May 5, 2024 (apply by Feb 9)

Open Stage Showcase

Take your passion for circus arts into center ring! This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to get your act on stage. We’ll guide you to polish your act and perform in front of an audience, where you will get video and photos. Or select the Going Pro package for additional support to take your talent to the next level with guidance from industry professionals and learn how to promote yourself, and how to communicate with producers / event planners.

You don’t need an act video to apply – you’ll provide that to us later.

This is not a competition, but there will be cash equivalent awards for Audience Choice, and feedback on your performance from audience and producers.

More Info

Open Stage Showcase Details

Showcase Location
New England Center for Circus Arts
10 Town Crier Drive
Brattleboro, Vermont 05301

Application Deadline
February 9, 2024 (no video required)

Virtual Workshop
tbd mid-February, 2024

Video Deadline
April 1, 2024

Rehearsal & Performance Date
Sunday, May 5, 2024

Fees
Basic Showcase package: $200-$150 (sliding scale)
Going Pro Mentor package: $400-$325 (sliding scale)

Showcase Focus
Circus practitioners and emerging professionals of all styles including but not limited to contemporary, traditional, street, burlesque, ‘corporate’, and more. For anyone interested in getting on stage, for your first time ever or as part of your career goals.

Selection Panel
A panel of circus performers, educators and the Producer will review applications. Acceptances will be based on a mix of discipline and style. Up to 16 performers will be accepted. Your 2024 Producer is Elsie Smith, an award winning aerialist, circus educator and director.

Preparation:

  • 2 hr zoom workshop on performance preparation including how to pick music, how to construct an act for maximum impact, and what to expect in rehearsals; date/time TBD ($50 value)
  • Act-in-progress review by the Producer 1 month before the performance ($85 value)
  • Going Pro package: Access to NECCA’s Going Pro video library ($200 value) including
    • Constructing Your Act
    • Finding and Using Music
    • Everything that Happens Before you Step into the Ring
    • What’s In Your Rigging Bag?
    • Demo Reels & Act Videos

Performance:

  • Freedom to perform a production length act, in a space designed for circus arts
    • Basic: 5 min act limit
    • Going Pro: 6 min act limit
  • Lighting that is customized to your work
    • Up to 4 lighting cues per act including entrance & exit
  • Professional video ($150 value)
    • Provided as lightly edited act reel 
  • Professional photos ($150 value)
    • Lightly edited; you’ll get all the images to use as you wish
  • One comp ticket to the performance

Awards:

  • Audience Choice Awards worth $250 credit for any activity at NECCA.
  • Audience feedback via surveys at the performance
  • Going Pro package: Open Stage Producer written feedback after the showcase including suggestions for next steps in your career
  • Up to 30′ rigging points
  • 30’x34′ black marley floor
  • Black curtain with side wings
  • Theatrical lighting (no more than 4 cues per act)
  • Act Length:
    • Basic: 5 min entrance to exit
    • Going Pro: 6 min act limit entrance to exit

Apply Today

HOW TO APPLY

The Open Stage Showcase is for age 18 & up. Age 16 & 17 may be accepted by permission of producer.

To apply please:

  • Complete the application form by February 9, 2024.
  • You will be informed about your acceptance by February 12.
  • Join the workshop on act preparation the week of February 19 (exact date/time tbd).
  • A video of your ‘act in progress’ will be due April 1; feedback will be provided within 1 week.

Have more questions?

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s a workshop and a show, and you can win something, too! You’ll be learning about act creation and the performance process in the lead up to the showcase, and then you’ll get to put your work on stage, with video and photos. You’ll also have an opportunity to win the Audience Choice Award – we like to think of this as a reward for your hard work, like a standing ovation, rather than something you are competing for.

  • Extended act length (6 min)
  • Access to Going Pro video library ($200 value)
  • Written feedback from the Producer following the performance

Then this is the perfect showcase for you! We’ll guide you through the experience from the beginning to when you step on stage with information on how to find music, pick a costume, build an act and be prepared for show day rehearsals.

There will be no refund once you have accepted a spot in the showcase. But you will benefit from the zoom meetings and guidance of the pre-show act review even if you are not able to be in the final performance.

NECCA is prepared for most circus rigging. We have floor plates for 3 or 4 point down guys, 40’+ ceilings, 30’+adjustable rigging points (single and double). The floor is marley over concrete. The stage is appx 30’x34′, with wings on either side of the stage. An in-ground trampoline / tramp wall is available. We have experience with chinese pole, cradle, swinging and flying trapeze, tight wire, etc.

Yes! We have a butterfly lift for those who are trained on it, and mechanical advantage systems. Performers are expected to provide their own puller, or can make arrangements for private lessons at NECCA to train a NECCA-based puller before the performance. Private lesson rates will apply for the performance day rehearsal (1 hr) and show (1 hr).

No problem – we love helping people stay safe. Performers are expected to provide their own line holder, or can make arrangements for private lessons at NECCA to train a NECCA-based line holder before the performance. Private lesson rates will apply for the performance day rehearsal (1 hr) and show (1 hr).

For basic flooring we have the option of marley over concrete, or a black ‘tatami’ foam bonded mat system that is the size of the stage. Aerialists are required to use the ‘tatami’ mat at a minimum, and are highly encouraged to use thicker mats as well, including panel mats, 8″ landing mats and a 3′ deep ‘pit’ mat.

We suggest that you have one mat system for your entire act – for example, if you need an 8″ landing mat it should be place at the start of the act and stay throughout. However, if you have person who will be with you and knows the cues to move your mat, you are welcome to choreograph this option.

We ask that all performers be open to helping ‘crew’ the show, such as being available to move mats and equipment for other performers. You will not be asked to do this just before or just following your act, so that you can focus on your needs.

We have designed this event to be both a workshop and a performance opportunity so that you can be as prepared and comfortable as possible. We will meet with you in advance of the show to help you prepare with a workshop and a work-in-progress feedback session.

NECCA will also use your fee to pay the producer to collect your lighting & rigging needs and create the tech sheet for the show. They will also meet with the lighting designer and spend time pre-recording basic light cues before your show day rehearsal begins. On the day of the performance your team will include the producer, a stage manager/safety coordinator, a lighting technician and a sound technician. We will also have a front of house team that includes a facilities manager and a box office team. At the performance there will be a videographer and a photographer, both of whom will take time after the show to download and edit material, then upload it for you to access.

SUPPORTING OUR MISSION

DONATE TO NECCA

NECCA is a nonprofit that’s committed to the people it serves and the community within which it thrives. We rely on our many generous donors to continue to be a place that’s accessible to everyone, where creativity and artistry soar, and where the seemingly impossible becomes possible—every single day. Please consider joining others in supporting our work.

SUPPORTING OUR MISSION

DONATE TO NECCA

NECCA is a nonprofit that’s committed to the people it serves and the community within which it thrives. We rely on our many generous donors to continue to be a place that’s accessible to everyone, where creativity and artistry soar, and where the seemingly impossible becomes possible—every single day. Please consider joining others in supporting our work.

Many Thanks To

Our Sponsors

Please join us in thanking these companies for their support of NECCA.

Grant Sponsors
Year Round Sponsors
Circus Springboard Sponsors

To Circus Springboard Sponsors: Valentine Talland and Nagesh Mahanthappa. Thank you for your support!


Copyright © 2019 New England Center for Circus Arts
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