A few reasons not to miss this ‘Circus’ rolling into town this week

Step right up! “Circus 1903” is coming to town! SUBMITTED PHOTO
Caption
Step right up! “Circus 1903” is coming to town! SUBMITTED PHOTO

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Just weeks after the new show “Circus 1903” opened at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, it was announced that the most famous circus of all — Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey — would be ending for good.

Meanwhile, Simon Painter and his creative team — who’d already found great success with their turn-of-the-century magic show “The Illusionists”— were just kicking off their nostalgic tribute to the heyday of circus.

That production will be on stage at Dayton’s Schuster Center June 13-18.

>> PHOTOS: Broadway shows we can’t wait to see in Dayton

The circus is coming to town! “Circus 1903” recreates an old-time circus. It will be at the Schuster Center June 13-18. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Caption
The circus is coming to town! “Circus 1903” recreates an old-time circus. It will be at the Schuster Center June 13-18. SUBMITTED PHOTO

WHAT TO EXPECT

The acts on view will range from teeter-board acrobatics and juggling to cycling and high wire.

Many of the performers on stage come from multi-generational circus families in France, Ukraine, Canada, Spain, Mexico, Russia. The technical crew numbers 50.

>> How Dayton landed the world premiere of Family Ties reboot on stage

“Circus 1903” features acts from around the world that would have been popular 100 years ago. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Caption
“Circus 1903” features acts from around the world that would have been popular 100 years ago. SUBMITTED PHOTO

WHAT NOT TO EXPECT

To address the live animal dilemma, producers came up with an interesting substitution. The animals, so integral to circuses of the past, will be represented by puppets created by the folks of Significant Object, who brought us the amazing life-like horses in “Warhorse.”

>> 7 amazing things to do in downtown Dayton

Elephant puppets star in “Circus 1903” which comes to the Schuster Center June 13-18. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Caption
Elephant puppets star in “Circus 1903” which comes to the Schuster Center June 13-18. SUBMITTED PHOTO

"The history of circus is so fascinating. It's such a beautiful art and a hundred years ago it was the only style of entertainment, " says director Neil Dorward. "We wanted to tell a different side of the story — about the hard work that was required of these performers and about their human capabilities."

>> 50 ideas for your Dayton summer bucket list

It’s hard work for the crew as well. Dorward says creating a big top inside a proscenium stage that varies with every city is a challenge. “The set design is quite complicated,” he says. “We consulted circus people about the rigging, the high wire acts. We toured the world for the best acts out there.”

“Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus” features life-sized elephant puppets created by the award-winning puppeteer artists of “War Horse.” Contributed by the Long Center
Caption
“Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus” features life-sized elephant puppets created by the award-winning puppeteer artists of “War Horse.” Contributed by the Long Center

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: "Circus 1903," a romantic tribute to the Golden Age of Circus

WHEN: June 13-18

WHERE: Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton

RECOMMENDED: For ages 6 and up. The show runs two hours plus intermission.

TICKETS: Prices range from $30-$97. Call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630 or online at www.Circus1903.com. Group rates are available at (937) 461-8295.