PICTURED HERE IS Eva Lou Rhinelander, 17 years old, who will be performing in Circus Smirkus.



MELROSE – Seventeen-year-old contortionist Eva Lou Rhinelander of Melrose will perform in her seventh season with Circus Smirkus, the award-winning traveling youth circus based in Greensboro, Vermont.

One of the most beloved family arts events of the New England summer, the 2022 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour is now traveling all around New England on a 46-show tour that will visit four states and eight towns over the summer, including 10 shows in Waltham from July 26-August 1 and four shows in Newbury from Aug. 4-5.

Rhinelander auditioned and was selected to be part of the award-winning troupe that has wowed audiences across New England for more than three decades. The 30 budding circus stars in the 2022 troupe are all ages 11 to 18, and bring youthful exuberance and polished circus skills to grace the Circus Smirkus Big Top from regions across the United States.

Eva Lou is a rising senior at Melrose High School, and trains contortion and hand balancing over Zoom with coaches across the country. Locally, she trains dance at Rhythmix Dance Studio in Burlington and rhythmic gymnastics at North East Rhythmics in Middleton. She spends approximately 25 hours a week training.

“I’m super excited to be on tour again with Circus Smirkus after the two-year hiatus due to COVID,” said Eva Lou. “It is incredible to finally be able to perform for live audiences and work with other circus kids from all around the country.”

Celebrating its 35th year, Circus Smirkus is the only traveling “tented” youth circus in the United States performing under traditional European-style circus tents; Circus Smirkus troupers delight and inspire audiences of all ages. There are no animal acts in these performances.

This year’s tour continues the tradition of Smirkus’ annual theme-based shows with The 2022 Big Top Tour: On the Road Again. The show will feature a vast array of circus arts — including aerials, acrobatics, wire-walking, juggling, clowning —a dazzling display of brilliant costumes, and many other surprises. The 2022 Big Top Tour took to the road July 2 and is traveling through mid-August with a tour caravan that requires some 23-support vehicles and 80 people— including performers, coaches, cooks, tech and tent crew, and a live circus band playing an original score written specifically for this show. The award-winning circus company performs across New England to approximately 40,000 patrons each summer.

Residents should visit smirkus.org for a complete tour schedule. People can contact tour@smirkus.org to inquire about sponsorship opportunities.