A whip-cracker, an escape artist, a fire-eater, a clown, a juggler, a musician, a trampoline champ, a hand balancer, and a contortionist who fits in a K-Mart duffel bag.
Stand Up Eight stands out from other theatrical circuses with its groundbreaking and intertwined use of script, story, and skill. Audiences will meet the girl who can escape from a marriage and a straitjacket in less than 90 seconds. The whip-cracker who bites with both words and whip. The fire eater with nothing left to burn. The aerialist who practices in a bicycle helmet and a parka.
And of course, Sam.
Escape artist Zay Weaver explains, "We'll be focusing on personality and the man behind the curtain. We want to create a show where the audience walks out feeling like they've gotten in on a secret."
The collaborators of Stand Up Eight appeared on Canada's reality television show Dragon's Den last October, winning a quarter of a million dollars to stage their dream circus. "Every performer in Stand Up Eight is already a successful entertainer in their own right", says Allison Williams, director of the project and founder of Aerial Angels, a circus arts company based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Each of us has stories to tell about why and how we do what we do, and we're all ready to create something big and beautiful."
Stand Up Eight premieres in Dekalb, Illinois in order to work with Tracy Nunnally, leader of Halls Flying FX and a giant in the stunt flying world. Nunnally is working closely with the show's creators to develop a flight act never before seen in a circus or theatre production. Right now, it's still top secret "but you've never seen anything like this. Personally, it's a tremendous challenge and a lot of fun to create something this different", says Nunnally.