The Actors Gymnasium 
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Kiana Harris Simon
Director of Marketing & Event Entertainment
Dean Evans to star in Winter Circus at The Actors Gymnasium

EVANSTON, IL - Starting February 15th, alien queens, invisible circuses, and exploding boys will be taking over Evanston. Clown Dean Evans returns to The Actors Gymnasium to star in The Magical Exploding Boy and the Invisible CircusNewcity Stage recently recognized Evans as one of "The Fifty People Who Really Perform in Chicago" and Hedy Weiss called him "a master of irony" in his performance in the critically acclaimed Burning Bluebeard. In a previous show featuring Evan's character, the Magical Exploding Boy, NY Theatre Review said, "Magical Exploding Boy, a brilliant man-child with powers of creation and destruction, will absolutely destroy you."


As composer Greg Hirte describes it, The Magical Exploding Boy and the Invisible Circus is "about the extraordinary person in all of us that's looking to get out, that sometimes thinks that it shouldn't. He dreams into being these worlds that happen and pop. In a way they are so real that they can't help but escape these 

fantastic thoughts."


Though Evans is the main character in the show, he will be surrounded by an impressive cast with diverse talent. When asked how they created the show, co-star and co-writer Lindsey Noel Whiting stated, "we asked the main players what they were interested in doing, talked about what people were most excited about and tried to fit them together in a way that makes sense . . . a pretty free flowing creative process." 


This creative process fostered a 'try anything' atmosphere, "there's an openness of people trying new things. I think that's pretty cool, especially seeing middle schoolers who usually are like 'I want to succeed. I don't want to take risks or chances. I can't do that.' Instead, a bunch of them are like, "I've never tried Chinese pole before. I'll try it", Whiting continued. Due to this enthusiasm, the writers ended up with a show that contains not only several of Dean's mime pieces but also a Chinese pole act, an alien queen performing contortion, young artists wearing business suits, acrobatics while playing ukulele, and more.   


The cast credits this creative atmosphere to director Larry DiStasi. "There is so much encouragement and support from him. It really backs the whole essence of the show. I think people . . . feel really proud and really accomplished of what they are doing. That carries a ton through the show and that makes a much more enjoyable show to perform in and a much more enjoyable show to watch," says cast member Will Howard. Fellow cast member Simone Lazar elaborated on that point, "It was actually really cool because Larry was talking about what my acts mean to me and the inspiration in creating them . . . they somehow made it fit in the story perfectly, so I get to do my acts exactly [how] they were meant to be."


For Lazar, who studied under Russian gold medalist Elena Panova, this show has a deeper significance. "It's pretty cool to be back home for me. This is where I started, and then I went off to circus school and did some performing and now I'm back. Sylvia and Larry have known me since I was 7. So it has some sentimental value to me as well."

With so many shows happening in the theatre capital of America at the same time, it can be a struggle to find your audience. When asked why the public should come see this show, composer Greg Hirte had this to say, "I think its a great reminder to think and dream. I think we all get trapped in our own little worlds, especially in winter time. We all feel a little dulled down, and that can go in one of two directions. We can either just get weighed under, or we can use that time to explore the inner dream, inner fantastic. I think its important to also just have a little fun. There's time to just let loose a little bit, and circus is great for that. That's what is inspiring about it - the improbable and impossible all being brought to focus right before your very eyes. It makes you laugh and entertains you and inspires you to maybe put some happiness back into the world."

The Magical Exploding Boy and the Invisible Circus runs through March 23rd at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston. For more information and for tickets, visit

View the trailer here:  

Magical Exploding Boy and The Invisible Circus - Trailer


About The Actors Gymnasium

The Actors Gymnasium is dedicated to bringing a new physicality to the American Theatre. Encouraging ground-breaking theatrical exploration, The Actors Gymnasium teaches circus arts, physical theatre and multi-disciplinary performance to children and adults; produces original, daring works of circus-theatre; and serves as a talent resource, providing performance opportunities to our students and innovative professional event entertainment for a wider audience.  At The Actors Gymnasium, people Learn To Fly - physically, emotionally, and creatively.

Hi - res photos and more information are available upon request. 
Contact Kiana Harris Simon:, 847-328-2795
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