CMU School of Drama

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Ringling's final circus to be on Facebook Live

TribLIVE: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus first wowed audiences in the 19th century. For the iconic American spectacle's final act, it will broadcast the final performance on a 21st century medium: Facebook Live.

9 comments:

Annie Scheuermann said...

I think its sad that the Ringling Circus is ending. I never was able to see a performance, and while I will not be able to in person any more, I think watching live on Facebook will be very interesting. Currently this weekend Ringing Circus is in Connecticut and some of my friends are their and posting on Facebook about it. I think their is something very interesting about the idea of a circus where it is theater with stunts, a little bit fantasy, a little bit creepy, and a old time feel to it. I am not surprised that Ringling style of circus will be no more, as the article said, public interest has changed. I do wish that they had expanded from their roots and changed with time. Perhaps then they would still be performing just in a slightly different style. I do commend them for staying true to what they started so whole heartily though. I am glad that the final performance will be documented, and open to the public to watch live, a am a little surprised that it will be on Facebook. I would think that they might have been able to have a big tv network pick up the performance and air it live. It does not sound like Ringling is making a huge deal about the recording as they are just considering lighting and sound.

Vanessa Ramon said...

This is so cool. I think its great that many people will get to see the "end of an Era". Personally, I have never gotten the opportunity to go to a circus and the fact that I will be able to witness the final performance of an amazing company right on my phone sounds great. Of course this will not be as good as getting to see the show live but it is cool how they are making the show so accessible. I like how the article mentioned how they are having to think of new strategies for filming the show. Its nice how they mentioned the considerations they are taking for the lighting for the performance. I understand the many reasons that the circus is closing, but I do t think that everyone should get the opportunity experience a circus performance at least once in their life. A Circus is like no other experience and although we are loosing it, we are getting one last opportunity to see it and that's very cool!

Alexa James-Cardenas said...

I can’t help but feel a little sad about this article. I never been to one of their shows, but I’ve known about them. I remember going to restaurants, getting the kids menu and seeing their ads printed largely has the main background. My mom would never take me or my brother to a traditional circus like that because she hates the animal treatment, but I do imagine that for lots of people that this circus has filled positive memories within their amazed audiences. But I do understand their downfall. Although their history and well-known reputation around the country, times are changing where circuses like them are sort of looked down upon because of their use of animals, so alternative methods of showcasing are being thought of and created by other companies. Even so, I’m glad that they are broadcasting their finale live for all to witness, and I bet there will be tears on that night, because no matter what has happened over the years, this was a company that amazed and inspired people, and to see a long established dream like this end still has a bitter feeling to it.

Zak Biggins said...

This article gives me mixed emotions. Of course the child in me is a little upset because who doesn't love the circus? However, the majority of me is really excited for this victory against animal abuse and negligence. The Ringling brother's circus is notorious for using animals (elephants and lions in particular) but there has been recent serious concerns regarding the living conditions of their "star performers". The decision to discontinue this portion of their show is obviously a big enough detriment that it is closing the circus completely- showing/reiterating how much the rely on the animals. The decision to stream the final performance live is amazing because it will keep a documentation of what their performance or routines looked like for archival purposes but also it makes this readily available to anyone across the world (with internet). This is starting to be a reoccurring thing in commercial theatre as well. The recent revival of The Color Purple also streamed their final performance as an homage to Cynthia Erivo.

Evan Schild said...

I love the circus. In March I got to see the show in Washington and while it is geared to younger children there are still moments that are amazing. I was very sad that they announced that they were closing since the circus was one of my favorite things I did growing up. I am so happy that they plan on live streaming the last show. I know they film all of the shows but having this live streamed will be super cool. I wonder how they are going to do that and not interrupt the show while still capturing all the major moments happening in the show. I hope that in a decade or two they bring back the circus. SO many families love the circus. I also hope that everyone working on this is able to find another job quickly after this. A lot of them I know are just legacy’s of families who have worked their whole lives.

Ali Whyte said...

While I think the ending of this circus is ultimately for the better, I will be somewhat sad to see it go. i remember going to the circus as a child with my sister and watching all of the acrobats and animals and being completely amazed by the entire thing. I think the way they have chosen to present their final show, however, is absolutely perfect. I think this will give those who saw the circus as children, and are now firmly planted online in the digital age, a chance tor relive some of that, and also creating a lasting image after it is gone that people at any time can go back to and watch and remember. I also think this is cool because, in my opinion, one of the reasons this circus closed is its outdated methods when things like animal cruelty were not major concerns, and now they are living out their last moments with an entrance into the digital age and its ways of thinking.

Emma Reichard said...

I’m really not all that sad about the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus closing. Circus performances were built upon and largely maintained by animal cruelty, and this was something that many circuses continue to perpetuate. This article even indicated that the last elephant performance in the Ringling Bros circus was in 2016. So up until last year, the act was running. And there’s no mention of the other animals which are commonly used (and often abused) in circus acts. So, I really don’t feel too bad. I think it’s sad that a lot of people will be out of a job, but I really don’t know that the circus performance industry is dying. I think it’s just changing. Because Circ de Soleil is becoming extremely popular as a circus act (without animals). So Ringling Bros might be calling it the ‘end of an era’ but that era is really just circus-based-on-animal-cruelty.

Claire Farrokh said...

It's interesting to read this article and then read the comments that follow. Almost everyone that has commented on this article has started with something like "I've never been to the circus, but I'm sad to see such an iconic event end." I was also going to begin my comment with the same statement, which is why I pointed this out. The idea of the circus honestly kind of freaks me out, and I think I would be uncomfortable for most of the day if I were to visit the circus. I love acrobats, as I think most people do, but the clowns and everything would just make me nervous. This aside, it really is sad to see such an institution coming to a close. This would be similar (but not really) to Phantom of the Opera closing on Broadway - you kind of always assume that it will just be there when you want it, even though you usually do not. I do think that it's really great that they are broadcasting their last performance on Facebook Live. I don't know that I would make any effort to watch any circus videos otherwise, and this would be an easy way to see what will probably be one of the best performances ever done by the circus.

Emily Lawrence said...

This is such a wonderful idea that will allow for people to experience it one last time if they cannot make it to New York or cannot get tickets. I do think that the full experience will not be obtained, because I have always believed that you cannot truly experience live theatre on a screen, but it will still mean something for those who grew up with it. I know I will probably watch it just because I remember going to the circus and being amazed by what they did. My favorite quote from this article is the idea of people being able to “witness the end of an era”. It is very bittersweet that this circus will be ending because it has been around for such a long time, but it does not mean the same thing that it used to. I think that ticket sales and attention around the circus will spike around this time, but I do not think it would have been enough for them to keep going if they wanted to. I am very excited to tune into this event, even if it is just for a short bit.

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