Make-a-Circus, a San Francisco-based circus troupe that encourages audience participation, will return to Orange County Saturday for an evening of free outdoor entertainment.
In addition to witnessing the traditional circus fare of trapeze acts, juggling, stilt walking, clowns and acrobats, members of the audience at the 5 p.m. show at Irvine Valley College will be invited to participate in circus workshops and perform with the troupe.
"What distinguishes Make-a-Circus is that in the course of an evening, not only do the children get to watch the acts, but they get a chance to learn rudimentary circus skills. Then they get to perform in a second show that is specially scripted to allow for audience participation," explained Sherri Roberts, general manager of the circus, which is making its 12th annual tour. The 11-member troupe includes four musicians and a technical staff of three.
The circus will open with a musical set by the Make-a-Circus Jazz Band, followed by "The Medicine Show," a humorous play about Dr. Archimedes Sternum, a medicine man peddling his worthless wonder tonic. Evil villain Bernardo Spivwack tries to steal the formula and a beautiful heroine, Hedda Lettuce, urges the audience to forgo the tonic and pursue good health through diet and exercise, Roberts said. The playwright, Andrea Snow, is a 10-year veteran of the San Francisco Mime Troupe and a teacher at the San Francisco School of Dramatic Arts.