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Cirkus Theatre Project 2013

The Cirkus Theatre Project is a collaboration between the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, Cirque du Soleil, and UNCSA to develop student-driven performances in which small teams of final-year UNCSA students create and present original work without the use of words. Following graduation, these students become Cirkus Theatre Resident Artists employed by UNCSA to rehearse and stage their performances in late summer.

The Process of Creativity

By Brit Jorgenson & Gabe Russo


This is a story about family. A simple tale of love, loss and hope. The piece was originally entitled "Canalasso," derived from the Italian word "Canalazzo." Canalazzo is the name Venetians commonly associate with their Grand Canal; a channel that flows through the heart of Venice. Mankind's symbiotic relationship with water was a particular inspiration for the conception of this piece. The idea that family, like water, is needed to sustain life.


But that was only the Fall of 2012...


Then came the Summer of 2013, and with it: artistic collaboration. Through the brilliant minds and dedicated work of Lindsay Carter, Casey Sauls, Ray Huth, Vanessa Knouse, and Rory Gilbert, "Canalasso" became "Luna.

The name "Luna" comes from the children's book Stellaluna by Janell Cannon; a story of love, loss, and family.


Our rehearsals integrated the use of large picture frames allowing us to transport ourselves anywhere in space and time. Through these discoveries, we found our essential characters: a Mother, a Father, a Daughter, and two Guides.


*However, I should mention that our development was not so linear.  As "Luna" began to take on a life of it's own, our designers were busy creating the world for our story to be told...

Listen to my interview with David Ford of NPR & WFDD here:

The Designs

The Set


Designs by Ketti Shum

The Music

1. Opening

Written and Recorded by Stephen Shore & Wiley Gorn

3. Luna's Memories

Written and Recorded by Stephen Shore & Thomas Rowell

2. Daughter's Temper Tantrum

Written and Recorded by Stephen Shore & Thomas Rowell

4. The Dance

Written and Recorded by Stephen Shore & Wiley Gorn

5. Reunion (End of Show)

Written and Recorded by Stephen Shore

The Story Comes to Life...

From the very beginning of our process to the final day of performance, we stayed true to the core of our message:

"Family will always be with you. In life and death. Through love and loss. And nothing is stronger than the bond of a loving family."

The Cast

Daughter..............Brodie Wray

Father...................Ray Huth

Mother..................Vanessa Knouse

Female Clown......Lindsay Carter

Male Clown..........Rory Gilbert

Guitarist...............Stephen Shore

Thank You

This production wouldn't have been possible without the following people:

John Coyne, Gene Lubas, Jerry Nadal, Brodie Wray, Andrew Harper, Ansel Hollis, Ketti Shum, Loryn Pretorius, Crystal Heckert,

Lauren Williams, Manuel da Silva, Rachel Gonzalez, Mike Auchter, Garrett Gottschalk, Joe Tilford, Michelle Jarvis, Jaechelle Johnson, Thomas Rowell, Wiley Gorn, Rebecca Nussbaum & Bob Francesconi

Production Stills

Photo by Brent LaFever

Photo by Brent LaFever

Photo by Brent LaFever

Photo by Brent LaFever

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