A note from Delaney Burlingame, director of Seesaw's Spring 2017 show!
Seesaw Theatre Presents: Under the Big Top, Coming this Spring!
When I think of some of the most quintessential experiences of childhood, the circus always comes to mind. It’s a kid’s wonderland, filled with color, excitement, and more cotton candy than you could possibly imagine. Yet for many of Seesaw’s audience members, the circus is an event they will never attend. It is over-stimulating and often inaccessible. The crowds can be loud and rude, with no patience or understanding. Performers appear, disappear, and burst through the air with no warning. Cannons blast and lions roar, filling the tent with noise. It’s a space that is neither warm or inviting to individuals on the spectrum.
With our show this year we are looking to change that reality. What I am seeking to create is a controlled spectacle. Every child deserves to experience the human marvel that is the circus. The suspense of the tight rope walker, the flight of the trapeze artist, the enormity of the elephant, all mingling with the tantalizing scent of popcorn, taffy, and a pie in the face. Our job is to find a way to introduce those stimuli in an approachable and contained fashion, without losing any of their joy or energy. I am a firm believer in embracing the unexpected in theatre. The key with Seesaw’s audience is to make those unexpected moments celebratory and empowering rather than frightening or overwhelming. With this concept in mind, the circus is the perfect challenge.
As I step out of my role as Education Director and put on my director hat this year, I am hungry to redefine how a Seesaw show feels, breathes, and looks. The circus is an event filled with magic and mystery. Much like Seesaw it rolls into town for one spectacular week, then folds itself up and disappears, leaving its audience with memories of laughter, fanfare, and wonder. I am eager to unpack that mystery, rearrange its pieces, and set it spinning for our vibrant audiences in a way built just for them. It proves no easy task, but I believe one filled with discovery and delight. Come along for the wacky ride and join us Under the Big Top this spring!