them into mosaic tapestries. Enjoy the swift turns and juxtapositions as you are offered a rare opportunity to see into the mind of these unique individuals.
Kira, Liam B.
Element Battle – Elan, Kevin, Leo, Liam H., Madeline, Sierra
By The Shore
Copper, Domonique, Kira, Madeline, Sierra
Liam B., Liam H.
Kira, Lisa, Madeline, Zack
Ode to Juggling
Copper, Kevin, Kira, Liam B.
Copper, Domonique, Kevin
Nightmare (created by Macy West)
Leo, Lisa, Sierra
Elan, Kevin, Leo, Liam H., Sierra
Performers include: Domonique Bobian, Liam Bradley, Kira DiPietrantonio, Madeline Falley, Kevin Flanagan, Liam Halstead, Zackary Herzig, Sierra Rhoades Nicholls, Elan Reuven, Leo Rivera, Lisa Roth, Copper Santiago
Circadium is the country’s only diploma-granting college for circus, and it’s based right here in Philadelphia. As a non-profit vocational college, we have the mission of cultivating, inspiring, and innovating contemporary circus performance in America.
Our 3-year, full-time curriculum includes coursework in Acrobatics, Aerials, Object Manipulation, Equilibristics, Physical Theatre, Movement, Strength and Flexibility, along with supplementary work in Business and Marketing, Theater Tech, Prop building, Rigging, Circus History and Theory. A strong emphasis is placed on Creation and Entrepreneurship.
We provide space for top contemporary circus artists to gather, train, and perform. We are a member of the European Federation of Professional Circus Schools, and our sister school is the recreational Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.
Shana Kennedy, Executive Director
Ben Grinberg, Performance & Artistic Craft Department Head
Aidan O’Shea, Acrobatics Department Head
Adam Woolley, Aerials Department Head
Greg Kennedy, Juggling & Prop-Building Instructor
Kyle Driggs, Juggling, Lighting, & Costume Instructor
Andrea Murillo, Dance Instructor
Nicole Paulino-Trisdorfer, Music Instructor
Michael Cumming, Sound Design Instructor
L. M. Feldman, Writing Instructor
Karen Ladd, Aerials Instructor
Megan Gendell, Aerials Instructor
Nicole Burgio, Acrobatics Instructor
About the Students
Domonique Bobian is 21, and from Glenn Dale, MD. She specializes in aerials and contortion and also has a background in dance, swimming, music, and figure skating. She appreciates finally attending a school that encourages movement and self expression and is often seen bouncing or dancing in the hallways especially during the warmer months of the year.
Liam Bradley is 19, and from Chicago, IL. He plays with rhythm, space, and expectation to create unique juggling and manipulation performances. He’s inspired by old school hip-hop, impressionist paintings, and over-priced food. His goal is to defy expectations and create entirely curious compositions.
Kira DiPietrantonio is 19, and from Mason, NH. She has trained with Jonathon Roitman at The Flying Gravity Circus and been on tour with Circus Smirkus. Her juggling coach is Richard Kennison.
Madeline Falley is 21, and from Kansas. She is a wire walker. When she isn’t walking wires, she enjoys spending time working in the garden. Conveniently her current garden has two tight-wires rigged across it.
Kevin Flanagan is 24, and from Bronxville, NY. He is a classical guitar player turned circus artist. He likes long walks on the beach and he happily accepts apples in lieu of flowers.
Liam Halstead is 20, and from Tuscon, AZ. He began doing circus when he was ten years old and was instantly hooked. He loves all forms of object manipulation, balance arts, magic, music, and totally useless skills but his specialty is cigar box juggling. Circus for him is a dream of creating happiness and joy.
Zackary Herzig is 19, and from Bloomington, IN. He was a gymnast for 10 years, up until 2018, and started circus in 2015. He is an aerialist and a cyr wheel artist. He is also a cosplayer/costumer, a visual artist, and a musician.
Sierra Rhoades Nicholls is 21, and from Missoula, MT. A gymnast turned circus artist, you can almost always find Sierra upside-down or wishing she was. She is more than handstands and curls, but isn’t sure how to share all that in three sentences.
Elan Reuven is 26, and from Springfield, NJ. He will often be found doing something silly. He thoroughly enjoys learning about the human body and the unconventional ways it can be used.
Leo Rivera is 18, and from Texas. He did gymnastics for 6 years before quitting after moving from Texas to Philadelphia where the weather is much better. He also knows some martial arts but not enough to do any damage. He started taking classes at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts when he was 15 and started pursuing dance acrobatics.
Lisa Roth is 19, and from Wilmington, DE. She discovered The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts in 2015 and found a circus home. Upon graduation from the recreational program Lisa got into Circadium and has now completed the first year. Lisa grew up practicing different kinds of makeup and costume making while in high school before now training professionally in circus. This year has been a combination of learning new circus skills and utilizing old skills to dive into the water of being an artist.
Copper Santiago is 24, and from New York City. She is a multidisciplinary artist. Her world has been filled with art of all mediums and varieties for as long as she can remember and she likes to keep it that way. She would like to thank her mother for everything.
Circadium’s Executive Director, Shana Kennedy, and first-year student, Sierra Rhoades Nicholls, sat down to discuss the future of contemporary circus on our podcast, Happy Hour on the Fringe. They talk about their personal introductions to the circus arts, the intense training required to pursue a professional career, the importance of Circadium’s professional program for the growth of American contemporary circus and how opportunities like the first-year student showcase, Circadium Springboard, is preparing students to succeed in the circus world and beyond. Listen to the episode online or read the transcript on the FringeArts Blog.
FringeArts is Philadelphia’s home for contemporary performance, presenting progressive, world-class art that expands the imagination and boldly defies expectation. Our programming exposes audiences to genre-defying dance, theater, and music performances by accomplished and emerging innovators who push the boundaries of art-making and redefine the artistic landscape worldwide.
Circadium Springboard is part of Hand to Hand, a multi-day festival of contemporary circus arts presented by FringeArts and Circadium School of Contemporary Circus. Featuring performances on the FringeArts stage and outside in the Haas Biergarten, Hand to Hand brings remarkable levels of artistry and ability together for a thrilling long weekend of events, perfect for the whole family. There are three more Hand to Hand events coming up June 28–July 1. We hope to see you there!
Philadelphia School of Circus Arts
June 30, 11am–3pm
Learn the basics of aerial acrobatics, juggling, plate spinning, and tight wire at this day of free outdoor workshops and performances.
Louis Bluver Outdoor Movie Series
Curated by Catherine Preston
Wednesdays at 8:30pm, June 12–August 21
A summer-long themed series of free film screenings in the Haas Biergarten. Coming up this summer:
FringeArts Staff + Board
Zach Blackwood, Artistic Producer
Melissa E. Bridge, Director of Finance
Tenara Calem, Audience Engagement Coordinator
Katy Dammers, Artistic Producer
Sarah Dennis, Comptroller
Claire Frisbie, Marketing and Communications Director
Amy Kurzban, General Manager
Keighty McLallen, Director of Production
Mary Menchel, Client Services Manager
Porsche Murray, Office Manager & HR Assistant
Rachel Swartz Robinson, Development Director
April Rose, Fringe Festival Coordinator
Carolyn Schlecker, Senior Adviser Operations
Georgia Schlessman, Technical Director
Raina Searles, Marketing Manager
Jennifer Shorstein, Development Manager
Evelyn Swift Shuker, Master Electrician
Nick Stuccio, President & Producing Director
Hugh Wilikofsky, Institutional Giving Coordinator
Calder McNeil, Marketing & Programming
Madena Kusi, Development
Jack Yang, Finance
Ellie Moonan, Production
Carolyn Carrier, Development
Greer Cohen, Programming
Charisse De Los Santos, Patron Services
Stephanie Seymour, Podcast Production
Jordan Landy, Finance
Sean Andrade, Graphic Design
Seth Boyce, Marketing Information Management
Richard Vague, Chair
Jennifer Bohnenberger, Vice Chair/Secretary
Lisa P. Young, Treasurer
Emily L. Bittenbender
Tony P. Forte
Clement D. Pappas
Audrey Claire Taichman
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