The Actors Gymnasium 
For more information, photos, or video, contact:
Kiana Harris Simon
Director of Marketing & Event Entertainment
Speaking Circus - Chicago Seminar
CHICAGO, IL Next Tuesday, January 7, in conjunction with the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, Circus Now will host "Speaking Circus - Chicago," a free seminar on contemporary circus for local presenters and cultural journalists.

The event is part of a national series, the first installment of which was hosted in August at the New Victory Theater on Broadway, with presentations from Joe Melillo, the Executive Producer at BAM, and Monique Martin, the Director of Family Programming for Summerstage. Responses from the attendees were highly positive, and several chose to write about the event afterwards. The Wall Street Journal's Pia Catton asked "Circus, Performance Art, What's the Difference?" Newsday's Linda Winer wrote that it was "Time to pay attention to the circus scene." (PDFs attached.)

Please find an official invitation to the event below.  Here are some additional links, if you're curious:
If you have any questions or are interested attending, please contact Duncan Wall. 

Duncan Wall
National Director, Circus Now

Circus Now invites you to
a collective exploration of contemporary circus criticism

America's first contemporary circus festival is happening in Chicago. In conjunction, join circus practitioners, arts presenters, and fellow journalists for a seminar exploring the exciting emerging genre of contemporary circus. What is contemporary circus? What theatrical and artistic questions confront the art today? Through presentations and discussions, we will explore fresh ways to critically engage with this popular art.

Attendees are also invited to the festival's press screening and scheduled performances.

"It adds up to a movement -- complete with an advocacy group. When circus takes over the performing arts, it won't be hard to figure out what happened here." -- Wall Street Journal, after Speaking Circus / NYC.

Duncan Wall (National Director, Circus Now); Heidi Coleman (Director of University Theater, University of Chicago); Diane Stern (Tour Director, Circa, Australia); Nathalie Hebert (Director of International Development, Flip-Fabrique, Montreal); Shayna Swanson (Artistic Director, Aloft Loft, Producer, Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival); Matt Roben (Producer, Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival); Virginia Niugent  (Executive Director, The Actors Gymnasium, Chicago); Adrian Danzig, (Artistic Director, 500 Clown, Chicago); Laura Stokes (Ricochet Company, New Mexico); Cohdi Harrel (Ricochet Company, New Mexico).

Presentations, discussion and complimentary lunch
Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Canadian Consulate
Prudential Towers
180 N Stetson Ave
Chicago, IL 60601

Press Screening for the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival
Wednesday January 8, 2014,  7 p.m.
Athenaeum Theatre
2936 N Southport
Chicago, IL  60657

Please RSVP by JANUARY 5, 2014 to

Contemporary circus refers to any performance that uses circus skills to emotionally, intellectually, and viscerally engage audiences. It is extremely popular in Europe, Canada and Australia - and now the U.S. is catching up, with hundreds of circus schools and dozens of emerging companies. Circus Now wants to give you the scoop.

Speaking Circus is brought to you by Circus Now, in conjunction with the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival and with the support of the Quebec Cultural Office. Circus Now is an American organization dedicated to supporting the evolution of circus in America.

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.