The members of 2 Ring Circus have gone a few threats beyond triple: They sing, act, dance, and play instruments, all while performing circus acts. And they’re lending their many talents to theatrical productions far afield from their home base in New York City. They’re currently in Arkansas working on a circus version of Godspell which runs June 2-25 at Arkansas Rep.
The company’s artistic director, Joshua Dean, first fell in love with circus work by accident. Cast in a show in Chicago that required him to learn some tricks, he loved the training. Back in New York City, Dean focused on musical theatre, but his circus side kept nagging at him. “Eventually I kind of stopped doing musical theatre and went full-fledged into circus,” he recalls, coaxing his partner, Ben Franklin, to do the same. Not long after, they met Lani Corson and Kenneth Ziegler, a husband and wife with similar interests and abilities, and their duo became a foursome in 2011.
“When we first formed it, we didn’t plan on doing musical theatre with it,” says Dean. “We were actually going to do our four-person shows.” These original shows, with titles like Cirque Le Jazz, A Vintage Affair, and 2 Ring Bros, are circus variety acts, what the team calls “huge little shows”—i.e., quality entertainment with minimal setup and budget required. Theatres can still hire them to perform these acts. But recently they’ve found more takers for their “theatre collaborations”—in fact they’ve been booked solid. Read More