Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Australia’s Circus Oz makes Penn State debut in ‘Straight Up’ Feb. 7 at Eisenhower

For more than three decades, Melbourne’s Circus Oz has shared its unabashed Australian sense of humor and slapstick antics with audiences worldwide. The lighthearted and acrobatically intense troupe will make its Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State debut with “Straight Up” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

Purchase tickets, which $42 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student, and $32 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

According to Circus Oz member Matt Wilson, “Straight Up” is a return to the troupe’s more traditional circus format—a character-based clowning and acrobatic performance. “The show reflects what Circus Oz is: This is us, straight up.”

In addition to the group’s jugglers, aerialists and acrobats, most of the members play instruments, which transforms the show into an animal-free rock-and-roll circus performance.

A San Francisco Chronicle reviewer called the show “a bit punk, undeniably in your face, refreshingly progressive, unapologetically off color and gleefully Australian.” Wilson expounded on the comedy aspect of the show.

“It’s pretty self-deprecating, in a way. We like to show the side of ourselves that fails, that’s always funny,” he said. “It’s a bit cheeky, a bit irreverent. We don’t mind having a go at authority.”

Watch interviews with members of the troupe.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or artists, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Benson and Christine Lichtig, William Rabinowitz and Shirley Sacks sponsor the performance. MAJIC 99 is the media sponsor.