The Actors Gymnasium 
For more information, photos, or video, contact:
Kiana Harris Simon
Director of Marketing & Event Entertainment
EVANSTON, IL This week, The Actors Gymnasium's master circus teacher, Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi, welcomed Wawan Kuriawan, a circus student from Cilincing, an impoverished fishing village in Jakarta, Indonesia.    


Kuriawan's four month tour of various circus schools, sponsored by The Red Nose Foundation, includes local organizations such as The Actors Gymnasium, who have volunteered their time and services to help Kuriawan achieve a higher level in circus skills and self-confidence.  The Red Nose Foundation, a non-profit organization, uses social circus as a tool to engage with at-risk children and youth.


In Cilincing, families live on a few dollars a day in poor living conditions, which often force children to work rather than finish school.


This learning opportunity provides Kuriawan with a new set of circus skills which, upon his return to Jakarta, Indonesia, he can share with his fellow students at the Red Nose Foundation and actively contribute to the development of social circus within his own community.

  •  Until May 5: Circus Mojo in Ludlow, Kentucky, with Paul Miller
  • May 6 - May 12: Kuriawan traveled to Chicago to train with Wolfgang Bientzle from CirqueExperiences, an 8-time world champion in wheel acrobats, in preparation for the 10th Wheel Gymnastics World Championships in July. Kuriawan will be the first Indonesian ever to take part in this international competition.
  • May 12-June 9: Circus Mojo in Ludlow, Kentucky, with Paul Miller
  • June 10 - July 14: Kuriawan returns to Chicago for classes at The Actors GymnasiumMSA & Circus Arts, and CirquesExperience, and to compete at Wheel2013.
  • July 15 - August 3: Vancouver Circus School (VCS) with Travis Johnson
  • August 4 - August 16: Circus Smirkus in Vermont.  

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, intellectually and creatively.


About the Red Nose Foundation

The Red Nose Foundation (Yayasan Hidung Merah) is a non-profit arts and education organization active in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Foundation works at the grass roots level and supports the development of children living in underprivileged circumstances through basic education and circus arts.


The Red Nose Foundation, established in 2008, has five pillar programs:

  • The Arts and Education Outreach Program, the foundation's flagship program with centers in Cilincing and Bintaro-Lama;
  • The Hidung Merah Performance Troupe, made up of the most advanced RNF students;
  • Sponsorship and Scholarship Program, connecting sponsors with individual children to help fund their education;
  • School Renovation program, helping to rebuild public school facilities with the support of corporate sponsors;
  • Red Nose Relief, a performance group that travels to conflict or disaster-affected areas in Indonesia to provide "emotional relief" to children and families.

About Social Circus

Circus is multidisciplinary and offers something for everyone regardless of experience, physical ability, age, culture, language, and socio-economic status. There are no limits to who can benefit from circus arts and social circus.


Social circus uses physical arts to engage with at-risk youth and marginalized communities, but its effect and benefits stretch far beyond that and run deep into the field of personal development. Social circus teaches self-awareness, self-esteem, discipline, creativity, artistic talent, motor skills and physical fitness, teamwork and social skills.


Ultimately, circus is a fun and versatile tool that contributes positively to an individual and community's wellbeing and quality of life.


Dan Roberts, Founder and Executive Director

Dan Roberts established the Red Nose Foundation in 2008. Dan moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, with his family from the United States as a teenager and was a student at the Jakarta International School. Upon returning to the U.S., Dan studied Acting at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts. After he discovered Circus and Physical Theatre, Dan spent a number of years working for different youth circus groups. In 2008, Dan became a volunteer for Clowns without Borders-USA and organized a 10-week solo circus expedition through Indonesia. During this expedition Dan made the decision to stay and establish the Red Nose Foundation. Since then, Dan has been the driving force behind RNF and continues to build the foundation and its programs and extend its reach in the villages in Jakarta.



Wawan Kuriawan training with The Actors Gymnasium master instructor Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi

(More photos and high res available upon request)