When Lauren Huang ‘11 started her college career at Vassar, nothing could have prepared her for the whirlwind that led her to circus. After participating in theatre at John Bapst, she decided to join Vassar’s performing arts group Barefoot Monkeys.There she learned fire spinning, partner acrobatics, and many other aspects of circus arts. She joked that it was “Cirque du Soleil on training wheels.”
Throughout college Lauren worked on balancing her love for theater with a passion for circus. She was “inspired by a revival of Pippin, which infused a traditional musical with circus choreography and spectacle.” Lauren wanted to do something
quite similar with her own adaptation of the film Moulin Rouge. “I thought the transition would be a simple one,” Lauren recalls. “One of the images from the film which sticks out for everybody is Nicole Kidman entering for the first time on a trapeze. I was excited to be combining my love for acting and circus in a high energy show.”
Four years of work included developing a creative team with its own artistic vision, rehearsals, and establishing a crowd-funding campaign. She had to pay stipends and secure a venue. After much work, including graduation from Vassar, Lauren set a date for the show : September 10, 2016 at the Muse in Brooklyn.
Lauren was thrilled with the success of the show and the work of her colleagues. The 100-seat house was packed. “I could not have been blessed with a more professional and fabulous cast.”
Since then, Lauren has seen her own production company, Street Cirque, grow. In October she staged another show: an original work about the British warrior queen Boudicca, who led a rebellion against the Roman Empire circa 60 AD. It too was a success.
“The year I was at Bapst, I was in both the fall play and spring musical … I felt that continuing to perform gave me confidence. Without that, I think I’d have been much more nervous about exploring circus both in and after college.”
“I’ve finally gotten around to really owning the fact that I’m running my own production company, and while we are still in fledgling stages, it’s great to feel it growing.”