The Good Witches

Girl Circus brings its dizzying act to the Wildish

Girl Circus at Oregon Country Fair 2014. Lisa Dee Photography.
Girl Circus at Oregon Country Fair 2014. Lisa Dee Photography.

Darcy DuRuz and her all-women circus are up to some powerful magic. They’ve had a heady mix of enchantment and empowerment bubbling for some time, and plan to unleash the magic of Girl Circus’ Witches at the Wildish Theater Oct. 4-5.

Girl Circus is a thoughtful blend of professional circus arts performers and novice apprentices. The circus was born in 2001 when DuRuz noticed a lack of female performers at the Oregon Country Fair (OCF).

“I had a passionate vision for empowering women and girls through creativity and team work,” DuRuz says. “I also wanted to create a vehicle which promoted mentorship in the theater and circus arts for women and girls.”

If she wanted a vehicle, DuRuz has fashioned more of a souped-up passenger bus with unlimited seating and rowdy-cool painting all over it. Thirteen years later Girl Circus boasts performers from ages five to 65, summer and spring camps, professionals from throughout the West and, of course, female performances at OCF.

This weekend, the theme is witches. “Witches have represented female energy and power throughout history, both positively and negatively. I wanted to tap into the positive aspect of witches and create a show that embraces the magical, eerie and enchanting nature of a female witch combined with traditional circus arts,” DuRuz says. “Plus, I love Kiki and Hermione.”

Witches features original music along with “circus arts infused with girl power on aerial silks, lyra, juggling, contact juggling, poi spinning, hooping, acro and partner acro, dance, contortion and singing.” According to DuRuz, “The show is fantastic family entertainment, created right here in Oregon.”

But more than entertainment, DuRuz hopes that by way of the awe-inspiring and outlandish feats of physical prowess, audiences can feel the beat of her vision pulsing through the show.

“Our mission is to create theater which is uplifting, non-objectifying, inspires human empowerment and strengthens a sense of community among performers and audiences through the unique power of the arts,” she says.

It’s a tall order, and will take more than a little magic. Fortunately, that’s what Girl Circus’ Witches is all about.

Girl Circus performs Witches 2 pm Saturday, Oct. 4, and Sunday, Oct. 5, at the Wildish Theater; $22 general, $12 students and seniors.