The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local media.

It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

Night Circus is a fascinating take on live theatre being presented by St. Timothy High School's drama students from May 7 to 10.

Other than the premise from the novel Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, it's an entirely original script prepared by drama teacher Kevin McGregor. Or, as the students say, it's been "McGregor-fied."

Night Circus is a series of circus performances within a performance in seven different tent sets within the school's gymnasium. The only common thread between the original artwork prepared for each set is they're studies in black and white. Similarly, there isn't a linking storyline to the seven tents, but all the costumes are b&w.

We sat down with seven of the main characters to chat about the production. The majority of the main characters are in grade 11 and have created a tight bond after been performing together for three or more years. In all, 22 students are part of the production.

Miko is a medium performed by Alina Aguilar. In her tent she'll be communicating with spirits and telling their histories and stories to the audience. In preparation, she developed mannerisms for her character, a certain way to walk, talk, act and show expression.

"It's a lot easier once you can get in costume because you start getting a sense of what it feels like walking as the character. But you do have to learn how to adapt to become that character. All of a sudden. It's not only getting into the role as yourself, but also thinking like that character while you're acting, and learning to switch between yourself and the person you're pretending to be."

Soleil Pugliese is Tilly.

"For my tent, we go through the crazy experience where you learn my amazing recipes. I'm a little short tempered but that doesn't stop me. Tilly is someone who's very passionate about cooking. She's got a little assistant named Tonka and she goes absolutely crazy cooking in the kitchen, so it's something fun to watch."

Elizabeth Iwanyshyn is Houdini.

"It's all about magic. If you love to see a bit of sleight of hand, like to see classic card tricks, rabbits pulling out of the hat, it's a really cool way to see magic for yourself.

She saw the portrayal of Houdini in a previous St. Tim's play when she was in grade 6.

"It's actually really awesome because I did get to see it. It was super magical to actually see the play and now be able to put on the boots and the hat and the shoes and the skirt to play the character."

Isaac Thibodeau is Loki, the cunning trickster of Norse mythology.

"Loki's tent is all about mind games," he says. "We're going to be tricking the audience's mind with the Mandela Effect and just a few other mind games."

A fan of Marvel, when he saw Loki was part of an early version of the script, he knew it was a character he wanted to portray.

Joseph Goosney will be playing an Alchemist through the eyes of Elvis.

"I get to do a lots of singing and dancing. I watched the Elvis movie. I listened to a whole bunch of Elvis.  I've just basically been living Elvis for the past couple weeks now and it's going to be fun."

Amelia Solomon is Beatrix the Fortune Teller.

"She tells the future. She does a lot of really funny readings, and she owns her own little shop she does after the shows are over. She brings up her side job a couple of times... she makes sure it's known."

Aaron Swedlo speaks of his character, The Baron, a necromancer.

I do some minor necromancy and I like to share my point of view of life with others. I'm a long-lived person, so I know a lot."

The performances in each tent are about 15 minutes in length, so it's impossible for the audience to circulate to each tent in one evening. They'll have to return at least one more night to catch them all.

Tickets are now available for purchase at St. Tim's main office. Adults $10 and student $5. There is limited seating available each night.

night circus