Fringe Festival 2022: Circus Campus to showcase 14 one-night-only performances in West Mount Airy

Fringe Festival — a performing arts celebration from FringeArts — begins on Thursday with its largest event yet, bringing together more than 200 productions at venues across Philadelphia. 

As part of this year’s Fringe Festival, Philadelphia Circus Campus is hosting a series of 14 one-night-only performances at their West Mount Airy hub, located at 6452 Greene St., from Sept. 9 through Oct. 1. Tickets are available now for $20, or $15 for students. 

MORE: Fringe Festival to feature over 200 productions in Philadelphia this September

Most performances are accessible to people of all ages, though a handful are recommended for people older than 7, 13, or 16. Each performance will celebrate the community that has formed at the Circus Campus since it opened in 2017, and will take viewers on a journey through the history of circus arts as well as comedy, illusions, juggling, aerials, music, and magic. 

“As we celebrate our five-year anniversary at Circus Campus, we thought it was a great time to bring together a collection of performances from our community to showcase all of the amazing circus talent we have right here in Northwest Philadelphia,” said Shana Kennedy, Circus Campus founder and owner. “My husband (Greg) has also recently renovated our downstage with a new lighting and sound system, which will be great for these artists.”

The Circus Campus has hosted one-off Fringe Festival performances for many years, but since opening their performance hub in 2017, they now have their own space to celebrate circus arts and cultivate a community of performers, teachers, and students. 

Many of the hub performers are circus artists, but there will also be musicians, poets, magicians, dancers, and theatre artists. Though Circus Campus is foremost an educational headquarters for the School of Circus Arts, this fall’s performance collaboration with the Fringe Festival is meant to showcase the talents of its most frequent visitors. 

On Friday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m., check out “The Give & Take Jugglers,” which has been a consistent hit with both adults and children for the last 40 years. The comedic show uses techniques from vaudeville, circus arts, theatre and music to create a wholesome performance that feels contemporary. 

People aged 13 and older can head over the West Mount Airy campus on Saturday, Sept. 10 each hour from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. for “I.D.: Intimate Deceptions,” a demonstration of illusions in a close-up setting. The 30-minute personal, black box show is meant to show how magic can be used as metaphors for time, the significance of numbers, and connecting with strangers in surprising ways. 

“Funicular Circus,” will be held on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. The contemporary circus effort was founded and directed by Mount Airy resident Dave Gillies on the spacious wooded grounds of the Circus Campus. The show combines the traditional materials and techniques of wire walking with elements of sculpture and design, blending the performance with music, poetry, and yoga in his approach to walking the wire. 

Also on Sunday, Sept. 11, check out “Science, Engineering and Art: A Juggler’s Perspective” at 5:30 p.m. The production focuses on Greg Kennedy’s journey from a professional engineer to a renowned juggler. The show transitions between personal anecdotes and kinetic creations. 

On Friday, Sept. 16 at 6 and 8 p.m., join Circus Campus for “Pink Lemonade,” an all-ages show focused on playfulness and exploration. The show features juggling, aerials, partner movement, and dance, bringing to life a Candy Land-inspired set design throughout the show. Guests can also check out “Pocketbook Diaries,” a visual show based on a poem by Eugene “the Composer” Brown. 

“Pink Lemonade” is presented as a double feature with “Pocketbook Diaries,” which will be held at the same times. Buy one ticket and see both shows. 

On Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m., check out Chris Ivey, a character juggler whose show combines the sound of an arena rock concert with the costumes of a Broadway show. Following that, on Sunday,  Sept. 18 at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., professional magician Lindsay Noel will explore her journey from her time in cabaret to her career as a magician. 

Check out “Social Media Circus” on Friday, Sept. 23 at 7 and 9 p.m. This show, which is most suited for people aged 13 and older, David Darwin presents a one-man sideshow focused on the impacts of social media. 

“Stunkered: Stuck in a Bunker” will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 6:45 and 8:45 p.m. The show explores the dynamic of two people stuck in a very small space together. The comedic show features juggling and partner acrobatics.

Also on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 6:45 and 8:45 p.m. is “Bodies,” a cabaret-style movement performance best suited for people aged 16 and older. Each artist will share their narrative through spoken word and movement, exploring the myriad of relationships people have with their bodies. This is a double feature with “Stunkered,” meaning guests can purchase one ticket and see both shows. 

On Sunday, Sept. 25 at 6 and 7:30 p.m., check out “Andrew has Projects, Cubby has Comments,” a two-person variety show featuring shadow puppets, gags, and audience participation. 

Check out “Trick Machine,” a juggling showcase by Zak McAllister on Friday, Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. Surrounded by wood, power tools and cables, McAllister will demonstrate what juggling has meant to him over the last 15 years. 

The series will close out with “Spherus” on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 8:30 p.m. The extra-dimensional modern circus allows performers to interact with light and multimedia to create a new world for the audience. The cast manipulates fabric, acrylic, and wooden shapes in a sea of projected light. The full show includes Greg Kennedy along with two aerial dancers. 

Circus Campus in Collaboration with Fringe Festival

Friday, Sept. 9 through Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022
Times vary | Tickets $20, $15 for students
Philadelphia Circus Campus
6452 Greene St., Philadelphia, PA 19119

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