Seminar Series

Worldwide Circus Seminars Offer Something for Everyone

By Don Covington

The seminars planned for the upcoming Worldwide Circus Summit in West Springfield, Massachusetts in July follow the overall theme of the event by providing three days of features examining the circus yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Your Summit registration package includes admission to all of the seminars, panel discussion and demonstrations.

You’ll want to consult the daily schedule provided by the editors of Circus Report to be sure that you include the topics that interest you in your planning each day.

Circus Yesterday

pastDeborah Walk, the Tibbals Curator of the Circus Museum at the Ringling in Sarasota and President of the Circus Historical Society, assembled the “yesterday” seminar series.

The opening speaker will be Dr. Vanessa Toulmin, of the University of the University of Sheffield (England), who will discuss the origins of the “modern circus”. Dick Moore, who will present a magic lantern show of vintage circus photographs utilizing an authentic antique projector, will follow her.

Then, members of Windjammers Unlimited will recreate a traditional circus big top band with instrumentation similar to that utilized by Merle Evans on Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey under canvas.

The day will conclude with a panel discussion of noted circus historians Fred Pfening, Fred Dahlinger and Duncan Wall.

Bill Powell

Bill Powell, Feld Entertainment Vice President of Event Marketing and Sales, Southern Region.

Circus Today

Peggy Williams, Education Outreach Manager at Feld Entertainment, assembled the program for the circus “today” series.

Those sessions will include a look at circus advertising by Bill Powell and an industry perspective on the status of performing animals in contemporary circus by Stephen Payne, Vice President for Corporate Communications for Feld Entertainment.

Bill Powell is Feld Entertainment Vice President of Event Marketing and Sales, Southern Region.

Feld Entertainment is the largest live touring family entertainment and motor sports company in the world. As a VP of Event Marketing and Sales, Bill Powell currently manages the business of bringing live motor sports and entertainment events to major markets in the Southern U.S. Additionally he manages Feld Direct, the company’s nationwide group and concierge services team, the Amsoil Arena Cross motorcycle racing series, Feld Studios marketing and new business ventures for the company.

Bill was primarily responsible for Feld Entertainment’s international expansion into the Latin American entertainment market having pioneered the introduction of Disney on IceSM, Feld Motorsports and Ringling Bros. and Barnum &Bailey®, into Mexico, Spain and eight countries in South America. His special project work includes creating new initiatives and business development for Feld. Recently, he helped shape Feld Entertainment’s expansion towards incorporating analytics into its annual business process.

Stephen Payne

Stephen Payne, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Feld Entertainment Inc.

Stephen Payne is Vice President of Corporate Communications for Feld Entertainment Inc.

Stephen leads an international PR team responsible for garnering earned media across 75 countries on six continents for some of world’s most well-known live entertainment brands, including Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Monster Jam, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!

Prior to his tenure at Feld Entertainment, Stephen represented a wide variety of trade associations and companies both in the media and before legislative and regulatory officials.

Two panel discussions are sure to spark a lot of interest. First, a circus directors’ forum will include Paul Binder (Big Apple Circus), Brian Boswell (Boswell’s Circus, South Africa), Zsuzsanna Mata (Budapest Circus Festival, Hungary), Wayne McCary (Big E Super Circus), John Pugh (Cole Bros Circus), Katya and Nelson Quiroga (Circus Vargas), Jim Royal (Kelly Miller Circus), Cedric Walker (Universoul Circus) and Ramon Vazquez (Circo Hermanos Vazquez).

The second panel will examine circus clowning and include David Carlyon, Greg DeSanto, Bruce Johnson, David Kiser, Barry Lubin and Patricia Manuel.


ayco_smCircus Tomorrow

The third day of seminars will focus on circus “tomorrow” and was assembled by Amy Cohen, Executive Director of the American Youth Circus Organization. Attendees at these sessions will explore the potential for circus to evolve in the future to encompass a wide variety of theater and social goals.

Participants will include Marci Diamond, Jessica Hentoff, Shana Kennedy, Maribeth Joy and Dic Wheeler as well as participants from youth circus programs around the country.

Don’t miss your chance to expand your circus horizons, to rub shoulders with the movers and shakers in contemporary circus and to appreciate the promise of the future. See you in Springfield!