Recycled objects find new home in Evanston circus show

Recycling is one of those things we all wish we were better about doing.

But Actors Gymnasium, an Evanston-based circus and theatre arts ensemble, is taking eco-friendliness to its artistic extremes with its new show.

“Lost and Found: A Recycled Circus,” premiering Feb. 19 at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, uses found objects to create props and sets, including a 10-foot structure made from old scaffolding that hangs from the ceiling and rotates throughout the show.

“These are things that would be in the trash somewhere,” says Rani Waterman, the show’s producer.

Instead, they’re being juggled, acted with and climbed on by the ensemble’s six professional performers and 18 child and teen artists, students in the Actors Gymnasium performance classes.

The circus runs about 80 minutes with no intermission, but Waterman says its fast pace and interactivity keeps even the littlest show-goers entertained. The show includes most circus staples: kids juggle old socks, clowns use input from the audience to improvise scenes and aerial acts keep kids on the edge of their seats.

“Lost and Found: A Recycled Circus,” runs Feb. 19 through March 13, with shows Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons and evenings and Sunday afternoons. See full schedule here and for tickets, visit or call (800) 838-3006.

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