National Volunteer Week!


It’s National Volunteer Week! 


Bindlestiff wants to make a thunderous thank-you to Bethany Gladhill of Gladhill Rhone Consulting. She is a volunteer with, which connects social good organizations with pro bono professionals who want to donate their skills. We appreciate her time, her energy, and the clear perspective she offers on Bindlestiff’s organizational growth potential. THANK YOU, Bethany!

Tickets on sale for A Cardboard & Duct Tape Spectacular!

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus presents

A Cardboard & Duct Tape Spectacular

May 4-14, 2017 (Tickets on sale now!)


Bindlestiff’s latest production, A Cardboard & Duct Tape Spectacular, returns to NYC’s Connelly Theater after a successful premiere run in 2016. A little imagination can go a long way, and the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus continues to reimagine classic American circus tradition with a unique contemporary twist.

Join Bindlestiff’s cast of acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, sideshow marvels, and vaudevillians as they pare the Cirkus down to its most basic elements: discovery, risk, and joy. Always ready to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, these talented performers bring the audience back to their own childhood experiences of fun. Follow the Bindlestiffs and discover that some cardboard, duct tape, and creativity is all that’s needed to find delight.

“Imaginative…delightfully clever…the show exudes a warmth and affection…all but irresistible.” Spectacle Magazine

Some highlights from the 2016 production:


Concept: Adam Kuchler

Script / Story: Peter Bufano

Jump Rope Choreography: Ekaterina Sknarina

Physical Comedy consultant: Daniel Passer

Set Design:  Bailey McClure

Lighting Design: Mark Simmons

Sound Design: Kris Anton

Rigging Design: Janet Clancy and Michael Richter

Stage Manager: Michael Richter

Roustabouts: Logan Kerr, Jean-Tae Francis, Maks Turner

Musical Director and Composer: Peter Bufano

The Band: Peter Bufano, Nate Tucker, Jeff Morris

Ensemble pieces and acts created by The Cast:

Stephanie Monseu

Keith Nelson

Adam Kuchler

Ekaterina Sknarina

Ivory Fox


Bindlestiff Cavalcade of Youth April 30 at Coney Island USA

Bindlestiff Cavalcade of Youth

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus and Playful Productions present a special showcase for young variety performers, ranging from absolute amateurs to world-class professionals. Juvenile jugglers, diminutive dancers, adolescent acrobats, and a host of other majorly talented minors present a full show of vernal vaudeville.

The program features an amazing array of young talent. These are the future stars of Cirque du Soleil, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Coney Island Sideshow, and television. Where else can you see young unicyclists, tap dancers, magicians, clowns, and contortionists share the stage with Broadway-bound singers and classically trained musicians?

Since its inception in January 2004, the Bindlestiff Cavalcade of Youth program has grown markedly and conducted after-school programs throughout the Empire State. CavalKids have performed in Speigeltents at the South Street Seaport and at the Bard Summerscape Festival, at Abrons Arts Center, at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, and for American Youth Circus Organization festivals.

For tickets and more info:

Cuisine & Confessions at the Skirball Center

Don’t miss Cuisine & Confessions, the newest creation by Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main, coming to Skirball Center for the Performing Arts from April 11-16 only! The company’s awe-inspiring acrobats combine kitchen appliances, food, and recipes with elaborate choreography, jaw-dropping acrobatics and pulsating music to heighten audiences’ most visceral senses.

We’re happy to share this discount code: 30% off select performances with code CIRCUS1.

Tickets and more information here:



April 15 – World Circus Day

April 15 is World Circus Day!

Join us in posting images of circus in your life! #WorldCircusDay2017

Video from Super Saturday in Tryon, NC!

Super Saturday is presented every March by the Children’s Theater Festival, an all-volunteer organization in Tryon, NC. The yearly event includes the best in children’s theater and entertainment.

If you watch the video from this year’s event, you’ll catch a glimpse of Keith and Stephanie on the pennyfarthings!

Send the Cirkus to Washington, DC!

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus is the only New York circus company to be invited by the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to participate in the 50th anniversary celebration of the festival on the National Mall in Washington DC this summer. We are very honored to announce that from July 6-9 we will present performances, discussions, and open rehearsals, all on the National Mall, all free to the public. We are proud to represent our vision of Cirkus to the world as “an exemplar of the living cultural heritage of the American Circus.”

Invitees are required to engage sponsors and supporters to help fund their participation. Can you endorse Bindlestiff’s 20-plus years of community building, artistic exploration, and educational outreach with a gift of financial support?

Representing New York’s rich circus history and its strong performing arts community, we aim to create something in the spirit of Bindlestiff’s Palace of Variety on 42nd Street (2002-2004), a variety and circus arts theater, museum, and social center which featured more than 250 circus and variety artists during its two-year run.

Bindlestiff continues to be a bridge between honoring traditional circus and exploring “contemporary” circus directions and has been instrumental in inspiring a revival of interest and creativity in circus arts. We seek partners to make it possible for Bindlestiff to participate in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Your sponsorship can help us share our story with the public, provide opportunities for artists, and through circus arts share the American values of diversity and creativity.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival Circus Arts program

Smithsonian Folklife Festival sponsorship and benefits brochure

Please support our participation with a tax-deductible donation

For more information or to get more involved with our fundraising efforts, please contact Keith Nelson,

Bindlestiff First of May Award

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus is now accepting submissions for Bindlestiff First of May Award – $500 to $1,000 development grant for full-length variety arts production

Bindlestiff First of May Award

For nearly 25 years, Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc. has been enriching New York City’s variety arts culture by producing and presenting unparalleled circus, sideshow and variety arts performances.

Bindlestiff is pleased to announce the sixth annual Bindlestiff First of May Award, which will grant $500 to $1,000 to a variety artist and/or group of variety artists to support their development of an original full-length production.  Previous recipient productions include Clown Baggage, created by Matt Wilson; Unmasked, created and directed by Lady Aye and Mistress B; Solomon the Perplexer, created and written by Tanya Solomon and directed by Corn Mo; Wacky of Wallabazoo, created by Justin Weber; and Dandy Darkly’s Trigger Happy.

Submissions are now open to solo artists or troupes wishing to apply for this year’s award.

Submission guidelines:

1. Proposals must include:

• one-page project description

• links to videos of past work (up to 3)

• resumé and/or bios of participating artists

2. Proposed productions must be at least 40 minutes in length.

3. Productions may be either solo or troupe-based projects. If submitting as a solo artist, applicant must be a NYC resident.  If submitting as a troupe, at least 50% of troupe members must be NYC residents.

By submitting a proposal, applicants acknowledge that if the award is granted, 1) development of the proposed production must begin prior to June 30, 2017; 2) a progress report is due by December 31, 2017; and 3) at least one public performance of the production must be presented in New York City before May 1, 2018 (a work in progress performance is acceptable).

Deadline: Submissions must be received before midnight on April 1, 2017.

Proposals should be submitted via email to

Submissions will be evaluated based on artistic merit, unique perspective, and variety arts relevance.

The selected grantee(s) will be announced on May 1, 2017.

Physical Comedy 12 Hour Weekend Intensive

What makes it funny? What makes it repeatable? How do we approach writing the funny?

This class will tackle these questions and more while we explore physical comedy from a clown point of view. Expand your physical vocabulary, develop tools for playing comedy using the techniques of slapstick, improvisation, partnership, comic timing, and accidents in solo, duo, and group exercises. Through active games and dynamic exercises we will build short pieces of material using these skills. Physical comedy is funny within context and because of the reaction of the performer, so we will combine technique with context to discover the funny. This class is great for old and young, experienced and novice performers, for clowns, burlesque performers, puppeteers and pretty much any kind of performer who wants to bring comedy and honesty into their work!

Taught by International performing and teaching artist,
Hilary Chaplain “A Little Tramp — Lucy Ricardo hybrid”.

Saturday, Feb. 18 11:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, Feb. 19 11:00am – 6:00pm
Triskelion Arts
106 Calyer St, Brooklyn, New York 11222

COST: $225
DEPOSIT: $50 to hold your place (refundable until Feb. 5)
Balance can be paid on the first day by cash or check.
EARLY BIRD: $200 – Sign up by Jan. 25 with a $50 deposit

For Payment go to: and use

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus seeks an Advertising and Sponsorship Coordinator

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus seeks an Advertising and Sponsorship Coordinator

Job Title: Coordinator, Sponsorships and Promotions, Bindlestiff Family Cirkus

Part-time, average 5 hours per week, with potentially more hours in lead-ups to specific events

Salary: $20 per hour

Contact: Laura Siegel

Description: Coordinator will be responsible for soliciting businesses for promotional partnerships, sponsorships and program ad placements. Upcoming / ongoing opportunities include print programs (Bindlestiff’s ongoing Open Stage at Dixon Place; “A Cardboard and Duct Tape Spectacular” at The Connolly Theater, the 2017 NYC Unicycle Festival, First of May Award for emerging artists) and special events, such as Bindlestiff’s participation in The Smithsonian 2017 Folklife Festival. The work will build upon a successful 2016 sponsorship campaign, with numerous resources available to the new Coordinator.

Responsibilities include:

* Conducting an outreach campaign to a large number of businesses, from local shops to international chains

* Securing sponsorship agreements

* Selling ad placements for printed, full-color programs

* Contacting potential sponsors face-to-face, on the phone, and over email

* Persistently and consistently communicating with potential sponsors

* Seeking out vendors for 2017 NYC Unicycle Festival

* Brainstorming new potential targets

* Connecting Bindlestiff to the communities in which it is presenting and producing work

* Using internet research to uncover corporate phone numbers and points of contact

* Arranging for graphic design and production of printed materials i.e. programs, sponsor banners, ads, etc.

* Adjusting/upgrading the 2016 sponsor pack for 2017

* Upkeeping communications with Bindlestiff to track progress. Weekly email communication and bi-weekly phone meetings with Bindlestiff admin staff, office and social media managers.

The Coordinator will be trained by Bindlestiff’s Advertising and Promotions Manager, and will then be expected to operate in an independent, self-motivated fashion.

Requirements include

* Motivation, creativity, and flexibility

* Communication and People skills

* Graphic design / layout / desktop publishing fluency

* Some daytime flexibility to reach out to potential sponsors during work hours

* Google Drive familiarity

About Us:

Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc. uniquely combines America’s outstanding folk traditions of circus, sideshow, vaudeville, storytelling, and burlesque. Bindlestiff hosted its first Bindlestiff Family Cirkus Winter Cabaret in 1995 in Brooklyn, New York. Since then we have presented over 450 of the world’s top artists in the circus and variety fields. The annual Winter Cabaret has appeared in ten different Off Off and Off Broadway theaters in NYC, and the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus has toured 35 American states and performed in a dozen international festivals and events. Activities include performances and touring of original shows; youth and educational programs (Cavalcade of Youth, Cirkus After School) ; support of emerging artists (First of May Award, Bindlestiff’s Open Stage); public outreach (NYC Unicycle Festival)