The Transmigration of a High Wire Act
When the Cirque Etoile Explose’s star high wire act, Guillaume, takes a swan dive in the middle of a performance, the other performers are left to deal with big questions about the power and danger of transformation. Meanwhile, Guillaume’s parents come to the circus to claim their son’s belongings and are forced to acknowledge that they may have never truly known him.
Running Time: 2hrs
First Workshopped January 2017 by the apprentice company at The Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, directed by Kevin Kantor.
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FROM THE PLAY:
You’re honest for someone who makes her living pretending.
Your problem, Tom, is that you look at the spandex and the sequins and the fake smiles and you think that somehow circus is essentially dishonest. When there’s nothing truer than what we do. You can either accomplish the thing or you can’t. Walk the wire or fall. Climb the rope or fail. There’s no faking it. The surface is just that. Surface. Underneath that it’s more honest than any other thing I’ve done in my life.
The Peacock’s courtship dance is through. The elephant has disintegrated. The wire is gone. There is the muted sound of applause as Olga rips off the head of what is now seen to be an ill-fitting costume to take her bow.
Willy made that same mistake. He couldn’t see the truth underneath the make-up anymore. And I couldn’t make him see it. I guess if I were totally honest I’d say that’s why. That’s why he swan dived.