Mar 26, 2009

ODDFELLOWS PLAYHOUSE NAMES NEW CHILDREN’S CIRCUS DIRECTOR

Oddfellows Playhouse proudly announces that Skyler Sullivan is the new director of the Children’s Circus of Middletown. Sullivan is an extraordinary circus artist as well as an actor, singer, dancer, and mime. He has been a teaching artist with Circus Minimus in New York since 2001 and has an ongoing role as a juggling chicken on the well-known public television show, “Sesame Street.” He also appears as Arthur on “The Electric Company,” a Sesame Workshop on public television. Sullivan taught clowning, juggling, trapeze, tight wire, and acrobatics at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts. He takes over from Jake Weinstein, who led the Children’s Circus for the past 2 summers and has moved to Tennessee to pursue circus activities there.

Skyler Sullivan received his BFA in acting and musical theatre from Emerson College and brings a wealth of skills to the Children’s Circus. He has extensive training in mime, wire walking, stilting, juggling, partner acrobatics, clowning, stage combat, and Commedia dell’Arte. He is an accomplished dancer and plays the guitar, piano, and harmonica. He has performed with the American Mime Theatre in New York, the San Francisco Mime Troupe in California, and at the New York City Clown Fest as well as serving as the ring master for Circus Minimus. He appears frequently on stage and television and in films. Sullivan is sure to make the 2009 Children’s Circus one to remember.

The Children’s Circus of Middletown, part of the Middletown Commission on the Arts’ Kids’ Arts activities, was begun in 1988 by former Oddfellows’ artistic director Dic Wheeler. Each summer, 175 young people, ages 8 to 14, learn stilting, juggling, clowning, acrobatics, dance, unicycling, visual art, and other fantastic circus skills in this 5-week, half-day program. A challenging full-day Advanced Circus Program for veteran circus participants, ages 12-15, helps them take their skills to the next level. The circus concludes with a spectacular outdoor performance that has become a summer tradition in this area. With music by a live circus band and an audience of over 1,000, nearly 200 youngsters dazzle the crowd with circus acts and a level of skill that belie the youthfulness of the performers.

This year’s circus runs from June 29-July 31, with the gala circus show on July 31. Registration for Middletown youngsters began March 1; registration for out-of-town young people opens April 1. For more information, call Oddfellows Playhouse at (860) 347-6143.