Written and directed by Kevin Finkelstein, the Bringling Brothers Circus appoints a new CEO (Leila Blaze, played by Stefanie Garcia) with a tremendous business background, but she is like a fish out of water working in the circus industry. Leila’s Assistant Akolo (Jon Jon Johnson) is the glue of the company and tries to keep everything in line. How will the staff take to this change in leadership? Can she keep the company afloat and handle the pressure through the trials and tribulations of budget cuts and employee outbursts?
As a Sarasota, Florida native I grew up going to the actual Ringling Brothers Circus with my family. This interactive and thought-provoking play brought back a strong sense of nostalgia from my younger days gawking over the tight ropewalkers, lions and elephants.
The jubilant Ringmaster (Michael Harris) spearheads the generally happy-go-lucky circus staff soliciting audience participation throughout. Sprinkled with some funny jokes, witty banter, and outlandish personalities, the circus staff performs fun entertainment and various death defying tricks. The Fire Eater (Vladimir Petrov) is a sight to see with his impressive illusions and the Lion Tamer (Christian Campbell) keeps you on your toes with his rhythmic rhymes.
Quite understandably for a low-budget production, the costumes, props and set design were pretty basic, but served their intended purpose. The audience members ranged in age from 20’s to 60’s, but they all seemed to really enjoy the show and understood the jokes. I definitely recommend coming to see this dynamic performance!
It’s a Circus Out There plays through July 26, 2015 at Gallaudet University’s Eastman Studio Theatre –Florida Avenue NE & 8th St NE, in Washington DC. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe page.