2011 Programs

TimVanEgmond leads the circus parade
Tim VanEgmond leads the Circus Parade

Saturday, July 9, 2011
"Creatures of Bliss and Mystery":  A Nineteenth-century Children's Circus

Time:  1-4 pm
Location:   Emily Dickinson Museum
Fee: none

A Juggler, a Storyteller, and a Parade--it's circus time at the Emily Dickinson Museum!   The 2011 "Creatures of Bliss and Mystery: A 19th-Century Circus is free and open to the public, especially children ages 3 to 10 (and their adult companions).

Folksinger and storyteller Tim Van Egmond will present a lively program of tales and folksongs at 1:30 and 3:15 p.m.  Henry the Juggler will perform at 2:15 p.m.; following his show he will offer an informal juggling workshop.   Other participatory activities include tightrope walking, a ring-toss, and kid friendly crafts. Children can make fancy hats, festive flags, and masks to sport during the Parade Around the Grounds, which begins at 2:45 p.m. 

Henry Lappen
Henry Lappen

New to the Museum’s circus fun, Henry the Juggler will demonstrate the apparatus of his trade--balls, clubs, rings, and torches. He has been seen by tens of thousands up and down the East coast, appearing at theaters, schools, libraries, festivals and business districts. Henry has been performing and teaching juggling for more than 25 years. He is an active member of the International Jugglers Association and the Hats Off Performers Guild.

Folksinger and storyteller Tim Van Egmond has been delighting audiences all over the country, weaving together tales and tunes. He performs on a variety of traditional instruments, including the hammered dulcimer, conga drum, guitar and limberjack (a dancing wooden rhythm puppet). His dynamic style makes stories come alive, and his gift for encouraging participation makes for high-spirited programs. "Tim is a triple treat. He can sing, play a variety of instruments and tell whopping good tales!" says author Jane Yolen.

The title of the Museum’s annual event, “Creatures of Bliss and Mystery,” comes from recollections of a home-grown circus produced by Emily Dickinson’s niece and nephews: "It never occurred to us that we were not creatures of bliss and mystery—that the Ringmaster was really Ned with trousers tucked into rubber boots, cracking his whip and making jokes with the clown, Will Mather in private life, stuffed out with a pillow, red spots painted on his face, —or that the performance was a bit less dazzling than the one we had seen the day before, —especially if Ned sang his circus song picked up from the real ring."

For more information about the circus, contact Nan Fischlein, program coordinator, at nfischlein@emilydickinsonmuseum.org or 413-542-2034.