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Woodbury teens star in Circus Juventas summer show

Émilie Davidson and Kate Schullo. Submitted photos

Time travel, sky pirates and Renaissance icons are all elements in this year's Circus Juventas summer show, "STEAM." Two of the 71 students performing are Émilie Davidson and Kate Schullo, both from Woodbury.

Circus Juventas is a performing arts circus school for youth meant to inspire self-expression and build confidence through things like acting, acrobatics and dance. "STEAM" is an original show that draws on true-to-life events and characters and adds in steampunk surrealism.

Davidson, an incoming senior at Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul, will play the part of Dionysia, a Renaissance-era mathematician working closely with the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo. It will be her fourth summer show — the circus' larger, more advanced productions. She has also performed in around 10 spring shows.

Though she hadn't yet seen her costume, Davidson guessed it would be a fancy, Renaissance-style dress likely in blue or green, colors she said were associated with the scholarly class during that era.

"My favorite part of rehearsing has always been watching the set and the props come to life," Davidson said. "Everyone involved is so creative and it's wonderful to see what they come up with each year."

Schullo, an incoming senior at East Ridge High School, will play two different characters. One is a Morlock, part of a group that Schullo describes as "a Mad Max band" of outrageous scavengers, who are "hard and tough and do their own thing."

Her other character is a human-animal hybrid created by Dr. Moreau, a mad scientist from H.G. Wells' 1896 novel, "The Island of Doctor Moreau."

"One unique aspect of my role is that for my animal hybrid, we start off as humans with certain animal traits and eventually morph into our true animal setting," Schullo said.

The show pulls from several other classic novels, including "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" by Jules Verne.

"STEAM" will be Schullo's fifth summer show. After doing gymnastics for several years, she looked for similar performance opportunities and found Circus Juventas. She said she enjoys the close friendships she's able to form with other performers during summer show rehearsals.

"STEAM" premieres at 7 p.m. Friday, July 27, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 12.

If you go

All shows take place at the Circus Juventas Big Top, 1270 Montreal Avenue in Saint Paul. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketworks or in person at the Circus Juventas box office. Hours can be found at circusjuventas.org/location-hours. Prices range from $18.50 for children 10 and under and seniors 65 and older to $45 for VIP seating.

Hannah Black

Hannah Black is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism interested in the intersection of politics and the everyday lives of citizens. Outside of reporting, she enjoys running, going to museums and concerts, and trying new coffee shops and breweries. Her favorite thing to do is spend time with her dog, Wendell.

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