Cirque bringing Renaissance flair to the stage

October 17, 2013

Joseph Pratt

PDT Contributor

Cirque d’Art Theatre is hosting their annual fall recital, bringing a different feel to the Halloween experience this year with “Good Versus Evil: A Renaissance Tale.”

Directors Pegi Wilkes and Trisha Schmidt always write and choreograph a show based on the students they have available and this year have designed a dominating adagio show of good vs. evil. The show involving kings, witches and jesters and is enveloped in renaissance flair to fit into the Southern Ohio Museum programming.

The story follows a king who has two sisters, one of them being an evil step-sister. The step-sister is wreaking evil upon the kingdom and trying to manipulate everyone into her reigning over them. The dance follows the plot to kill the king and take over, but has a twist in the end.

Olivia Pennington, 16, Portsmouth High School student, has been involved with Cirque for nine years. Pennington will be a court jester and will be participating in double partner tricks.

“The jesters are the entertainers for the court and we come in and we’re kind of like evilish. We come in and dance and end up being taken away by the guards.”

Pennington said she is in her fourth week of rehearsal, on top of her normal Cirque classes. Pennington also said she has to focus on putting on muscle for the double partner tricks.

“I think people will like the show,” Pennington said. “It is pretty interesting and it is different from other Halloween shows. Instead of having ghosts we have gone medieval and renaissance, which is just a different theme than what we normally have.”

Chad Welch, 16, East High School student, is returning to the Cirque stage after a brief break.

“Since the show is renaissance based, the characters are kings, knights, guards, witches and stuff like that,” Welch said. “I’m playing a king. I’m supposed to be at this dinner and get poisoned and they think they kill me, but don’t.”

The basis of the show began after taking a look at the roster for the production.

“Pegi and I come up with a theme and start throwing out ideas after we take a look at who is going to be in the program and what strengths we have in each cast,” Trisha Schmidt, co-director of Cirque d’Art Theatre, said, describing the creative process in choosing and writing a show. “We haven’t had a good Halloween story since Alice in Wickedland, but this story is pretty good. We found some new music we haven’t used before, which is good and creepy and Halloween driven. I think it is going to be really neat and will be a story that you could tell your children while sitting around a campfire.”

Schmidt also said that since the story is more detailed, the students get to showcase their acting ability in this show more than usual.

The only aerial work in this show is a supported trapeze, which is just two dances holding a bar for a third student. All other dance is predominantly adagio, group dances, acrobat routines and a bit of contortion.

Cirque’s “Good Versus Evil: A Renaissance Tale” will be showcased at the Southern Ohio Museum and will run Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26. Shows start at 7, 8 and 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $3 for museum members, children and seniors.

“We have a good, kid friendly show with just the right kind of Halloween flair to it. I think it will be well accepted and people will really enjoy it,” Schmidt said.