Missoula’s circus collective has put on narrative shows before, adapting “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and “Alice in Wonderland,” but they’ve never performed an original show.
That changes this weekend with “Turn,” a theatrical cirque production created and directed by Alex Payne.
The story follows townspeople in the world of Turn, which is overseen by Mr. Mundane, who keeps society running smoothly with the help of his goons. That means stifling all creative notions from the townsfolk.
“It’s kind of our own take on this inner battle that we all face,” Payne said.
Soon the goddesses, who represent dreams and passions, visit the townspeople to inspire them to express themselves outside of the mechanic rhythms set up by Mr. Mundane.
Payne said the performance will include aerial silks and hoops, along with acrobatics, fire and juggling.
“It’s a theatrical circus production all told through motion,” he said. “A one-of-a-kind show.”
The show cast is almost all MASC performers, with two guests from Minnesota and Portland.
The performance is set to music written and performed live by a trio made up of Sean Howard Burress, Bethany Joyce and Erin Esse. They use electronica, cello, saw and vocals to create a soundscape for the acrobats.
Writing their own show was a very different process, Payne said, that afforded the performers more freedom, though it was tough coming up with a coherent story that had no narration or dialogue.
The final product keeps it simple, something Payne hoped would be easily understood, but not boring.
“All of the characters are fun, so we have a different vibe throughout the show,” he said.