SOS: A Summer Clown Cruise

We are on a marooned luxury liner. The cruise entertainment — a Puerto Rican clown troupe — and their audience are the only souls remaining on board the doomed vessel. Survival skills merge with circus skills as the stranded performers juggle hope, despair, and juggling — for, of course… THE SHOW MUST GO ON.

Theater Oobleck launched a two-year collaboration with El Circo Nacional de Puerto Rico with this free, family-friendly, bilingual extravaganza in Chicago’s Humboldt Park, featuring clowning, acrobatics, cantastoria, fire, and a live nine-piece band.

SOS: A Summer Clown Cruise
Performed Sunday and Monday, July 6 & 7, 2014
The Boathouse in Humboldt Park
Just east of Sacramento Blvd, north of Division.
Chicago, Illinois.
Parking is available.

Briony and Arturo. Photo by Eiren Caffall Featured performers included Chicagoans Emmy Bean and Jay Torrence and, from San Juan, Arturo Gaskins, Briony Plant, Coco Drillo, and Angelle Guzmán Torres. The band includes Chicago musicians Ronnie Kuller, Julie Pomerleau, Chris Schoen, T-Roy Martin, Daniel Villarreal, and members of San Juan’s Banda Municipal de Makula-Barun: Dave Buchen, Arlemar Mendez, Xavier Claudio, and Pablo Bayamon.

SOS: A Summer Clown Cruise served as the jumping-off point for a collaboration to develop a new circus-informed play inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s The Decameron and focusing on the themes of emigration, exodus, and home, to premiere in San Juan and Chicago in 2015.

The entire shebang was generously supported by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s International Connections Fund, and The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

El Circo Nacional de Puerto Rico is a populist circus founded in 2010 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

SOS: A Summer Clown Cruise was presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks with the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Arts programming in neighborhoods across the city advances the goals of the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Cultural Plan.

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