Barnum’s circus presents outlandish tricks for local theater

Multiple Authors

With the set in place, chairs set up and the songs burned into memory, “Barnum” the musical is ready for the opening night tonight in the PAC at 7 p.m. Supported by two and a half months of rehearsal, the cast is planning to put on a total of four shows, with three shows at 7 p.m. today, tomorrow and Saturday and one last performance Sunday at 3 p.m.
“Everybody kind of got into [learning how to juggle] and it was kind of surprising to everybody. That’s been kind of the buzz and people keep practicing their juggling more than they practice anything else,” director Mike Pierson said. “Like any other show, it’s exciting to put all the pieces together — the singing, the acting, the set pieces, the orchestra — with the impending knowledge that we’ve got an audience coming.”
The whimsical assortment of characters had to learn circus skill sets ranging from juggling to even trapezing. Coupled with upbeat musical numbers, there certainly won’t be a shortage of scenes to see.
“I play a Swedish opera singer in Barnum’s museum that ends up having an affair with him,” Andrea Baker said. “My favorite part of playing the character is probably my song. I love singing opera and I’m so glad I got a chance to play it on stage.”
The eccentric skills featured in this story of the con-artist PT Barnum also pull out the individual talents of cast members, adding to the already vast array of each cast member’s talents.
“[The hardest part is] there are so many difficult tricks in it like acrobatics and juggling and such,” junior Kylee Renwick, who plays the character Joice Heth, the oldest woman alive, said. “It’s cool because we’re doing it and bringing out other talents that we have.”
Combining tradition musical tunes and a circus themed-storyline, “Barnum” is prepared to throw open the curtains and invite the audience into its outlandish world of quirky performances.
“Getting the show in front of the audience and getting a response, that’s the hardest part of rehearsing,” Pierson said. “You rehearse and rehearse and rehearse but you’re never getting that feedback from the audience, and so when you finally get to do that, you really get a better idea of the value of what you’ve been doing for the last two and half months.”
Tickets will be sold at the door for $8.
Written by Alice Yu[TS-VCSC-Vimeo content_vimeo=”https://vimeo.com/145483312″]videos filmed and edited by Cam Fuller