They flip, fly, and walk tightropes—then pack up, move on, and do it all over again. In Circus: Wandering City, the adventurous string quartet ETHEL pays tender tribute to the culture that sustained the “Greatest Show on Earth,” which took down its tent for good last year. Commissioned by, and using the vast resources of, The John and Mable Ringling Museum—including firsthand accounts from contemporary circus performers and archival imagery—the ensemble performs its original score, diving into an overlooked, long stigmatized, and largely immigrant American subculture whose denizens overcame the odds to swing and soar.
Circus: Wandering City, created by ETHEL and Director Grant McDonald, is a full-evening, multi-media concert and theatrical performance inspired by the heroes behind the magic of the Big Top. The thrilling music and ground-breaking projections illuminate and reveal a 21st century take on a larger-than-life performing culture of global traditions and origins, while celebrating the wonderment and excitement of one of America’s most iconographic popular culture experiences.
World Premiere: January 2018 at The Ringling’s Asolo Theater in Sarasota, Florida Upcoming New York Premiere: BAM’s Harvey Theater, November 2018 Available for Touring: 19/20 Season
2020-2021 Season Announcement: Touring Productions and Events - Circus: Wandering City