The first weekend in May, the WCPA is thrilled to announce two events featuring members of The Salida Circus: “Circus With a Purpose.” On Friday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m., Jennifer Dempsey, founder and Executive Director of The Salida Circus, will present her one-woman show, Something Great!: My Life in the Belfast Circus.
In 1989, Dempsey, a twenty-one-year-old American college dropout, moves to Belfast. Something Great! is a raw portrait of a young woman who loses her way but finds it again in The Belfast Circus – a “social circus” focusing on building bridges and relationships between Catholic and Protestant youth during the height of the social and political unrest in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles. Written and performed by Dempsey, this 75-minute dramedy is a coming-of-age story about searching for purpose and finding it in the most unlikely of places. (For ages 14 and up)
Then on Saturday, May 6, starting at 2 p.m., there will be two events featuring The Salida Circus. The first is a documentary by Salida filmmaker Nathan Ward telling the story of The Salida Circus, entitled Come One Come All. Like The Belfast Circus, The Salida Circus is a social circus: a space where kids and adults learn the circus arts and use them to build a better world both for their communities and themselves. A diverse cast of characters share how the circus changed their lives: a military vet finds his life calling; a woman from an abusive background goes on to perform around the world; a young girl who lost her leg to cancer finds that the circus helps her to embrace her new reality; athletes take up the challenge of applying their physical skills to the circus – all this, and more. Come One Come All originally appeared on Rocky Mountain PBS in January 2023.
Following the 30-minute documentary, members of The Salida Circus will perform a showcase and then conduct a workshop for “kids of all ages” to demonstrate the kinds of skills they will be teaching this summer, July 10 -14, at Salida Circus Camp being offered at the Jones Theater as part of the WCPA’s summer Creativity Camp.
All the events on May 5 and 6 have a suggested donation of $5: “More if you’ve got it, free if you don’t.” These events have been made possible in part by previous donations at the Community Talent Show and by a grant from the High Mountain Hay Fever’s Children’s Health Fund.
– Press release by the Westcliffe Center for the Performing Arts