The Kids Beat

Traveling Troupe

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The circus is coming to town! More precisely, Vermont's award-winning international youth circus, Circus Smirkus, will peform this summer in six Vermont towns — plus venues in New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts and Maine — starting with a pair of kickoff shows at Smirkus headquarters in Greensboro on June 29. This summer's roster of Troupers, who range in age from 10 to 18, is made up of 16 returning performers and 14 new members. That's about twice as many new Troupers as in years past, said the show's artistic director, Troy Wunderle. "With this new troupe, I have the ability to think outside the box and present a show unique to these kids' talents," Wunderle explained. Along with creative director Mark Lonergan, Wunderle came up with a Vaudeville theme for this year's Big Top Tour. In addition to circus arts like acrobatics, wire walking and juggling, the show will feature song, dance and magic. Troupers, who hail from across the country and Canada (two are from Vermont), arrive in Greensboro on June 8 to prepare for the 52-day, 68-show tour. That gives them just three weeks to polish their act. Despite the Troupers' youth, "this is a professional show through and through," said Wunderle, and the performers are "the next movers and shakers in the world of circus."

Find Circus Smirkus' Big Top Tour schedule and buy tickets at smirkus.org. The tour runs from Friday, June 29 to Sunday, Aug. 19.

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