American Circus in the 21st Century: Clowns Get Serious About the Circus

December 01, 2006

Dec. 1, 2006 -- The circus is coming to town. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will perform at the University of Virginia's John Paul Jones Arena Dec. 7-10. On Tuesday, Dec. 5, two clowns who perform with the circus will give a talk, "The American Circus in the 21st Century," at 2 p.m. in the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Auditorium. The talk is free and open to the public.

The clowns perform their art in two different clown styles. One is a traditional Auguste clown characterized by brightly colored face makeup and baggy clothes. The other, a theatrical clown, performs in a newer, 21st century style, distinguished by wearing less makeup and interacting with the audience.

Drama professor and circus history expert LaVahn Hoh, who teaches the only accredited course in the United States on the history of the American circus, will join the clowns for a discussion about the role of clowning, how they entered the field and the direction of the circus in the 21st century.
For more information call the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at (434) 924-4527.