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a new musical A uniquely American musical about love, loss, triumph, and a five-ton elephant

... it’s amazing.

the show

THE CIRCUS IN WINTER Music & Lyrics by Ben Clark Book by Hunter Foster & Beth Turcotte Inspired by the novel by Cathy Day Cast Size: 7 Principal, 6-8 Chorus Band Size: 6 Style: Folk Rock Musical Meeting an elephant can change a man’s life. The Circus in Winter is based on the novel by Cathy Day, where legend and lore collide under the big top filled with disheveled hustlers, death-defying acrobats and a dreamer named Wallace Porter searching for redemption and grace.

Caesar, the elephant, is intended to be a life-size representation on stage, full of reactive and expressive qualities yet impressionistic in design.

the success

The Circus in Winter was honored as one of eight new musicals for the 24th Annual Festival of New Musicals. In the 2012 Festival, Circus premiered in New York starring two-time Tony® Award Winner Sutton Foster (Anything Goes, Thoroughly Modern Millie, ABC’s “Bunheads”), Broadway star Steel Burkhardt (Hair) and Broadway sensation Kate Rockwell (Bring It On, Hair, Rock of Ages). In 2012, Circus debuted at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as the recipient of 11 Kennedy Center National American College Theatre Festival Awards, including: OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A NEW WORK OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A NEW WORK OUTSTANDING SCENIC DESIGN

- Tom Alvarez,

“From the Indiana classroom to New York City’s theater district, The Circus in Winter has traveled a great distance, growing and developing into a mature musical along the way, and now, it stands at the ready for immersion in the world of professional theater.”

- Stage Magazine

“Ben Clark [is] a talented young writer and a new voice who has created a nuanced, moving and appealing score. [Likening Circus to Spring Awakening] It has a Tom Waits feel. The Circus in Winter tells a highly theatrical story with innovative production opportunities.” - NAMT Committee

“The Circus in Winter is an absolute must-see musical.”

- Indiana Business Journal

the reviews

“When Sutton [Foster] returned to the stage after the performance that garnered them a standing ovation, she intoned ‘Ben Clark — remember that name,’ to the audience. Hers was a well-deserved validation of a young artist whose talents portend a successful future.“

the creative team

BEN CLARK (MUSIC/LYRICS) is a singer/songwriter/composer and an Indiana native. Ben has been writing music since age 14, and The Circus in Winter marks his full-length musical debut. For this piece he has received overwhelming response from both educational and professional worlds including the Kennedy Center Award for Outstanding Musical Composition. In 2012, he received a fellowship at the O’Neill Center and was an invited artist at the Goodspeed Johnny Mercer Writer’s Colony. Ben works in New York as a recording artist with his band, Ben Clark and the Long Shadows. He is a graduate of Ball State University and currently lives in Brooklyn. HUNTER FOSTER (BOOK) wrote the books for the Off-Broadway musicals Summer of ‘42, Bonnie and Clyde: a Folktale and The Hollow. Additionally, Hunter has starred on Broadway: Leo Bloom in The Producers, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors (Tony® nomination), Bobby Strong in Urinetown (Outer Critic nomination), Les Misérables, Grease, Footloose and Alan Menken’s King David. Off-Broadway: Ordinary Days at Roundabout Underground, Lincoln Center Theater’s Happiness (Drama Desk nomination), Frankenstein (Victor Frankenstein), Dust, Modern Orthodox, Urinetown (Lortel nomination). Regional: Kiss of the Spider Woman (Signature Theatre - Helen Hayes nomination), The Government Inspector (Guthrie), Mister Roberts (Kennedy Center), Party Come Here (Williamstown), and Children of Eden (Papermill). He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program. BETH TURCOTTE (BOOK) has been an inspirational theatre artist and educator devoted to the development of new work and emerging talent for the past 30 years. She has earned accolades in both professional and educational arenas for her visionary projects and passion for arts education. Beth is the recipient of the 2012 Creative Endeavor Award for her dedication to arts education and the creative process. In her community work, she created the Cornerstone Center for the Arts, an inner-city arts institution discovering young unheard voices and exposing over 15,000 children to theatre, dance and music. She is a Professor of Theatre and Dance Performance at Ball State University and received her MFA from Southern Methodist University.

KEN DINGLEDINE (PRODUCER) is the Vice President and Director of Operations for Samuel French, Inc., the largest theatrical publishing and licensing company in the world. He has brought over 800 new works in print and available for performance licensing during his tenure at French. In addition to catalog development, Ken was the Festival Coordinator for French’s popular Short Play Festival for emerging playwrights. Prior to Samuel French, Ken was the founding Managing Director of Spiral Theatre Company, a company dedicated to bringing new, previously unproduced work to the New York stage. Ken is a graduate of Ball State University and lives in Brooklyn. CLAIRE BUFFIE (MARKETING DIRECTOR) is a marketing and branding professional with a specific focus in the performing arts. She has a Master’s in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. For her Master’s thesis, Claire wrote a strategic marketing communications plan for Circus, which she is now fully implementing. In recognition of her continued relationship with her undergraduate alma mater, she recently received the Graduate of the Last Decade Award from Ball State University. Claire is a commercial photographer and marketing consultant in Manhattan.

the production team

SEAN CERCONE (PRODUCER) is a producer with a consuming passion for new musical theater. Among the 50+ musicals Cercone has produced, his credits include the Tony® nominated Broadway production of Hands on a Hardbody, starring Hunter Foster & Keith Carradine; Southern Comfort, starring Annette O’Toole & Jeff McCarthy, which was named a Critics’ Pick in The New York Times and Time Out; and the Chicago premiere of The Story of My Life, directed by Tony® Award winner Richard Maltby, Jr. Additionally, Cercone founded the West Virginia Shakespeare Festival, sold over 1.4 million tickets as Producing Artistic Director of The Carousel, worked as a Musical Theater Specialist for the NEA, and served on the board for the National Alliance of Musical Theaters, Co-Chair of NAMT New Musical Theatre Festival, and as Board President of the Cleveland Theater Collective. Cercone was named to Crain’s Business Top 40 Under 40 and is an avid Ironman.

the circus journey

2010 Circus begins • Ball State University professor Beth Turcotte receives grant through the Virginia Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. Under her direction, 14 students select Cathy Day’s novel “The Circus in Winter” and develop it into a theatrical script, along with music and lyrics written by student Ben Clark. • The Circus in Winter undergoes significant workshops with author Cathy Day, Ken Dingledine (Samuel French Publishing) and twotime Tony® winner Sutton Foster. • Circus debuts in a full production at Ball State University, followed by a staged reading at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace Theatre, Chicago. 2011 CIRCUS Garners Acclaim • Circus travels to Washington, DC for the Kennedy Center production and receives 11 American College Theatre Awards.

2012 CIRCUS Continues Development • Circus performs at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre 24th Annual Festival of New Musicals in NYC, starring Sutton Foster, Steel Burkhardt and Kate Rockwell. • Book and music development continues through the Johnny Mercer Writer’s Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. 2013 CIRCUS Enters Full Commercial Development • Circus is selected as one of four musicals for Commercial Theatre Institute’s 32nd Annual “3-Day Weekend Producing Intensive” at the Snapple Theatre Center, NYC. • Staged readings continue in IN and NY for industry professionals. • Circus performs as guests of Sutton Foster at “An Evening with Sutton Foster” at the Palladium, Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, IN. • Circus confirms Goodspeed Musicals to launch its premier regional production October - November, 2014.

the circus journey

2014 LOOKING FORWARD • January 6–17 Goodspeed Residency with Festival of New Artists • January 17–19 “Sneak Peek” of Circus at Goodspeed Musicals • Mid-March

Developmental Table Read, New York City

• April 28–May 9 Theatre Latte Da NEXT Festival,* Minneapolis, MN • Mid-May

AEA 29 Hour Staged Reading, New York City

• July

Goodspeed Auditions

• September 30 Goodspeed 1st rehearsal • October 23

Goodspeed 1st performance

• November 16 Goodspeed Closing * Tentative

Studio recording (2011) • Amazing3:53 • Workin’ Man  3:13 • Runnin’ to Get What’s Mine  3:28 • Deal ‘Em Out  2:46 • Muddy Water 2:23 live at the PALLADIUM (2013) • Never Alone [VIDEO] 4:43 Performed by Ben Clark, guitar/vocal

DEVELOPMENTAL DEMO • Runnin’ to Get What’s Mine 

Recorded by Ben Clark, guitar/4-part vocal


the music

To listen to the music samples, please click each song title.

to learn more


Sean Cercone, Producer 646.258-.3077 Ken Dingledine, Producer 646.408.6949 Claire Buffie, Marketing 646.469.7559 LEGAL COUNSEL Jeffrey Lawhorn, Associate Cowan DeBaets Abrahams & Sheppard LLP 41 Madison Avenue, 34th fl., New York, NY 10010 tel: 212-974-7474 / fax: 212-974-8474 | *Note: In no way does this document constitue a solicitation of funds, which can only be done through an offering memorandum.

The Circus in Winter  

a new musical

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