A Labor of Love
SHOW Circus Studio began in the spring of 2009. Current studio owner, Henry Wheaton, and his then-business partner, Chris Oakley, came together with a desire to create a circus training space in the Pioneer Valley. Both Henry and Chris loved the Pioneer Valley area and felt that circus was the only thing missing in their Western Massachusetts community. After an exhaustive search for space with appropriate ceiling height, they found an opening at the Paragon Arts and Industry Building in Easthampton, MA. Together with fellow circus enthusiasts Marah MacRostie and Stephanie Santoro, they turned their 900 sq ft former industrial space into an intimate circus facility. They named the space SHOW Circus Studio based on the last names of the people who were initially involved with its creation.
Interest about circus in the community started to build, and SHOW began to offer classes in the fall of 2009. They recruited teachers from the local area and from the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, VT. By April of 2010, the studio had already outgrown its tiny 900 sq ft space and moved down the hall into a 1500 sq ft suite. More classes were developed and their student population began to grow.
In 2011, SHOW absorbed an additional 1000 sq ft next door to their 1500 sq ft room and created a new, bigger entranceway along with an additional teaching room, allowing for more classes and events. As of 2015, SHOW expanded further to include an open floor plan training area with built-in office and waiting room. Since then, the studio has grown another to include a second studio space and offers youth vacation programs, community events, and workshops.
SHOW survived the COVID-19 pandemic with careful community health protection measures, and is still going strong thanks to a supportive community base of students, staff, friends, and families.
SHOW dreams of a future project of buying land and constructing a permanent location for circus in the Pioneer Valley!