Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Opening Night

Today is the BIG DAY!


Today, December 15, 2009 @ 7:30 PM
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 @ 7:30 PM

Performances take place at The Alchemist Theater

Thank you for following the blog!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Quotes of the Day 12/12

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home."

- Twyla Tharp

"No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist."

- Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quote of the Day 12/11

"I remain just one thing, and one thing only -- and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician."

- Charlie Chaplin
Clown 'Leaving the Ring' at Alchemist Theatre

By Russ Bickerstaff

The modern circus has been around for about 250 years, and its prehistory dates back to ancient Rome. But in today’s age of interactive mass media, the idea of going to see a mixture of live performances and exhibitions beneath a tent feels antiquated. The art form lives on in contemporary mutations like Cirque du Soleil, but the traditional circus appears to be on its way out—and has for quite some time. Be that as it may, there’s still something moving about the circus ring that’s every bit as primal as other forms of theater.

Performer Matthew Belopavlovich casts light on the waning shadows of the traditional circus next week as he performs Leaving the Ring, a theatrical narrative he’s constructed around the story of “a clown’s last bow on Earth.” In his one-man performance, Belopavlovich walks onstage in a red bowler hat and clown nose. He unpacks his suitcase, apparently oblivious to where he is. Then he notices the audience. As long they’re sitting there, he may as well perform…

Belopavlovich proceeds to weave a performance out of comedy, poetry, juggling and stage magic. It’s a family show, but it captures something beyond light entertainment.

“The idea of ‘leaving the ring’ is symbolic of the clown performing for the last time on this Earth and passing away,” Belopavlovich says.

Given the right execution, this could be a very interesting journey flowing from all the trappings of a traditional circus clown’s shtick. Modern culture often associates clowns with children’s parties, so crafting a profound message from this fare should prove to be an interesting challenge. The show looks like a passionate side project for Belopavlovich.

Belopavlovich’s Leaving the Ring runs for two nights only, Dec. 15-16, at the Alchemist Theatre. A portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Clowns Without Borders, an organization that brings laughter to places of conflict and crisis all over the world.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Quote of the Day 12/07

"Good humor is one of the best articles of dress one can wear in society."

- William Makepeace Thackeray

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dolly Jacobs and I

Dolly Jacobs
is an American aerialist. She is the daughter of famed circus clown , Lou Jacobs. She began her circus career in 1975 and has been working ever since. She is also the co-founder of Circus Sarasota. Born in Sarasota, Florida, winter home of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey until 1958, Dolly, like many other circus children in the area, began training at Sailor's Circus, the Sarasota High School's youth circus. After graduating from Sarasota High, she followed in her mother's footsteps and joined the Ringling show's battalion of showgirls, which allowed her to be near her father. She debuted her Roman Rings act in the 1976 edition of The Greatest Show On Earth. n 1984, Dolly left Ringling and joined the Big Apple Circus, with which she performed until 1985, and again in 1987 and 1988. Dolly Jacobs was inducted in 1997 into the Circus Ring of Fame in Sarasota in 1998. (Circopedia and Wikipedia)

New Script Developments

Writing a new show is a challenge to any playwright. It is a process that usually continues right up until opening night. After several runs of the production in a studio and some insight from my clown in crime, Steve...The Storyline Has CHANGED...just a bit. The story needed some more flair and the clown character felt like he needed to be younger to match the current material. Enjoy the modified production summary!

After causing an accident backstage, the clown is forced to leave the current circus he is touring with and find a life in the "real world." On a rainy night the clown enters a theater to dry off and rest. As payment for his intrusion, the clown takes the audience on a journey through his life in the circus by telling stories, sharing poetry, and performing glimpses of his famous routine.

Quote of the Day 12/06

"Come inside, the show's about to start!"

- Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quotes of the Day 12/05

"From the start it has been the theatre's business to entertain people ... it needs no other passport than fun."

Bertolt Brecht

"There are lots of young vital playwrights who are experimenting, and these are the plays that people who are interested in the theatre should see. They should go off Broadway. They should go to the cafe theatres and see the experiments that are being made."

Edward Albee

Plans for New Years?

Check out this awesome circus experience coming up on New Years Eve!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Prop and Costume Inspiration

Above are some images that inspired the costume pieces, props, and scenic elements used in Leaving The Ring.

Quote of the Day 12/04

"No person has the right to rain on your dreams."

- Marian Wright Edelman

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Music

Here are some musical inspirations featured in LEAVING THE RING...

"Blue Skies" - Count Basie
"The World Goes 'Round" - Kander and Ebb
"Put On A Happy Face" - Charles Strouse

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rehearsal Update 12/01

Happy December! The next scheduled rehearsal is December 2, 2009. The goal of the rehearsal is to run the scripted section of the piece and add/work the silent introduction scene. The first complete run of the piece will be taking place on December 9, 2009 at The Alchemist space. Keep checking back for more rehearsal updates, quotes of the day, links, and polls!

Quote of the Day 12/01

"We bring you the circus, pied piper whose magic tunes greet children of all ages, from six to 60, into a tinsel and spun-candy world of reckless beauty and mounting laughter and whirling thrills; of rhythm, excitement and grace; of blaring and daring and dance; of high-stepping horses and high-flying stars. But behind all this, the circus is a massive machine whose very life depends on discipline and motion and speed. A mechanized army on wheels, that rolls over any obstacle in its path, that meets calamity again and again, but always comes up smiling. A place where disaster and tragedy stalk the big top, haunt the backyard, and ride the circus train. Where death is constantly watching for one frayed rope, one weak link, or one trace of fear. A fierce, primitive fighting force that smashes relentlessly forward against impossible odds. That is the circus."

- Narrator (The Greatest Show On Earth)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quote of the Day 11/29

"It's never my failures that I regret, it's the things I pass up because I'm too scared, too safe."

- Philippe (The Spark)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quote of the Day 11/28

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Need a Snack?
Visit the site below to learn more about Circus Peanuts!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Rehearsal Update 11/27

I hope everyone out there enjoyed their Thanksgiving! Official Rehearsal #3 is taking place this afternoon. The text portion of the production is almost completely blocked and ready for a stumble-through.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quote of the Day 11/22

"Leap and the net will appear."

- Zen saying

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Additional Quote 11/21

“The thing about performance, even if it's only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities.”

- Sydney Smith

Quote of the Day 11/21

"Sheep can KILL!"

- Co-Clown Steve (not a real animal trainer)

Quote of the Day 11/20

"Peanut Butter and Brownies!"

- Heard in the Kitchen of the Mansion

Rehearsal Update

Today was the first rehearsal in which script material was put on its feet. The first two stories in the script have been blocked and "Put On A Happy Face" was staged including a dance break turned into a juggling break!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Clowns without Borders Ticket Donation

Hey Everyone Under The Big Top!

I wanted to tell you about an exciting opportunity that you can be a part of when you buy an online ticket prior to the performance dates. For every $8 General Admission ticket purchased off of the Alchemist website, I will donate $1 to Clowns without Borders. If just 25 people purchase their tickets in advance, we will meet their first donation category. See what you can help Clowns without Borders buy below! If you do not know what Clowns without Borders does, please visit the LEAVING THE RING BLOG for a link to their website where you can learn more! This is a great cause and I hope you are willing to spread a couple of laughs with me.

To buy tickets, visit

What We Can Help Buy:
$25 for a Smile = 100 clown noses
$50 for a Giggle = fuels a full tank of gas for touring
$100 for a Laugh = provides 7 days of lodging in South Africa

Ready, Set, Clown!

- Matthew

Quote of the Day 11/19

"A clown is like aspirin, only he works twice as fast"

- Groucho Marx

Feeling the need to spread a little Holiday Joy? Donate to Clowns without Borders by visiting the link below.


A portion of the profit made from LEAVING THE RING will be donated at Clowns Without Borders! Buy Tickets!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quotes for the Week

Quote of the Day 11/16
"Failure is simply part of the equation."
- Georgette Mosbacher

Quote of the Day 11/17
"Don't wait to be discovered."
- Gil Atkinson

Quote of the Day 11/18
"Let there be more joy and laughter in your living."
-Eileen Caddy

Production Update

Rehearsals have begun with the finalized script, posters have been placed along Brady Street and in Shorewood, press kits have been mailed out...the production is well on its way!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Quote ofthe Day 11/15 x2

"To me, creativity is, first and foremost, all about courage-a willingness to take risks, try new things, and to share the experience with others."

"Passion is key to everything we do, and those without it don't last long."

- Diane McKee

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quote of the Day 11/14

"By laughing at me, the audience really laughs at themselves, and realizing they have done this gives them sort of a spiritual second wind for going back into the battles of life."

- Emmett Kelly


In about 6 1/2 hours, I will be watching Zing Zang Zoom by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. I will take some pictures for the blog!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Past Clown Audition

Here is footage of me at the Ringling Brothers Clown Audition last November...


(When Karen Hoyer is shown, look to the left of your screen. I appear later on the right side of the screen drawing an "X" and a circle with my feet)

Promo Photos

Check Out these Sensational Promo Photos by my production assistant Steve!

Quote of the Day 11/13

"Dreams don't die until we let them."

- James Ojala (from the book Be The Difference)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Clown has found his Suitcase!

The suitcase prop has been found and purchased! The suitcase was found at the Opry Antique Mall in Wisconsin Dells, WI this afternoon. It is made out of wicker and leather. There are some repairs needed, but it is the perfect prop for the main clown character in LEAVING THE RING!

Quote of the Day 11/12

"Put a little Circus in your Life"

- Ted McRae (Ringmaster of Ringling Bros. Hometown Edition)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hello Everyone out there under the Big Top!

These past few days have been very productive. The main clown's costume is almost complete.

The Costume:
Blue and Black Checked Suit Coat
Light Blue Dress Shirt
Brown Corduroy Pants
Purple Tie
Purple and Black Striped Socks


I am still on the look out for a hat to fit the rest of the costume design and the clown's main prop, his trunk.

Many thanks to my two co-clowns who have been helping me with the costume and prop hunt, Steve and Fiorella!

Quote of the Day 11/11

"You got sawdust in your veins."

- Brad Braden
(from the film The Greatest Show on Earth)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quote of the Day 11/10

"I've had good times and bad times. It may seem like a rough day today, but tomorrow may bring a good day, and the sun may be shining in the next town."

- Lou Jacobs
Hey EVERYONE! There is a circus nearby! Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is in two Illinois cities with their new show ZING ZANG ZOOM! For details and a preview, visit the link below.


Poster Art

Here is the poster art for LEAVING THE RING.