WHO WE ARE




 

Barry Kendall | Executive Director | Circus Center

BARRY KENDALL, PhD

Executive Director


Since becoming Executive Director in 2013, Barry Kendall has led the revitalization of Circus Center as a San Francisco arts institution, a national treasure, and an international hub for the circus arts.

Along with nurturing the growth and improvement of Circus Center’s core recreational and professional training programs, Barry has created a new professional performance season, serving as executive producer on 28 shows (and counting) featuring dozens of artists and entertaining thousands of audience members. He also established an innovative outreach program delivering the unique physical, cognitive, and social/emotional benefits of circus instruction to special needs and at-risk children. These achievements have expanded and strengthened Circus Center’s community of students, professional trainees, audience members, and individual and institutional donors.

Barry brings nearly two decades of experience as a non-profit executive, and a lifelong dedication to arts and culture. He successfully led three organizations prior to Circus Center, including the renowned international theater company 7 Stages, based in Atlanta. He holds degrees from Emory and Yale, and a PhD in Directing and Dramatic Criticism from Stanford University. Barry lives with his family in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. He was a member of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s Equity Advisory Committee, a 2009 recipient of the “40 Under 40″ award from New Leaders Council, and a 2015 graduate of Leadership San Francisco.

 

Sara Moore | Director of Clown Conservatory | Circus Center

SARA MOORE

BOSS CLOWN


Sara Moore brings to the leadership of the Conservatory over three decades of experience as a performer, writer, director, and teacher. Her substantial body of creative work covers the full spectrum of clowning and spans multiple media, including the big top, film, Off-Broadway theaters, casinos, and outdoor venues.

Moore has created, directed, and performed material for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, The Krofft Puppets, Royal Caribbean International, Tropicana Hotels and Resorts, The New Pickle Circus, Six Flags Show Productions, and Merv Griffin’s Resorts Casino and Hotels, among others. She also wrote, directed, and co-produced the independent feature film “Homo Heights” starring Quentin Crisp, which is widely considered a cult classic today. Her recent solo show, Show Ho, has earned critical and popular acclaim through several sold-out runs.



Steve Smith | Creative Director | Circus Center

STEVE SMITH

Creative Director


Smith began as a clown with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1971, and went on to become that circus’s Goodwill Ambassador. He later was Dean of the Ringling Clown College for ten years, and also served as director for the 123rd edition of “The Greatest Show on Earth”. Steve’s work with circus has been a constant theme throughout his career. From 2005 to 2010 he served as co-creator and director of four original productions for the Big Apple Circus; led the Krooze Komic Physical Clown program for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines for nine years; conceived and directed two original circus-themed shows for Chicago’s Goodman School of Drama Children’s Theatre; and in 2010 he was featured in the 6-hour television documentary “CIRCUS” which aired nationally on PBS. Before moving to San Francisco in 2014, Steve was Creative Director at the Circus Arts Conservatory in Sarasota FL.
As a teacher, Steve has served on the faculty of The Theatre School ~ DePaul University and the Ringling School of Art & Design. He has conducted master classes in Physical Comedy around the world, from Moscow to Australia; Japan to Spain, Finland to Mexico, as well as major universities and festivals throughout the United States. Most recently he represented Circus Center teaching and speaking at the 50th Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.
He is a five-time Emmy Award winner for his work in children’s television, and a 1993 inductee into the Clown Hall of Fame. Smith has worked as a director and creative consultant for numerous clients, including Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, McDonald’s, Verizon Wireless, Walt Disney World, Chuck Jones Film Productions, The Reduced Shakespeare Co., Princess Cruise Lines, NBC-TV, CBS-TV, and many Off-Broadway theatre, cabaret, theme park, and film projects.

 

Lu Yi | Artistic Director Emeritus | Circus Center

LU YI

Artistic Director Emeritus


Master Trainer Lu Yi brings more than 50 years of experience to Circus Center. For 33 years he was associated with China's celebrated Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, first as a star performer then as its Director. He was also Vice President of the Chinese Acrobats Association. During his long tenure with the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, Master Lu Yi toured internationally, and his company was the first Chinese group to perform in Western circus productions, notably with Circus Knie in Switzerland and the Big Apple Circus in the US. He also taught circus arts for Circus Oz in Australia. In 1990, Master Lu Yi moved to the US to become Master Teacher and Artistic Director at Circus Center. He has judged international circus competitions in Paris, Monte Carlo, and China.



PROGRAM & DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS






Elena Panova | Aerial Department Director | Circus Center

Elena Panova

Aerial Department Director

Xiaohong Weng | Acrobatics Department Director | Circus Center

Xiaohong Weng

Acrobatics Department Director

Jennings McCown | Flying Trapeze Department Director | Circus Center

Jennings McCown

Rigger & Flying Trapeze Department Director

Sara Moore | Director of Clown Conservatory | Circus Center 

Sara Moore

Clown Conservatory Director


Felicity Hesed | Youth Program Director | Faculty | Circus Center

Felicity Hesed

Youth Program Director

Texas Holly | Camp Director | Circus Center
Texas Holly

Camp Director

Catie Brier | Senior Faculty | Circus Center

Catie Brier

Flexibility & Contortion Director

 



SENIOR FACULTY


Chloe Axelrod

Chloe Axelrod

Aerial

Veronica Blair | Faculty | Circus Center

Veronica Blair


Aerial


Headshot_CatieBrier_copy

Catie Brier

Contortion

Heidi-Button 


Heidi Button

Aerial

Headshot---Jim-Donak_copy3 

Jim Donak

Acrobatics, Trampoline & Stretching

Jiggidy-Jives_copy


Jiggidy Jives

Acrobatics & Flying Trapeze

Herdlyn-Evans_copy

Herdlyn Evans

Flying Trapeze & Aerial

Jeremy Sheets | Faculty | Circus Center
 

Jeremy Sheets

Aerial

Chloe Axelrod

Chloe Axelrod

Aerial

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Laetitia Bodin

Aerial

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Catie Brier

Contortion

Heidi-Button 


Heidi Button

Aerial

Headshot---Jim-Donak_copy3 

Jim Donak

Acrobatics, Trampoline & Stretching

Jiggidy-Jives_copy


Jiggidy Jives

Acrobatics & Flying Trapeze

Herdlyn-Evans_copy

Herdlyn Evans

Flying Trapeze & Aerial

Jeremy Sheets
 

Jeremy Sheets

Aerial

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Ke Min Xia

Acrobatics & Stretching



FACULTY

Joel Baker | Circus Center | San Francisco

Joel Baker


Acrobatics

Zack Bodinger | Faculty | Circus Center

Zack Bodinger


Flying Trapeze


Kris Carrison | Faculty | Circus Center

Kris Carrison


Acrobatics


Michelle Cooper | Faculty | Circus Center 

Michelle Cooper


Stretching
Maile-silhouette

Colin Davis

Acrobatics

Keri Forster Faculty | Circus Center

Keri Forster

 

Aerial

Gabriel Galdamez | Faculty | Circus Center

Gabriel Galdamez

Flying Trapeze

Lena Gratz | Faculty | Circus Center

Lena Gratz

Flying Trapeze

Jade-Ford_copy1

Jade Ford

Juggling

Jackey Ip | Faculty | Circus Center 

Jackey Ip

Flying Trapeze
Lin Junming | Faculty | Circus Center 

Lin Junming

Acrobatics

Christine Lee | Faculty | Circus Center

Christine Lee

Flying Trapeze & Aerial

Celine-Masson_copy

Celine Masson


Aerial
Mike-Greenberg

Mike Greenberg

Flying Trapeze

Aus Lacroix | Faculty | Circus Center 

Aus Lacroix


Flying Trapeze

Amy Olson | Faculty | Circus Center

Amy Olson

Aerial

Sommer Panage

Sommer Panage

Aerial

Adam Roy | Faculty | Circus Center
 
Adam Roy

Acrobatics

female-silhouette
 
Miriam Telles

Aerial

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Ross Travis

Acrobatics

Lindsay Tyson | Faculty | Circus Center

Lindsay Tyson

Flying Trapeze

Ellen-Valkevich_copy

Ellen Valkevich

Flying Trapeze

Jeremy Vik | Faculty | CircusCenter 
Jeremy Vik

Acrobatics


Caroline-Wright_copy

Caroline Wright

Aerial

 




PROGRAM & DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS

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Elena Panova

Aerial Department Director

Headshot_XiaohongWeng_copy


Xiaohong Weng

Acrobatics Department Director
 Headshot---Jennings-McCown_copy1
Jennings McCown

Flying Trapeze Department Director

Sara Moore | Director of Clown Conservatory | Circus Center
Sara Moore

Clown Conservatory Director
 


Felicity-Hesed_copy2


Felicity Hesed

Youth Program Director 

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Texas Holly

Camp Director

 

Catie Brier | Senior Faculty | Circus Center

Catie Brier

Flexibility & Contortion Director

 







ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

Katie Whitcraft | General Manager | Circus Center

Katie Whitcraft

General Manager

Tracey Shababo | Program Manager | Circus Center 

Tracey Shababo

Program Manager

Ash Rexford | Party & Event Coordinator | Circus Center

Ash Rexford

Party & Event Coordinator

Mark Weddle | Administrative Staff | Circus Center

Mark Weddle

Production & Facilities Manager

Eli Finlay | Student Services Team | Circus Center

Eli Finlay

Student Services Manager

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Fernando Gambaroni

Graphic Designer & Marketing Coordinator

Julie Lockfeld  | Student Services Team | Circus Center
Julie LockFeld

Student Services Team

Robin Berry | Faculty | Circus Center

Robin Berry

Manager, Circus Center Presents

Caroline Ashcroft | Student Services Team | Circus Center | San Francisco

Caroline Ashcroft
Student Services Team

Mikey Mann | Admin Staff | Circus Center

Mikey Mann

Student Services Team

Bryan Kretz | Student Services Team |Circus Center

Bryan Kretz

Student Services Team


SENIOR FACULTY

Chloe Axelrod
Aerial

Headshot_CatieBrier_copy
Contortion

Heidi-Button 
Aerial

Headshot---Jim-Donak_copy3 
Acrobatics, Trampoline & Stretching

Jiggidy-Jives_copy
Acrobatics & Flying Trapeze

Herdlyn-Evans_copy
Flying Trapeze & Aerial

Jeremy Sheets | Faculty | Circus Center
Aerial

 

ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM

Katie-Whitcraft

Katie Whitcraft

General Manager

Tracey Shababo | Program Manager | Circus Center 

 

Tracey Shababo

Registrar


Robin Berry | Faculty | Circus Center

Robin Berry

Manager, Circus Center Presents

Ash Rexford | Party & Event Coordinator | Circus Center

Ash Rexford
Party & Event Coordinator

Eli Finlay | Student Services Team | Circus Center

Eli Finlay
Student Services Manager

Caroline Ashcroft | Student Services Team | Circus Center | San Francisco

Caroline Ashcroft
Student Services Team

Julie Lockfeld  | Student Services Team | Circus Center

Julie LockFeld

Student Services Team

Mikey Mann | Admin Staff | Circus Center

Mikey Mann
Student Services Team

Mark Weddle | Administrative Staff | Circus Center

Mark Weddle
Production & Facilities Manager











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