Current Project

In honor of the 75th anniversary of the 1944 Hartford Circus Fire, Open Ring is creating a 90 minute 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 a show that holds space for the fire that echoes throughout Hartford’s history. This winter, Open Ring spent time exploring archives of the 1944 fire at the Hartford History Center and the Connecticut Historical Society. They also interviewed survivors and community members deeply affected by the fire. This research has helped them navigate this tragic event and pay respect to this disaster that heavily affected the Hartford and American circus communities. “Coated” weaves an immersive story which memorializes the past and prompts discussion of the future. From the classic traveling tent shows to the ripple effect of the event’s historical legacy, Open Ring invites you into a story made of sawdust, paraffin wax, smoke and stampedes. Into a tale of the undercurrent of fragility and potential that permeates everyday existence.