One World Circus, a Knoxville, TN,-based circus company, presents “Webs: A Circus Confronting Sexualized Violence with Humor, Tragedy and Empathy” on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m., at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville (1 Edwin Place). Proceeds from the show will support the work of Helpmate and Our VOICE, organizations working against sexual violence.
“Webs” is a full-length show that will leave audiences laughing, thinking, and experiencing hope. This circus invites the audience to enjoy feats of honesty and daring — aerials, acrobatics and spoken word — while imagining a world without limits. The show explores why sexualized violence is so prevalent, what it means to experience violence, and what healing looks like — both on an individual level and as a society. While there is discussion of sexual violence, there is no explicit depiction. There are explicit moments of hope and healing.
“I am a survivor, a mother of children who are survivors, and a circus artist,” reflects director and creator Lissa McLeod. “For many of us, the past two years has been one of heightened awareness to our own experiences of gender-based violence and created opportunities for deeper understandings of the systems supporting the violence. I decided that I needed to tell my story both for myself, but also to create the space for other women to tell theirs.”
“Webs” has been created by women from many different communities who participated in artistic residencies at Penasco Theater (Penasco, New Mexico) and the New England Center for Circus Arts (Brattleboro, Vermont). The Vermont residency, a program supporting the creation of new circus work in this country, was supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Asheville show is part of the first tour of “Webs”. Additional shows will be presented in October in Knoxville, Swannanoa, and Johnson City. Asheville shows are presented with Helpmate, working to end domestic violence, and Our VOICE, a sexual assault crisis and prevention center. Both non-profit organizations work in the Asheville area.
Heather Metcalfe with Our VOICE, says, “Our VOICE is incredibly excited to partner with One World Circus for the upcoming performance of Webs. The expressive use of the body to portray healing has a beautiful synergy that parallels our work, which we would be unable to do without the support of community allies and partners. We are incredibly grateful to the performers of Webs for their generosity and artistry.”
Knoxville shows are presented with Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi and the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health. ETSU’s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts is the host for the Johnson City show and Warren Wilson College will host the Swannanoa, NC, show. Additional shows are planned for 2020.
Funding for presentations of “Webs” has been provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Appalachian Community Fund.
Tickets are $15 and are available for purchase at www.webscircus.com. More information and photos available at www.webscircus.com