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WHEN THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN
A Festival of the Arts

West End Arts Center
132 West End Avenue,
Long Branch, NJ 07740

 

Parking Info: Enter the parking lot off of Sairs Avenue (between West End Avenue and Brighton Avenue).

 

Theater, Art, Poetry, Photography, Music

September 20 - 30, 2018

BUY TICKETS NOW

REVIEWS/ARTICLES

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

 

Thursday, September 20 at 6:00 - 9:00
Art Gallery and Photography Reception
- A FREE EVENT!
Artists represented include:  Kate Eggleston, Lizzi Shippert, Lori Lee Sperling, Frankie Lopes, Kira Yustak, Nicole Hymowitz, Mike Quon, Kathy Dorsey Lucas, Vincent DiGeraldo and

Mare Akana.
Photographers represented include:  Andrea Phox, Vicki Labella, Tiffany Harned, Sadie Kawut, Pamela Hope DeLuca, Mary Naklicki, Kristin Nelson, Katia Barnes, Joseph Sorrentino, Elisabeth Koch McKay, Dug Smith, Diana Lang, Bill Smithuysen and Alyse Liebowitz.

 

Friday, September 21 at 8:00 pm
Theatre Brut Session 1
Circus Real by Alexis Kozak, directed Gail Winar.
Starring Daniela Mastropietro*, and Jared Michael Delaney*
Synopsis: A lascivious circus owner pursues an exotic fortune teller and learns his fate.

 

Gravity: The Three Body Problem, by John Biguenet, and directed by SuzAnne Barabas.
Starring David Farrington, John Little*, and Wendy Peace*.
Synopsis: An elicit affair on the ground, might have deadly consequences in the air.

 

In The Hole by Christopher Daftsios, directed by Sarah Norris.
Starring Christopher Daftsios*, and Andy Paterson*.
Synopsis: Two men, ice fishing in Minnesota, confront each other about their limitations, dreams, and the lyrics of George Michael. "Brokeback Mountain" with an accent.

 

Nightmare Alley a musical written and directed by Jonathan Brielle.
Starring Cole Burden*, Lauren Zakrin*, and Kevyn Morrow*.
Synopsis
: It's 1932 and a young con man in a traveling side show finds himself attracted to the "Electrocution Girl". Who is conning who?


Followed by Live Music and Refreshments.

 

Saturday, September 22 at 2:00 pm
Theatre Brut Session 2

Oh No! I Flew Too Close to the Sun by Rand Higbee, directed by Shaun Peknic.
Starring Basit Shittu*, Kirsten deLohr Helland*, Jake Ryan Lozano*.
Synopsis: Rome, 120 A.D. Festus steals an apple and instead of capital punishment, he gets to play Icarus at the Colosseum. A role to die for.

 

Spontaneous Clownbustion by John Weagly, directed by John FitzGibbon.
Starring Mary Francina Golden* and Cathy Ang*.
Synopsis: Two out-of-work circus performers try to make sense of a bizarre big-top catastrophe.

 

Would You Like a Tissue? by Andrew R. Heinze, directed by Gail Winar.
Starring Jennifer Terrell* and Christopher Le Crenn*.
Synopsis: Lawrence and Vanessa meet randomly at a circus event. But before the show ever starts, his constant sniffling, and her continuous offer of a tissue, launch this pair of strangers into a main event of another kind.

 

Zazú by Michael Tucker, directed by Katrin Hilbe.
Starring Andy Paterson* and Tina Stafford*.
Synopsis: A side-show performer would like to get out of Oddball Alley and move into the big-tent as a trapeze artist - there is just one problem...

 

Followed by Live Music and Refreshments.

 

Saturday, September 22 at 8pm
Theatre Brut Session 3

All We Want by James McLindon, directed by Eddie Prunoske.
Starring A.J. Melnick, Tommy Heleringer*, Jody Flader*, and Alyssa Faye Smith*.
Synopsis: A side-show huckster and his young apprentice hawk their wares on the midway, pondering just what they're selling.

 

Clown Alley by Gino DiIorio, directed by Katrin Hilbe.
Starring James B. Kennedy and Stella Pulo*.
Synopsis: Phinny and Adeline are circus-lifers. But as their circus life comes to an end, what's next in store for them ... and was it all worth it?

 

Sad Clown & the Circus de Italo by Adriana Palangio, directed by Gail Winar,
Starring Christopher Le Crenn*, Joe Grosso* and Danielle Grosso.
Synopsis: The circus' infamous Sad Clown makes his living with his tears. Audiences roar with delight at his expense and the crowds keep coming. But one day a beautiful new performer introduces a new emotion to the clown that just might destroy his livelihood.

 

The Revisionist written and directed by SuzAnne Barabas.
Starring Christopher Daftsios* and Michael Irvin Pollard*.
Synopsis: A charismatic young man presents a lecture that is frighteningly convincing. Monsters don't look like monsters.


Followed by Live Music and Refreshments.

 

Sunday, September 23 at 2pm

Theatre Brut Session 4
Death Defying by Stephen Kaplan, directed by Mikaela Kafka.
Starring Anna Gion and Stephanie Windland.
Synopsis: A Human Cannonball and a Human Arrow meet in the waiting room to heaven ... sounds like the beginning of a punchline.

 

Riding Lessons by Brett Hursey, directed Brad Lemons.
Starring Camber Carpenter and Sam Kellman.
Synopsis: Clark meets Edie on a park bench. That's when the real clowning around starts.

 

The Circus Acrobat Girl by Lisa Kimball, directed by SuzAnne Barabas.
Starring Juliet Kapanjie and Benjamin Satchel.
Synopsis: A girl teetering on the edge of a bridge draws the attention of a young man.

 

The Existential Marionette by Jeanne Beckwith, directed by Joel Stone.
Starring A.J. Melnick, Rudy Palma, and Cara Ganski*.
Synopsis: Time: Childhood. Heidi Doody is discontent with her life in Doodyville. Howdy Doody and Dilly Dally try to help her see things in a more positive light.


Followed by Live Music and Refreshments.


Tuesday, September 25 at 4pm - 5:30 pm
Children's Storytelling
-- A FREE EVENT!

Family fun for children ages 5 - 10 years.  An afternoon of storytelling, with an old-time circus flare - under our little big top. Children must be accompanied by an adult and adults must be accompanied by a child.

 

Wednesday, September 26 at 7pm
Poetry Night –
Readings from local poets.

 

Thursday, September 27 at 8pm
Theatre Brut Session 5

Covenant (or Bagels and Butchery) by Ken Weitzman, directed by Suzanne Agins.
Starring Aaron Roman Weiner* and Alex Sunderhaus*.
Synopsis: A bris, an anxious father and a cross-eyed Mohel. To snip or not to snip?

 

No More Writers by Richard Vetere, directed by SuzAnne Barabas.
Starring Christopher Daftsios*, M. Grace Sutton*, and Rachel Schmeling.
Synopsis: In the future when writing is outlawed, what happens when a notebook is found?

 

Verisimilitude by Jacob Zack, directed by John FitzGibbon.
Starring Kersti Bryan* and Jamil A. C. Mangan*.
Synopsis: Two vagrants prepare for the performance of a lifetime.

 

When the Circus Came to Town by Stephanie Griffin, directed by Shaun Peknic.
Starring A.J. Melnick and Alice Connorton*.
Synopsis: Her husband ran away to join the circus so Mother does everything to prevent her son from choosing the same fate.


Followed by Live Music and Refreshments.

 

Friday, September 28 at 8pm

Live Music -- Relax and enjoy the music of local bands including Jackson Pines and the Homeless Apians, plus additional bands to be announced.

 

Saturday, September 29 at 2pm
Theatre Brut Session 6

Doodle-lee Doo written and directed by Joel Stone.
Starring Jennifer Terrell*, Christopher Daftsios*, and John Paul Harkins.
Synopsis: Doodles the Clown is having an affair. When her husband Willy catches her in the act, who gets the last laugh?

 

Fortune's Fool by Jared Michael Delaney, directed by Zoya Kachadurian.
Starring Angela Della Ventura*, Dustin Charles*, and Sarah Paton*.
Synopsis: A couple has decided to take in the local carnival. But when they come across a game called "Fortune's Fool," they learn that the stakes are far higher than they could have guessed.

 

Like Brothers written and directed by Barney Fitzpatrick.
Starring Barney Fitzpatrick* and Kevin Elden*.
Synopsis: Two best friends, like soul mates, who lack personal initiative and feel the world owes them, decide to rob an easy target- the circus.

 

Think Like a Man by Marisa Smith, directed Melody Brooks.
Starring Carol Todd* and Anja Lee*.
Synopsis: While the kids are trick-or-treating on Halloween night, two moms imbibe in wine and speculate on how much cash they would need to accept an "Indecent Proposal" from the Richest Man on Earth.


Followed by Live Music and Refreshments

 

Saturday, September 29 at 8pm
Theatre Brut Session 7

Blue Bench by Aleks Merilo, directed by Joel Stone.
Starring A.J. Melnick and Max Arnaud*.
Synopsis: A young man sneaks backstage at the worst circus in Paris, and finds himself confronted by a haunted figure who will change his life forever.

 

Parlez Vous by Lauren Waters & Marc Jablonski, directed by Wendy Peace.
Starring Estelle Bajou* and Julia Geisler*
Synopsis: A seasoned clown meets the circus' newest player- a mime, who communicates entirely through gestures. The two develop a strange, but deep, relationship through movement and music.

 

The Circus Train Wreck by Andrea Fleck Clardy, directed by SuzAnne Barabas
Starring Michele Tauber and Angie Tennant
Synopsis: When a gifted high school student writes a dark and disturbing story about the wreck of a circus train, her teacher wants to know what's really going on in the student's mind.


Followed by Live Music and Refreshments

 

Sunday, September 30 at 2pm
Theatre Brut Session 8

By the Light by Kate McLeod, directed by Peter Zazzali.
Starring Michael Irvin Pollard*.
Synopsis: A man who has found a home with the circus decides to confront us with the dark underbelly of life under Big Top.

 

Extraordinary by Bara Swain, directed by SuzAnne Barabas.
Starring Michele Tauber* and Lori Vega*.
Synopsis: Will a former circus Fat Lady grant her daughter the approval she seeks and reveal a secret of her own? Anything can happen when the circus comes to a small Georgia town.

 

Maximilian the Magnificent by L.H. Grant, directed by Zoya Kachadurian.
Starring David Friedlander*, Cathryn Wake*, Thomas Grube*, and Juliet Kapanjie.
Synopsis: A daring trapeze artist, a drunken clown, two immigration agents, and a man surrounded by five hungry lions. Welcome to the greatest show in the tri-state area.

 

Stepping Into Fire an encore musical by Jonathan Brielle & Tom Coash.
Starring Jane Bruce*.
Synopsis: Set on a high wire practice platform, a young woman tightrope walker confronts her fears and tries to regain her balance on the wire two days after the tragic death of her partner.


Followed by Live Music and Refreshments.

 

Early bird tickets to each Theatre Brut Sessions are $50 including live music and refreshments, $15 for poetry or music night, or purchase a festival pass to attend all the events for $300 (a savings of $130).