Ringling Brothers Circus Is Returning — But the Animals Are Not

Lions and tigers and bears, goodbye!

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is bringing again “The Biggest Present on Earth” subsequent yr after a six-year hiatus, however the showrunners confirmed on TODAY Wednesday that animals is not going to be returning.

It is a dramatic change for a circus that began in 1871 and have become identified for its acts that includes lions, tigers and elephants. The transfer is one the showrunners consider displays audiences’ altering tastes.

“We is not going to be touring animals,” Juliette Feld Grossman, a producer of the revived circus, instructed NBC Information senior nationwide correspondent Kerry Sanders on TODAY.

The circus shut down in 2017 beneath stress from animal rights teams and shifts in viewers tastes. The producers had eliminated the elephants from the present a yr earlier and despatched them to stay on a sanctuary in Florida.

The brand new model of the circus comes after two years of planning throughout the pandemic and is anticipated to get again on the highway in 16 months.

Feld Leisure, which owns the circus, has discovered that in the present day’s audiences do not need to see animals or corny clown acts performing.

“That’s the previous, and the good factor is that we’ve had a clean piece of paper to reimagine,” producer Kenneth Feld mentioned on TODAY.

The family-owned firm has proven it is aware of how you can attain audiences in working different widespread productions that embrace Disney on Ice, Sesame Road Reside and the stay monster truck present Monster Jam.

The revived circus will focus extra on death-defying, awe-inspiring human feats. Producers have carried out worldwide auditions from Mongolia to Argentina seeking the highest circus performers.

Greater than 1,000 performers have auditioned, with about 75 anticipated to make the lower, in response to Grossman.

“What we’re seeing is big demand for individuals,” Grossman mentioned. “To be in particular person and to see issues which are actual.”

The present additionally plans to have interaction with audiences extra on social media, together with at instances throughout the present.

That is the second pandemic that has impressed adjustments within the circus, because the present additionally shut down throughout the 1918 influenza pandemic that induced the deaths of a minimum of 50 million individuals worldwide.

“That was when Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey mixed in 1919 as a result of they didn’t need to take a threat with all these different reveals coming,” Feld mentioned.

Now they’re rolling out a manufacturing completely different than the one older generations could bear in mind seeing as children.

“I’ve been a part of Ringling my complete life, and now we’re excited to to make that actual for everyone else,” Grossman mentioned.

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. Extra from TODAY:


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New England Cable News is a regional 24-hour cable news television network owned and operated by NBCUniversal serving the New England region of the United States. It focuses on regional news, though in some low priority timeslots, paid programming and programming from WNBC such as Talk Stoop and Open House are seen.

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