The Circus is Coming to Town is a rare behind-the-scenes look at the origins of the circus, its Florida connections and continuing legacy.

The series features the intriguing circus history of Florida as well as the experiences of living colorful performers who actually helped to make this history. Discover what has gone under the Big Tent and what continues to go on under today’s circus tent. 

Deborah Walk, the Ringling’s Circus Museum Tibbals Curator, illuminates the long and fruitful relationship between Tampa Bay and the Circus. Bill Powell and David Kiser, senior executives with Feld Entertainment, Inc. - owners of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey, talk about the economics, practices, and organization that continues to bring excitement to audiences of today. Peggy Williams shares her life’s work of bringing joy to people from her evolution as one of the first female graduates of Clown College to her current position as the Circus’ Education Outreach Manager. Internationally famous trapeze artists Dolly Jacobs and Pedro Ries share their personal journeys as daring performers living the life many only dream about to their new dream of carrying on the legacy of circus with their school, Circus Sarasota. 

The richness of this series will bring back your childhood circus memories and help you to understand and appreciate new circus delights. 

Furthermore, TBAE network is increasing ADA accessibility and The Circus is Coming to Town is close captioned for greater accessibility for the deaf community. This is made possible by the Florida Cultural Affairs Department through a General Support Grant. 

This program is cooperative program of the Tampa Bay History Center and USF’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. The television series based upon these lectures was produced by TBAE Network. The series will air in March, 2014 on TBAE Channel - Bright House 614 & Verizon 32 and will be available on TBAE.NET on Demand in April, 2014.

This program was made possible with support from the Tampa Bay History Museum and the Osher LIfelong Learning Institue at USF.


The Circus is Coming to Town Episodes

ccculturebuildsfloridaClosed captioning for this program has been made possible by support from
the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs
and the Florida Council on Arts & Culture.