Darcy DuRuz

Darcy DuRuz

Keeping women and girls up in the air

Girl Circus is a Eugene-based organization featuring professional and amateur female performers with the goal of improving gender equality in circus and theater arts. 

Formed in 2001, the group teaches classes and summer camps all over the Northwest for women and girls of all ages. 

OCF inspired Girl Gircus, co-founder Darcy DuRuz says, calling the idea a “wild hair.” 

“There just weren’t enough women and girls being featured at the Fair,” she says. The Fair supported the idea, providing an entire stage to DuRuz.

“The vaudeville community there was super encouraging about doing a totally female theater troupe,” DuRuz says. “That was 100 percent instrumental in making it happen.”

To see an all-female production of any sort — from the performers to the director to the lighting designer — is pretty rare, DuRuz says.

Before Girl Circus, “the need was really great,” she says.

Girl Circus produces shows with amateur and professional female performers and original music. “We trained the younger girls,” DuRuz says. 

Girl Circus also hosts summer camps around Oregon and in Washington state. “We do these highly active, strength building, empowering, creative summer camps. It’s about creativity, mentorship, and female empowerment,” she says. 

Girl Circus is undergoing an outreach program to bring their services to rural parts of Oregon “so we have an even broader accessibility to girls,” DuRuz says. 

On the occasion of OCF’s 50th anniversary, DuRuz is just grateful for the support she received in getting her venture off the ground.

“I’m really grateful for the Fair and their continuing support of our mission of creativity and mentorship for girls and women,” she says.

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