CARNIES & ROUSTIES

Sam BrownSam Brown, Boss Clown/Assistant Director

Sam Brown began touring with the circus at age fourteen. He has worked with and toured internationally with circus and entertainment companies including Chicago’s Midnight Circus, Stand Up Eight with Aerial Angels, Frosted Showman with Worldwide Entertainment Services, and Circus Smirkus. As a Chicago-based actor, he appeared in Next Stop, Spinsterland, and in Hell in a Handbag’s The Birds and Haywire! He is a clown and circus instructor, having consulted at Chicago’s Columbia College and taught with Circus Smirkus, Camp Vanlodsotov’s Family Circus, and Simply Circus.

Ryan Brandoff

Ryan mixes theatrical effects and choreography with the visual perfomance of fire poi. Quickly grasping the concept of poi, Ryan has become a regular in the Chicago fire spinning community.  With appearances/performaces such as Full Moon Jam, various private parties, night clubs, music festivals. He can also be seen spinning at Chicago landmarks in his free time with his videographer/girlfriend working on a future web video series titled “Urban Fire Dance”.  Ryan loves the art of poi and hopes to continue to hone his skills to perfection. Now he leaves you with just one question: “Are you ready to be amazed?”

Colin Creveling

Colin Creveling, a young actor from Lincoln Nebraska, now attends the Chicago College of Performing Arts where he discovered his love of  unicycling, Colin is incredibly excited to play with his new circus family, and to finally achieve his dream of running away with the circus!

Jen Dollface

Jenn Dollface

dollface is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. she knows how to put the fun in funeral, she’ll stick a smile on your face whether you like it or not, and she gives you the same pleasure you get when you wake up from a nightmare. she’s the deadliest woman in chicago, but sweet as pumpkin pie. if transformation is the essence of evolution, then dollface must give god a hard on. Shop.

Naomi Finkelstein

Hailing from the wilds of the North Shore of Chicago, Naomi is a glutton for creative expression. She studied theater at Sarah Lawrence College and lived in New York for several years after graduation, moving back to Chicago in 2008 to focus on writing. She believes in the power of the arts to transform society and is figuring out just how to do that through her work with kids. She’s an actor, singer and dancer (in that order) and is extremely excited to be getting back on stage, after a 9-month hiatus. No pregnancy! That’s just a coincidence.

Tom Hill

With a diverse background in visual and performing arts, Tom Hill incorporates it all into his sideshow, escapes, and circus routines.  Tom has performed with various circus groups such as: triton troupers, el circo cheapo, MSA Circus and for various private events. Tom received his BA in Art, Communication, and Theater from Monmouth College. Tom is currently adding new elements to his stunts–aerial stunts.

Hilary Holbrook, Fiddlin’ Windjammer

Hilary Holbrook is absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to join the circus!  On stage, Hilary has been seen in A Streetcar Named Desire (Polarity Ensemble Theatre), and The Robber Bridegroom (Griffin Theatre).  Hilary has had the pleasure of playing her violin for such events as Second Story (Serendipity Theatre), Old Town (Strawdog Theatre), as well as collaborating with several wonderful Chicagoland musicians on a wide variety of projects (The Denizens, The Bandwagon, and the Eli Story, to name a few).  Hilary is an artistic associate with Polarity Ensemble Theatre and holds a BA in theatre from Loyola University Chicago.

Alison Logan

Alison Logan has been performing since she was a child and received her BFA in Acting from Millikin University. She has worked with The Moving Dock Theatre, Ludicrous Theatre, Collaboraction, Dramatis Personae, City Lit Theatre, and The Bailiwick. Alison is also a graduate of The Second City Conservatory.  Alison is currently performing in her band The Pin-Ups. She has done numerous voiceovers, print ads, and commercials as well as having been Lili Taylor’s stand-in for the film “The Promotion”. She can also be seen in the upcoming movie “Chicago Overcoat”.  In the past year, Alison has performed at The International Cabaret Conference at Yale University.  She has sung with bands such as Beatnik Turtle and Seeking Wonderland, and has performed solo cabaret sets with the Beast Women 2010 Spring Series and 4 Women Only.

Ellie Sorokin

Ellie SoRokin: From Russia, with pArty. My main mission in this universe is to re-arrange the everyday into the out-of-this-world. and SET THINGS WRONG. It can be wearable, dance-able or gaze-able, but whatever it is, it is sUre to be laughable, unbelieveable, potentially flammable and So VERY Rokin’. I am the Professional Badass, for your ridiculous pleasure. Watch.

Brett Tewell

Big Top Jojo and his Towering Show of Wonder marks Brett’s third foray into the Chicago theater scene.  Originally from Decatur, IL, Brett is no stranger to the stage.  He has worked extensively with Theater 7 and the Richland Theater Players in Decatur, and ArtCo in Tuscola, IL.  Some of Brett’s favorite roles include Paul Bratter from Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, Charles Condomine in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, Reverend Parris in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and Canon Chasuble in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest. Since coming to Chicago, Brett has worked with the touring theater company Windy City Players and just finished a seven week run at Prop Theater as an ensemble member in Charles Pike’s The Informer, directed by Scott Vehill.

Shaw Nigro

I, Shaw Nigro, being of sound mind and body,  decided in the dark, moldy shadows of my youth that being a clown was the closest I could get to being a living, breathing cartoon.  Whether I was, indeed, of sound mind in pursuing this ambition is a matter for posterity. In any case, I did become a clown; I studied with Avner Eisenberg at the Celebration Barn, Ronlin Foreman at Dell’Arte  and Sue Morrison at Theatre Resource Centre in Toronto. And after that? Well, it’s a mystery, even to me. What matters is I’m here, now.

Mark C. Umstattd

Mark C. Umstattd is a native to the Chicago South Side. He trained in New York at the Juilliard School of Theatre and Dance and under the watchful eyes of Kathryn Gately. He has traveled extensively on the quest to hone his skills as an actor and entertainer, performing in many productions. You may have most recently seen him in AJAXANTIGONE (State Theatre Chicago), Last of My Species (RedMoon Theatre), and Living Canvas: Nocture (National Pastime Theatre).


Noel Williams

Noel Williams is dedicated to creating new works in Pochinko Clown and Commedia Dell’Arte, and has created eight original shows in these styles since moving to Chicago in 1999. Noel is a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Second City Conservatory, and Virginia Tech. Her Pochinko Shows include : “BlahBlahBlah,” “Circus Crashers,” and “WANTED.” Her solo show directed and co-written by Sue Morrison, “Party of One” was awarded “Best Clown Show” of the San Francisco Fringe Festival 2007, and has been touring since 2007. Her commedia dell’arte shows include: “Hfob-n-Ffos”, “Hfob-n-Tempest”, “Hfobble”, and “Hfob-n-Tales.”

Jeffrey PressleyJeffrey Pressley

Born and raised in Chicago, Pressley often dreamed of running away with the carnival as a child. He began studying juggling, magic, and illusions in his early school years. After working private parties and special events, table hopping in bars and restaurants, and dominating the stages of various nightclubs, Pressley and his serpentine partner, Dr. Kevorkian, a six foot ball python, moved to Las Vegas and began performing street magic as a rogue performer. He returned to Chicago in 2005 and in 2008 met his stage partner Smokey DeVille. The pair worked vigorously on a new “geek” or shock act. With this new arsenal of effects and his new found partner, he was able to change directions and bring his performances to the level at which it belongs.

Meghan Murphy

Meghan Murphy is freeing her freak, making her Big Top JoJo debut with this marvelous cast and crew! As a recent resident of Chicago, you may have seen her in her one-woman cabaret extravaganza, “Crazytown,” which was held with sold out performances at Davenport’s earlier this summer. With a BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory, her favorite roles include: Patti (Smokey Joe’s Cafe), Velma Chicago), Charity (Sweet Charity), Mary Magdelene (Jesus Christ Superstar), Delores (The Wild Party) and Olivia (Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night). Meghan has also been seen singing for the Boston Pops, New York and Boston’s Gay Men’s Chorus and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Meghan is thankful to the City of Chicago.

Turbo Rainbow

At once, both fierce and graceful, Turbos Rainbow creates mind-blowing experiences with her billowing flags.  She’s excited to free her freak with BigTop JoJo and His Towering Show of Wonder as the Phenomenal Phantasmagoria unfolds!
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