Detailed History

The following is a historical/biographical press release distributed for the 35th anniversary show in 2006.

35 years of Triton Troupers Circus
We're Back and we're better than ever!

The Triton Troupers Circus began with the gymnastics team at Triton College and their coach Jeff Austin. It was a venue to showcase the talent of the group. The original show included trampoline, high bar, tumbling and parallel bar. The show was held in the original gym at the college, which is now the Maintenance Service Facility. Eventually the performance graduated to the cafeteria so a larger audience would be able to attend. The final home of the event is the Robert Collins Gymnasium. Shows have been performed there for the past 26 years.

The progression into true circus acts was gradual. Jeff Austin was an expert trampolinist. He was a regular on the Bozo Circus Show and began to broaden the scope of acts by networking with other performers. The act list soon included clowns, web rope, man wheel, rolling globe, tight wire, sky swing and trapeze. The original gymnastic apparatus was taken out and traditional circus acts remained.

Jeff Austin held the director's baton for 15 years. Rick Wright, who had been assistant director for 10 years, claimed the baton and continued as director for the next 13 years. He spent those years nurturing performers and promoting the high standards of the show.

The past 7 years have been just as challenging and rewarding for the current director, Terry White. He has been an advocate for the show and delights in watching new members achieve things they never thought possible.

The Cast and Crew - The dedication of the people who are involved in the show as performers and those who work behind the scenes is unsurpassed. This is an all volunteer opportunity. There is no pay involved and members return year after year.

Several original members of the circus are still involved. Terry White, our current director. Steve Hersee, still performing on teeterboard and maintaining photo's of the show. Bart Halleman has taken on the job of publicity and Bob Tardella has transitioned from performer to accountant for the show.

Many members of the circus have gone on to become professionals in the business. Past Troupers have won Golden Globe Awards, performed on the David Letterman Show and attended Ringling Brothers Clown College. Our current lighting director Daric Basson, began by flipping light switches on and off for the circus. He now works for Upstaging Lighting, bringing professional lighting to the music industry.

Our Fans are the Greatest - Throughout the span of the show there has been a loyal fan base. They have realized that the show continues to be the most affordable entertainment in the Chicagoland area. Fans also realize that the expectation of a family show for children and adults of all ages has been a priority for the directors and performers since the show be Join us as we celebrate our 35th Anniversary !!