Couch Potatoes is an original devised show utilizing circus and interdisciplinary theater to examine the relationships and family structures that occur within a shared living space as represented by its most common feature: the couch.
In 2020 we all experienced drastic changes to our living spaces; whether it be moving home, moving out of the city, inviting family to stay on your couch or even just being stuck at home on your couch for far longer than you ever anticipated.
We were all couch potatoes at some point during that ill-fated year. And now we humbly invite you to get up off your couch to come watch us sit (and stand and jump and tumble) on ours as we explore the couch’s impact on familial relationships, childhood memories and seemingly normal household activities.
No couch is the same—they hold different memories, relationships and stories. What happens when things are turned upside down and life isn’t as normal as it seems?
Health and Safety
Proof of vaccination is required to attend this and all Cannonball Festival events. For the safety of audiences, artists, staff, and our greater community, you must be fully vaccinated to attend this event. Fully vaccinated means two weeks after your second dose. You will be asked to show proof of vaccination before entering the venue. Accepted forms for proof of vaccination include: a physical vaccine card with your name on it or a digital photo of your vaccine card on a cell phone. Please plan accordingly.
Masks must also be worn for the duration of the performance.
A large thank you to The Actors Gymnasium for allowing us to use their space for our rehearsals. A boisterous Ahoy! to Almanac Dance Circus Theater for accepting us into the Cannonball Festival at the MAAS Building.
This show is presented as part of Cannonball Festival, an independent satellite festival produced by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre and the Maas Building featuring over 150 events including performances of 27 original shows, nightly cabarets, and more. Learn more at cannonballfestival.org.
Appropriate for Ages 7+
This show contains scenes alluding to childhood mental illness. This show contains safe stage combat and highly physical stunts that should not be attempted at home.
For updates on our show and creative process please check out: @the4couchpotatoes on Instagram!
About the Artists
The Leftovers is a Circus Dance Theater company composed of four friends who met while training circus arts in Chicago, IL. They collaborate and approach performance from a highly interdisciplinary lens, with members coming from theatrical, musical, dance and gymnastic backgrounds. Their engaging physical work is shared to expand audiences’ expectations of everyday life onstage. Even the tiniest parts of life are explored, nothing is leftover.
Julia deGruchy (she/her)
Julia is an actor, vocalist and circus artist who enjoys creating through play. She believes in art that starts conversations and holds the power to heal, reform and rebuild our society. Originally from Philadelphia, she attended The University of the Arts for Musical Theater and worked in and around the area for a few years at The Media Theatre, The Montgomery Theatre and trained with The Wilma summer intensive. Meanwhile, she was discovering her passion for the physically daring world of circus arts. She moved to Chicago in 2019 to join the Actors Gymnasium professional training program, and has loved exploring the connections between circus arts, vocal athleticism and character work. She joins her collaborators in this process with continuous curiosity, compassion and gratitude. www.juliadegruchy.com
Saydi Ogden is a dancer and circus artist/ performer from Joplin, Missouri. She began her dance training at age four, and was introduced to aerial arts in 2013, training with Midwest regional ballet company. There, she performed in many high intensity performances and attended a variety of workshops including those by William Henry, Cat Cogliandro, Caleb Brauner, The Legacy Dance Project, Mia Michaels, and Momix. She attended the intensive, Step It Up, in Los Angeles where she attended acting and theater workshops as well as a variety of dance workshops all over the city. She later moved to Chicago, Illinois to continue her training at the Actors Gymnasium’s Professional circus program. Since Graduating, she is ecstatic to take on new projects and create using her vast mix of artistic talents.
Ryan Huemmer is an actor, acrobat and writer who aims to craft works in which new and foreign experiences are made accessible and digestible thereby encouraging audiences to question how they typically view the world. Raised in North Carolina, he attended Boston University’s School of Theatre where he discovered his love of physical expression, devising and the theatrical potential of circus. In 2019 he moved to Chicago to pursue in-depth circus training at the Actor’s Gymnasium where he met and promptly befriended his fellow Leftovers. He’s thrilled to have driven over 700 miles to sit on a couch in front of you for an hour. ryanhuemmer.com
Brittany Royce (she/her) got an early start in acrobatics as a competitive artistic gymnast. After retiring from the sport, Brittany returned to the gym to teach recreational/competitive gymnastics. Brittany stepped into the circus world for the first time in 2014 and fell in love aerial arts. Since her discovery, Brittany has spent 7 years teaching and training multiple circus disciplines such as aerial arts, dance pole, and handbalancing/tumbling at Springfield Aerial Fitness and various studios in the Chicago area. Brittany has performed for numerous music festivals, local music concerts, corporate events and fundraisers, Christmas productions, and studio showcases. She graduated from the Actors Gymnasium professional training program in 2021, specializing in grounded cube and duo lyra. She is excited collaborate with other circus artists and showcase work that reflects the human experience.