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CURRENT PRESS RELEASE
May 28, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
952-224-2939 ext. 13
This summer, fly away with Circus Juventas’ fairy tale fantasy:
TWISTED, July 26 – August 11
(Saint Paul, MN) Circus Juventas will fascinate its audience with this summer’s fairy tale fantasy, TWISTED. Set in the depths of the Black Forest, the fairy tale world is thrown for a loop when Russian sorceress Baba Yaga and her sisters brew up a devilish plan to tangle traditional tales and sow the seeds of epic chaos. Circus Juventas audiences will join beloved fairy tale characters as they band together and strive to set their stories straight. Towering beanstalks and colossal giants, soaring sorceresses and trampolining travelers, coiling contortionists and one feisty sea warlock are only a sample of the breathtaking elements and characters in Circus Juventas’ summer 2019 production. Mark your calendars for June 24 when tickets go on sale. TWISTED premieres at 7 p.m., Friday, July 26 and runs through Sunday, August 11. (Show times.) Ticket prices range from $18.50 for children ten and under and seniors 65 and older to $45 for VIP seating. All shows are held at the Circus Juventas big top, 1270 Montreal Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
“One of my favorite scenes is when our band of heroes approaches Baba Yaga’s hut. Jack [of beanstalk fame] must retrieve the Book of Tales, which is suspended high above the dining table,” said Elizabeth “Betty” Butler, co-founder and artistic director of Circus Juventas. “The way he climbs, stacking chairs, is both intense and comedic at the same time. New York-based Laura Careless, recognized in the New York Times and Broadway World, came in to choreograph the scene, and the music is really moving. At the same time, there’s an etherealness with the sorceresses coming in on their aerial brooms – a new act that we’re bringing in for this show.”
Since 1995, the Circus Juventas summer show has been a Twin Cities’ favorite. With only 1,000 seats in the big top, tickets for the 17 public performances sell out quickly. The show features the most advanced, highly-committed young artists, trained by elite coaches from around the world, who themselves have performed with Cirque du Soleil, the Great Moscow Circus, Mongolian State Circus, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, to name a few.
“When I reflect on 25 years of Circus Juventas, Betty and I never could’ve imagined what we would grow into,” said Dan Butler, co-founder and executive director of Circus Juventas. “In our very first year, when we performed for the first time at Highland Fest in the Hillcrest Parks and Rec Center, performances were free and there was standing room only. In our second year, we charged $2 for adults and $1 for children, and it was still standing room only. We went from one weekend of 4 shows that first year to the 22 shows (including our school shows) over the course of three weeks that we have today. We went from performing for around 200 spectators to the 1,000 that our arena seats today. It’s just amazing, all these years later, that we still sell out. It’s also amazing to think that the St. Paul community – from area businesses to families to the community at large – has accepted and embraced us since we’re so uniquely different.”
The first 25 years have flown by at Circus Juventas – quite literally. Celebrating their first quarter-century in the 2019-2020 season, the renowned St. Paul-based youth circus and community organization has launched a year of spectacle, imagination, and nostalgia bringing international artists to St. Paul and sending some of the organization’s talented youth performers to competitions half way around the world.
About the signature Circus Juventas style
Celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, Circus Juventas audiences have compared them to Cirque du Soleil, and they have widely been credited with revolutionizing the circus arts. In summer 2017, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival invited Circus Juventas to be the featured performers for their 50th anniversary celebration. On the heels of performing on the national mall, Circopedia honored the Saint Paul youth circus with the International Circopedia Award, the first American circus to be named to the international list. Their brand of cirque noveau features full-blown theatrical productions which spotlight the athleticism of aerial, acrobatic and balancing acts, combined with elaborate sets, lavish costumes, music, and story narration.
How TWISTED came to be the 2019 summer production
Each year, Butler develops a theme, often from classic tales, and collaborates with Katy McEwen, a Circus Juventas theater coach and summer show script writer. Butler says the concept for this show started when “Something in me triggered as I was revisiting fairy tales. I was so inspired by the success of our 2011 production, GRIMM, and started to imagine all these fairy tale characters banding together in one story – while adding a comedic element. We started looking at the tales we wanted to bring in, which is when I began to be really inspired by Baba Yaga. As we began to wrap our heads around this curse, which causes the fairy tale characters to lose their stories, something seemed to resonate with many people’s struggles today.”
Something is amiss in the Black Forest…
The fairy tale world is thrown for a loop when Russian sorceress Baba Yaga and her sisters brew up a devilish plan to tangle the traditional tales and sow the seeds of epic chaos, forcing beloved fairy tale characters to band together and strive to set their stories straight. This summer at Circus Juventas, comedy, magic, and romance abound as we return to the world of international fairy tales for the first time since our 2011 blockbuster hit Grimm. Will Jack conquer his beanstalk? Will the Little Mermaid finally make it to shore? Will Pinocchio achieve real-boy status? Will Sleeping Beauty EVER wake up? And what about that wicked little fellow with the strangest name? Find out this July and August in this magical mix-up for the millennia that’s not to be missed.
Stay in touch with Circus Juventas as students rehearse for TWISTED.
About Circus Juventas
Circus Juventas is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and the largest youth performing arts circus school in North America. Over the past 25 years, co-founders Dan and Betty Butler have seen their dream grow into a year-round program that serves more than 2,500 children and youth through age 22 with a diverse array of circus arts training and performance opportunities in a noncompetitive setting. Circus Juventas’ mission is to inspire artistry and self-confidence through a multicultural circus arts experience that encourages leadership and life skills, teamwork, athleticism, artistry, pursuit of excellence and community service. For more information, visit http://circusjuventas.org.
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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.