The Quiet Circus is an ongoing performance residency by Headlong at the Washington Ave Pier that includes three interlocking programs, unfolding over 15 months. Contemplative practice informs artistic practice, and the agency of audiences, participants and creators is engaged in creating an ongoing work that lives in the experiences of those who touch it.

To that end, all are invited to engage in a single, ongoing arc of events along Philadelphia’s Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers:

Weekly performances occur every Saturday at the Washington Avenue Pier from 11am to 1pm in Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Fall 2017. Come once, twice, or many times.

Reflection Events reinforce the discoveries made by audiences and participants through the ritual performance practice, as well as suggest new directions for the performance scores.

River Charrettes, created in partnership with Philadelphia Contemporary, feature performances and participatory dialogues that reflect upon topics raised at four different sites along Philadelphia’s waterfronts, and bring accomplished performance artists into conversations with city planners and urban thinkers for a larger, participatory conversation of bodies in civic motion.

Participation Anyone who is interested in engaging on a more participatory level is invited to join us on Friday afternoons at the pier. You are just right for this work.

The Quiet Circus ran for 36 weeks over 15 months, from September 2016 through November 2017. For writing, media and reflections on the continuing life of this work, subscribe to our blog Quiet News and join the mailing list below.

The Quiet Circus was initiated by David Brick and Maiko Matsushima. The structure and nature of this project is shaped by their collaboration with art and social practice curator Mary Jane Jacob, who helped imagine an ongoing work of art in which public participation and trans-disciplinary creative practices are open to all, even as the work itself grows and refines throughout its lifecycle. Mark Lord has been a collaborating dramaturg on the practices of this project since 2012. Harry Philbrick and Philadelphia Contemporary have collaborated on creating the River Charrette program. Ishmael Houston Jones is an advisor and Eiko Oake is a friendly agitator.

Jillian Jetton - Assistant Director / Site, Participant & Documentation Manager

Danielle Currica - Project Manager

Kimberly Hall - Design Assistant

Logan Cryer - Design Assistant

Byron Karabatsos - Videographer

HPI Assistants - Kosta Kostoryz, Andrew Roetman, Haylee Warner

Participant Leaders:

Carolyn BrickJungWoong KimEdward Snyder
Sanchel BrownJude RobisonIrina Varina
Anita HollandAseel RasheedLaura Vriend
Jenna HortonMarion Ramirez


Special Thanks: Niki Cousineau, Joe Frick and the Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 19, Jesse Glockner, Ryden Nelson, Amy Smith, Ilse Torlin, Jo Vito Ramirez, and Kate Watson-Wallace

Major support for The Quiet Circus has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from The William Penn Foundation, and The Wyncote Foundation; and through generous development residencies at The Yard and the Alan M. Kriegsman Creative Residency at Dance Place. Primary research for The Quiet Circus began with David Brick's 2012 Japan-US Friendship Commission Artist Fellowship.