Open Ring Circus will present a public excerpt of their new contemporary circus show inspired by the 1944 Hartford Circus Fire followed by a panel discussion with survivors and prominent community members including former Hartford fire chief Charles A. Teale Sr. and co-author of A Matter of Degree, Don Massey. The Hartford Circus Fire is considered the city’s greatest disaster. 167 people were killed, many of them children, and over 700 were injured.
Open Ring Circus is a collective of young contemporary circus artists led by Connecticut born artist Jack Kavanagh. In honor of the fire’s 75th anniversary, Open Ring created a 90 min show which combines circus acrobatics, theater, dance and original sound design. With support from the Connecticut Arts Council, the collective has focused the past 9 months on researching the event and creating the show, including visiting the Hartford Public Library’s Hartford History Center archives.