Sarah Lawrence Under the Big Top

The big top is coming to Sarah Lawrence.  No, not Ringling Brothers or Barnum and Bailey but Sarah Lawrence students will be putting on a show.  This extravaganza was the brain child of Lauren Stern, ’12.

“It’s perfect for someone who likes to be a bit weird but also likes rhinestones,” says Stern.

Stern originally had the idea when she was a first-year but put it on the back burner while she and some friends started the Porcelain Baby Burlesque troop, now called The Scandal Revue.

“It was originally supposed to be a Cabaret theme, but I liked the aesthetic of the circus better,” says Stern. “Over sophomore and junior year as I got more into circus arts it just seemed to fit the feel that I wanted.”

Assisting in this endeavor is Taylor Beard, ’12 (one of the other original members of Porcelain Baby Burlesque) and Emma Lipschutz, ’13. Beard is assistant director to the project and Lipschutz is the head costumer and producer.

The vision of the circus is to blend students interested in performing with people interested in burlesque.  The concept of the circus is particularly appealing because of the diverse possibilities of acts, in addition to the acts planned by the original trio. No pieces are set in stone, leaving plenty of space for students who wish to be a part of the magic.

“My definition of burlesque,” says Stern, “is that each act is a brief and passionate flirtation with the audience. Everyone is going to have their five minutes to say whatever they want.”

Some ideas from the trio already include various elements of circus lore.

“Whenever I think of the circus, I think of the sideshow,” says Beard. “I am really excited we get to perform with sideshow-esque numbers.”

Though much of the show is not yet solidified, including its title, Stern wants the project to be as organic as possible.

“I was watching this documentary about the circus,” say Stern. “In many ways the circus is like a big family and I really like that idea.  I want it be a community on campus.”

Stern mentions possibilities of taking the members involved with the circus into New York to see some circus-themed lore as the show’s production progresses.

Currently, interested parties can follow the Circus’s production and research by taking a look at the Circus’s blog.

“Right now, it’s all the research that I did and that I am still doing,” says Stern. “There is a lot of pictures and profiles on burlesque and circus performers. What I would like to see it become is a place where everyone liveblogs their piece.”

They encourage anyone interested in performing to come to auditions on Thursday September 22nd, 2011 in MacCracken Dance Studio between 9:30pm and 11:30pm. They are looking for circus acts, burlesque acts, singers, clowns, mimes, and anything else that is reminiscent of the circus. Auditions are mandatory for anyone wishing to perform.

“We are really interested in taking someone that may have a vague interest in what they are interested in and helping them go for it,” says Stern.

Most exciting to them though is the buzz that the circus has been receiving around campus.

“People want to know more about it and they want to come see it I am glad that it has a pull for people at Sarah Lawrence,” says Lipschutz.

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Lauren Busser, likes to think that magic exists. (Errol got lost with her Hogwarts letter.) She is currently writing for Bronxville, The Phoenix, and as well as sending the occasional op-ed to newspapers. When not writing as a journalist she can be found reading Gothic novels for her senior thesis entitled Rivalry and Sorority or knitting obsessively with sock weight yarn.

1 Comment

  • Reply September 19, 2011

    Ari Jones

    Thanks for putting this piece together! It really captures the feeling I got from the first meeting; it’s about an organic community that will allow performers to shine. Isn’t that what SLC student’s really want?

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