Circus Smirkus [SIV34] | Stuck in Vermont | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published July 3, 2007 at 2:07 p.m.
Updated August 8, 2017 at 5:03 p.m.

Circus2This summer is the 20 year anniversary of founder Rob Mermin's Circus Smirkus.  What began as a little itty bitty dream to begin a circus in Vermont has turned into a formidable institution. 

Sunday was the opening day of the tour in Greensboro, VT.   1 Circus Road in Greensboro, the original home of Smirkus, is remote and beautiful. 

After 3 weeks of intense rehearsals, the 75-member staff and crew will tour for 7 weeks throughout New England, performing twice every other day for a total of 71 shows.

Circus3The young performers are skilled in multiple circus arts such as the diablo, single, double and triple point trapeze, rings, juggling, the plank, the tightrope, fabric and clowning. 

Or they might just use a couple of ladders to perform balancing tricks, you never can tell what is coming next.

In the beginning, the troupe consisted of farm hands learning how to juggle.  Thanks to the prominence of circus camps and training programs, performers now travel from all over the world to be a part of Circus Smirkus. 

Circus6 The giggly contortionists from Mongolia, the nimble tightrope walker from Columbia and the rosy-cheeked hula hooper from Minnesota - they are all part of one big circus family. 

All come together and become friends almost instantaneously, immediately trusting one another as they hang by each other's ankles, balance side by side, and rocket each other into the air. 

These days, it is less about running away to the circus and more about proudly adding it to your resume.  But one thing hasn't changed, the kids in the audience still squeal with delight at the simplest of gags and pies in the face are always in style.