By Joseph Pratt
Cirque d’Art Theatre exists to mentor individuals in the circus arts in an enjoyable and instructional performing arts environment. Most people in the community know them through either reputation or having experienced the performances they offer themselves.
Co-directors Pegi Wilkes and Trisha Schmidt both work around the clock to not only plan three major annual events for the students, but many smaller fundraisers and public appearances throughout the year.
With as many opportunities as the two create for local students, it is almost impossible to go without experiencing their art form in one way or another.
The work they do is with students of all ages, they just recently opened a pre-school classroom for those wanting to start at a younger age. The new addition means that they work with students from pre-kindergarten through college.
The theatre recently held their annual Spring Fling, one of their smaller events, which is used as a fundraiser for utilities, costuming, equipment and all of the other many fees that pile up. The Spring Fling is geared towards their younger students, with aerial equipment hung low enough for them to participate and for the limelight to be focused on them.
The theatre saw another sold out weekend, with well over 350 guests and raising around $1,500.
“When you first tell people that your child is doing circus, they look at you like you’re insane. I think spreading this out to grandpas, grandmas, aunts and such really helps them understand what we do,” Schmidt said. “You know, it is a little scary when you talk about it, but when they see them in the air, they see that it is really safe and the kids are actually very good at it and talented.”
Cirque d’Art is currently preparing for their annual summer show, which is the largest they produce the entire year. This year’s theme is Cirque Nationale, which will open in the West Elementary School gymnasium, and will run June 13, 14 and 15.
The senior company is also working on their routines for a production of Pippin, which will be produced by Huntington theatrical company, 5th Avenue Theatre. Pippin will run the first two weekends of April. More information on Pippin can be found at www.cityofhuntingtonfoundation.com/pages/aa-theater.
Cirque d’Art can be contacted at 740-354-5629 or by checking them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheCirqueDArtTheatre.
Joseph Pratt can be contacted at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.