Collaboration, Comedy, and Creativity at CIRCUS! 2023


As the music stopped, lights dimmed, and voices hushed in St. Nicholas Auditorium, excitement grew throughout the audience. It was March 28, the opening night for the 10th annual iteration of CIRCUS!, which spanned three nights, each featuring six short plays written, directed, acted, designed, and run by students.

As a director for one of the nine plays, I had been working on CIRCUS! for the past two months. Sitting in the audience, it was exhilarating to see the casts’ and crews’ hard work pay off in 18 performances. For those that could not attend (and even for those who did), I hope to briefly highlight each play. Without further ado and in particular (reverse alphabetical) order, here are some of my thoughts on each play! 


“We’re Cowboys… In Space” by Orion A. ’23, dir. by Julian M. B. ’23 and Mica R. ’23

What’s it about? Space explorers Pyxis (Toby W. ’24) and Indrus (Justin Y. ’23) encounter a mysterious space pod containing Vega (Esper M. ’23), with whom Indrus immediately falls in love. 

Vibes? Cowboy outfits and a duel befitting an old Western, as well as tons of outer space lingo.

What did we love? All the betrayals! And the costumes really emphasized the characters’ distinct personalities.


“The Dark Horse” by Julian M. B. ’23, dir. by Michael L. ’24 and Stellan M. ’23 

What’s it about? Jesse (Kyle F. ’25) tries to close a deal with an investor (Shepard S. ’25) in a lawn mower shop.

Vibes? Chaotic in the best way.

What did we love? Hearing Katy Perry repeatedly throughout the play.


“Peter and John” by Emmy B. ’23, dir. by Ellie W. ’24 and Hallie X. ’23 

What’s it about? Volunteering at a retirement center, Peter (Kimberly Y. ’25) talks to Mr. Fritz (Isabella N. ’23), while exploring his relationship with his dad (Kellan W. ’25).

Vibes? Heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. 

What did we love? The final moment when Peter realized that his grandfather Mr. Fritz would never be able to truly remember him anymore — Kimberly conveyed his intense sadness without a word. 


“Off Book” by Hallie X. ’23, dir. by Eva T. ’24

What’s it about? The comedic duo Mercury (Cassia W. ’23) and Lauren (Sadie D. S. ’24) fall in love, using the concept of inertia as a metaphor.

Vibes? Unexpected, comical, clapperboard.

What did we love? The octopus hat Lauren wore for the entire play. 


“Missed You” by Emma R. ’27, dir. by Mary Y. ’25

What’s it about? A young girl named Caroline (Natalie L. ’25) disappears.

Vibes? Mysterious, comforting yet ominous.

What did we love? As the ghost of Caroline entered through the audience, we realize that, in his guilt, only the sheriff could see her. Chills.


“Metafiction” by Swadesh S. ’23, dir. by Orion A. ’23

What’s it about? A hero (Lucy K. ’24) tries to get “the dark artifact” from a villain (Mac D. ’25). 

Vibes? Assuredly comedic.

What did we love? The jester (Evan M. ’26) who spoke in a Scottish accent and spontaneously bagpiped.


“Escaping Love” by Anni J. ’23, dir. by Nathaniel R. ’24

What’s it about? Sydney (Lael G. ’25), a teenage girl, has a new boyfriend, Austin (John R. ’25), as her parents get a divorce.

Vibes? Reflective, playful. Austin is mad toxic.

What did we love? The ending; a 30-second ringing noise that conveyed Sydney’s powerful emotions.


“Eclipse” by Cassia W. ’23, dir. by Lorelei S. ’25

What’s it about? The forbidden love between Sol (the sun) and Luna (the moon) through different stages of their lives.

Vibes? Simple, enchanting.

What did we love? The three different “sets” of Sol (Karla O. R. ’24, Anni Y. ’24, and Chloe S. ’26) and Luna (Darby C. ’24, Betsmona A. ’25, and Vera L. ’26) at different ages — child, teenage, and adult — allowing the audience to see them grow up together.


“Ballerina” by Justin Y. ’23, dir. by Mason D. ’25

What’s it about? Amy (Akal S. ’25), who runs away from home due to a lack of creative freedom and eventually becomes a ballet teacher in New York City. 

Vibes? Quirky, funny, and many set changes.

What did we love? Working on the play 🙂


Hopefully this gives you a little bit of insight into CIRCUS! 2023, and I hope you all consider participating in CIRCUS! next year. It was such a fun, creative, energizing experience — one of my favorite things I’ve done at Lakeside!