Amazing Grace Circus created history by raising their very first tent, where six generations of circus performers participated in this two-and-a-half week event. Over 4,000 circus-goers were expected to enter the tent in Memorial Park Nyack, NY.
Struggling against talent, motivation, and adolescent insecurities, the 12 teenagers in the Amazing Grace Troup test the saying “run away to the circus” and discover an irresistibly rich history, culture, and their own voice. Behind the tent in the scorching sun and humidity, the teenagers learn the extreme physical skill and dedication required to put on a show. After the nerves and butterflies, they will experience for the first time, what the other performers speak of, that shinning moment in the ring. Overcoming every hurdle imaginable, from all different backgrounds, ages, and cultures, Circus performers unite under a little big top to capture the imagination of young and old.
Twelve-year-old Megan, youngest of the group, with freckles, braces, and brown hair pushes herself in rehearsals, hoping to ignore the ever nagging nightmares of her aerial silk act going wrong high above the circus ring.
Fourteen-year old Matt, self-proclaimed show clown, keeps spirits high and the energy flowing with his goofy over the top comedy. Behind the ring moments before he steps out, his somber quiet reveals an entirely different side to usual gregarious character.
Best friend of of the energetic Matt, behind the tent and in center ring, is the towering and quiet Liam, Ring Master of the show.
Fourteen-year-old Adam struggles with his debilitating stage fright. He is able to juggle five clubs high into the air, but with his fellow troupe members as an audience, he can barely keep three in the air. What will he do with 400 eyes on him?
The whole troupe of teenagers include: Brina Audisio, Matthew Benton, Jonathan Blau, Max Calabro, Katherine Gerber, Megan Grosmark, Adam Kapilow, Stephanie Long, Gabrielle Ment, Marci Moskowitz, Matthew Sheinman and Liam Travaglini
Surviving on barely two hours of sleep a night, Carlo Pellegrini frantically keeps the pieces together, both creatively and logistically. Last minute meetings with Fire Marshals and the Department of Health, no bleachers, loosing electricity, promoting the show, finishing the show script, by day teaching fifty campers and by night rehearsing with the troupe keeps Carlo on his toes.
With her New York attitude, humor, red lipstick, and leopard-print leggings, teacher, artistic director (painter), clown, and acrobat Karen Gersch will re-live memories and her love of the circus. She captures workers pounding tent stakes and performer’s shinning moments in the spotlight with her pen and sketchpad.
Sacha Pavlata is sixty years old going on twenty. He is a fifth-generation Czech circus artist, master aerialist and world-renown circus arts teacher. He owns the colorful tent and performs his famous cloud swing in the show. He grew up performing with his family traveling in a wooden circus wagon, which criss-crossed Europe and North Africa.
Sacha’s wife Melinda Heywood Pavlata, descendent of belly dancers and circus performers breathes and eats circus. With a PHD, she has chosen the circus life and her utter happiness shines through in her grace and beauty with every step she takes in the ring and behind the tent.
Dylan, an intelligent high school senior who spends most summers playing soccer and speaking in front of the Senate in DC, finds himself bitten by the Circus bug. Literally sleeping in the tent at night, he spends every waking hour with Sacha and the tent, hammering stakes, digging trenches, hanging lights, and painting.
Additional World renowned Guests Performers include: Alexandre Sacha Pavlata, Melinda, Heywood Pavlata Ph.D, Carlo Pelligrini, Karen E. Gersch, Nathalie Enterline, Dikkie Ellis, Will Shaw, David Engel, Mary Nagler, Professor Phineas Feelgoods World Famous Performing Flea Circus (Midway), and Bill Irwin.