The Wild Rumpus Winter Circus: Loose in Donald Park!

Saturday, Jan. 31, 3 and 7 p.m.

Mt. Horeb High School Auditorium (click for directions)

305 S. 8th St. Mt. Horeb, WI




Cheney and Mills

Cycropia Aerial Dance

The Madison Unicyclists

The Mazo Flyers

The Trolltown Clowns

Suggested Donation: $10/adults, $5/kids. A portion of our proceeds will benefit Clowns Without Borders, South Africa. Advance tickets available at Prairie Bookshop and Trillium Natural Foods in Mt. Horeb.


The Wild Rumpus Winter Circus, "Loose in Donald Park," will be presented at the Mt. Horeb High School Auditorium, Saturday, Jan. 31 at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. The cast features over 30 youth, professional and community performers from Mt. Horeb and Madison, including Cheney & Mills; Cycropia Aerial Dance Stiltwalkers; Madison Unicylists; The Mazo Fliers, and the Troll Town Clowns.

The show storyline follows a traveling circus show which has opened in town only to find that its trained exotic monkeys escaped into the woods of nearby Donald Park. The clowns and ringmaster are dispatched to the park to find the frolicking monkeys, and encounter strange and wonderful sights along the way. Audiences will be treated to clowning, juggling, unicycling, acrobatic and aerial artistry highlighted with colorful costumes, fantastic feathered characters on stilts, giant puppets, monkey business, comic characters and gags galore.

Many of the youth in the cast have been studying the circus arts for years through Mt. Horeb Recreation Department classes taught by local performing artists Nina Cheney and Jacob Mills and at the Wild Rumpus Circus Camps in Mazomanie. Mills and aerial artist Marcia Miquelon co-founded the camp 8 years ago and its multi-age summer sessions, which teach clown, trapeze, stilt-walking and numerous other skills, have been filled to capacity ever since. Mt. Horeb resident Anita Laabs, who teaches trapeze at the summer camp and has been coaching the monkeys in their aerial skills, will be assisting backstage while her 9-year-old son, Noah performs as "Momo," the smallest monkey. Noah has been swinging on a trapeze since age 4. "This cast has worked so hard to produce a quality performance piece," Laabs said, "They are a very talented and entertaining group of kids."

Selecting Donald Park as a theme for the The Wild Rumpus Winter Circus was a natural choice for event participants Cheney & Mills. Since 2003, the couple has helped to promote the park by building a number of giant puppets fashioned after the park's bird and animal residents. Along with dozens of volunteer "puppet handlers," the fanciful creatures have delighted thousands of people in parades in Mt. Horeb and surrounding communities. "We wanted to create a fun tradition that would always remind people about Donald Park and encourage them to come and enjoy it, " says Cheney, who also co-chairs Donald Park's annual Father's Day Picnic. "The Wild Rumpus Winter Circus is another opportunity for us to bring families together for a fun time while letting them know that Donald Park is a real, wonderful place, and so close by. It's a valuable natural resource for the our area." Park volunteers will have information available in the lobby for audience members before and after the two performances.

The production staff is grateful for the generous support of Mt. Horeb Community Foundation, Mt. Horeb Optimists, St. Ignatius CCW, Friends of Donald Park, Schreiber, Anderson & Assoc., & SignArt Studios. Admission is $5.00 for children and $10 for adults and is by suggested donation. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Prairie Bookshop and Trillium Natural Fooods in Mt. Horeb, or at the box office on the day of the show. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Clowns Without Borders South Africa, an artist-led humanitarian organization dedicated to improving the psychosocial condition of children and communities in areas of crisis through laughter and play.

The high school auditorium entrance is located on the corner of 6th and Garfield Streets in Mt. Horeb.