The Circus Comes to Shelburne Museum

The circus is back in town for its sixth year at the Shelburne Museum. From acrobats to clowns, join us Sunday, July 17th, for a day of fun. Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures will wow you, as former Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Brothers performers, aerialists, jugglers, stilt walkers, and magicians perform daring feats.  Get goofy with Gigi and Michelle, the clowns, while learning to juggle, join Circus Smirkus for a circus arts workshop and laugh with Mr. Punch, “the world’s most rascally hand puppet.” New this year: Hyper Focus, an airbrush face painting company will be joining the party as well.  Come one, come all, the circus is in town!

Read below to learn more about performers, clowns, activities and events at Circus-palooza!

Clown Alley With Michelle Lefkowitz & Gigi Weisman

Michelle and Gigi are known throughout the area for family-friendly theatrics and have been inviting audiences into the act through song and story for over thirteen years.  For their sixth visit to Circus-palooza, they will create a playful, humorous and safe environment for you to learn to clown, juggle, hula hoop, walk on your hands, or dance with ribbons.  Come join the Circus! Magic Happens – Even if you’ve tried before, they provide some special toys and the “just right” attitude to help you find success.

Modern Times Theatre

Modern Times Theater is duo entertainment at its best. Mastering the thoroughly modern mediums of pantomime, puppetry and novelty music, husband and wife performers Justin Lander and Rose Friedman delight crowds with a fresh take on the entertainment styles of the past. Parents themselves, Friedman and Lander strive to present high quality entertainment for the whole family. They also produce and perform in Vermont Vaudeville, a full-scale professional variety show.

Program Description: “Punch’s Predicament” An ever-changing and constantly evolving hand puppet melodrama chronicles the misadventures of Mr. Punch, the world’s best-loved and most rascally hand puppet, who keeps trying hard to be healthy, but always gets it wrong.  With help from smart children and their smart parents, Mr. Punch learns to tell left from right and right from incorrect. This is hand-puppetry at its best in a style that has entertained children for centuries.  The program includes a two-person orchestra, specializing in early jazz music and American folk songs played on the cornet, ukulele, upright bass, and bicycle pump.

Circus Smirkus Workshop

Joni White-Hansen travels New England as an artist in residence teaching circus skills in Elementary/Middle Schools for Circus Smirkus. She believes that encouraging children to try new goals in a fun and stimulating way strengthens their self-esteem, builds confidence, and exercises their desire to approach many aspects in life in a positive manner.  A long time teacher of Art and Movement in schools in the U.S. and abroad, Joni loves to share her joy of creativity in all she teaches. Click Here to sign-up for this workshop.


Wunderle’s Big To Adventures

Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures promotes safe and intriguing world class circus programming and entertainment for all ages. Founded in 2006 by Troy Wunderle, its primary programs include: Circus Shows, Big Top Workshops, School Residencies, and Strolling Entertainment. WBTA programs are fun, creative and flexible. We aim to spread joy, create memories and inspire dreams through the circus arts! Troy Wunderle is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of art, and the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. He is a former international performer with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. For the past nineteen years he has toured throughout the United States as a freelance performer and employee of Vermont’s own Circus Smirkus. His antics have been featured on the Disney channel, The Today Show, Martha Stewart, Chronicle, Fetch, Fox and Friends and Americas Funniest Home Videos. Troy is Big Top Tour Artistic Director of Circus Smirkus, Director of Clowning for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and founder of Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures. Troy is a juried artist through the Vermont State Arts Council. Below are list of performers that Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures employs and will join us on Sunday for Circus-palooza.

Bill Forchion Was born & raised in New Jersey & has spent most of his life persistently seeking attention.  Bill attended Ringling Bros. Clown College after graduating from the American Musical & Dramatic Academy.  He toured with Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus, clowned for sick children with the Big Apple Clown Care Unit,  joined San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus & toured for 4 years with Cirque du Soleil’s Saltimbanco as an acrobat and character.  He also works as a stuntman in TV & film including appearing as an elf in the movie The Polar Express and as Elston Howard in the ESPN miniseries ‘The Bronx is Burning’.  Currently he can often be found folding students old & young into odd positions during acrobatic classes at the New England Center for Circus Arts and making his own award winning films.

Morgan Oldham‘s performance journey began when she started dance training at age 12 with the goal of becoming a professional dancer. Morgan’s goal was turned upside down however, when she discovered her love of standing on her hands. This new-found love introduced her to the circus world and brought her to the New England Center for Circus Arts. Morgan graduated their professional training program in 2011 and has since been performing around the world with companies such as Cirque Polynesia in Hawaii, Samsung Corporation at the World Expo in Korea and most recently as an artist with Celebrity Cruises. She is excited to see where her circus journey takes her next.

Megan Mallouk has spent the last decade performing in Chicago and along the east coast, on stage, in the air, and in commercials and film. She is a former rhythmic gymnast who competed nationally and internationally in her youth and spent five years coaching at the competitive level at Illinois Rhythmic Gymnastics Center in Highland Park, IL. Megan is a graduate of the full time training program at AirCraft Circus in London and the professional training programs at NECCA. Megan’s focus of expertise is in Lyra, Static Cloud Swing, duo trapeze, and character work.

Ukoiya began her professional career in Tokyo performing as an acro duo, aerialist and stilt walker. You can find Ukoiya performing all over the New England area, working with Nimble arts, The Boston Circus, Troy Wunderle’s Big Top Adventures and Show Circus Studio. Ukoiya is certified as a personal trainer through I.S.S.A, a certified Unnata Aerial Yoga instructor and is a graduate of the Professional Track Training program at the New England Center for Circus Arts. When Ukoiya isn’t performing or teaching she is designing and fabricating beautiful custom costumes, enjoying friends and her beautiful home in Brattleboro Vermont.

Steve Charette has been performing his high energy strolling close-up magic for over 40 years. Steve’s magic consist of the use of playing cards, coins, borrowed objects and much, much more. Steve vanishes object right before your eyes and makes them reappear right in the persons hands who is assisting him at the time. Steve has won many awards from the Society of American Magicians for his sleight of hand expertise. Some of Steve’s clients include: The Cunard Lines: Queen Elizabeth 2 Great Wolf Lodge Hotels and Indoor water parks.

Allison McDermott is a circus artist born, raised and trained in Middletown, Connecticut. She has since toured with ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet: Submerged and performed in Soviet Bloc Party’s Missed Connections. In 2015, Allison co-directed and performed in Special Relativity, a full-length circus production in New Haven, CT. Most recently she choreographed and performed the aerial pieces in ARTFARM’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Allison currently resides in Middletown, CT where she teaches and performs aerials, stilt-walking, juggling and acrobatics throughout the New England area.