Circus Smirkus Launches ‘Take Stake in Our Future: The Campaign for the Big Top Tour’

The Smirkus Pyramid during the 2019 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour: Carnival (Photo by Marvin Wang)

After 20 years on the road as beloved home to nearly 700,000 circus fans across New England and New York, Circus Smirkus’ Big Top Tent “Chapiteau” has earned the right to be retired gracefully.

The Take Stake In Our Future campaign is an opportunity for Circus Smirkus to replace the iconic tent with a new big top, designed specifically to meet the evolving needs of the country’s only traveling youth circus. With a distinctive design characteristic of Smirkus tents, the new tent will integrate features that enhance the audience experience including climate control and rigging that offers new possibilities for the tour’s creative production.

“The circus tent represents the home of the performers and the home of the community,” says Circus Smirkus Artistic Director Troy Wunderle. “It is where we practice, where we perfect our skills, and where we entertain our audience. In each of our venues across New England, we open our doors to the community so that they can experience the joy, the passion, the heart, and the artistry of Circus Smirkus.”

The campaign will also encompass additional investments to support the Big Top Tour, including a secondary tent to accommodate low-sensory viewing experiences; bunk trailers to house the 50 support staff that produce the show; and a custom-designed water trailer to support circus operations on the road.

“Everyone at Circus Smirkus is passionate about bringing the circus to as many people as possible,” says Executive Director Jennifer Carlo. “Investing in a new tent will allow us the opportunity to do that for many more years to come.”

Visit the Circus Smirkus website to learn more about Take Stake in Our Future: The Campaign for the Big Top Tour.

About Circus Smirkus

Circus Smirkus is a circus arts organization that inspires kids of all ages to develop artistic, athletic, and life skills through the power of performance. Our three programs— Residencies, Smirkus Camp, and Big Top Tour—blend the best of circus tradition and contemporary practice to create immersive experiences that challenge kids to perform and live to the very best of their own abilities.

The Big Top Tour is the country’s only traveling youth circus. This audition-only program features 30 of the country’s best young circus artists, performing under a traditional European-style circus tent for over 40,000 patrons in nearly 20 New England cities and towns each summer. The Big Top Tour raises over $150,000 for partner nonprofit organizations each year.

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