Who Are We?

Our Mission: | Bios

Ben Sota (Artistic director) is an assistant professor of physical theatre, movement, and circus ant Coastal Carolina University. He holds a MFA in physical theatre from the Accademia dell’Arte school in Arezzo, Italy and a MFA in directing from the University of Hawai’I at Manoa. He studied circus at Flic Circus school in Turin Italy, the San Francisco Circus Center, Trapeze Arts, and Acro Sports. He has produced over thirty shows and performed at the National Council on Foundation, the National Storytelling Convention, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, at Al Hussein Amphitheater in Amman Jordan, and at hundreds of other venues. As a teacher the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts has selected Ben as an artist residency teacher. He is recognized as a commonwealth speaker of Pennsylvania. Recently he was awarded the Eben Demarest Trust and a prize based on his artist merit that Jackson Pollock once one. Recently Ben traveled to New Orleans, Jordan, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan to perform and teach.

Erin Carey was born on the Central Californian coast, but raised in rural Western Pennsylvania. At an early age she discovered a love of performing arts and world travel. She began traveling the world performing with youth performance troupes at age 14, spent several years studying politics and marine biology at Seattle Pacific University, and then after seeing a performance from a nouveau cirque troupe, decided to join the circus. She traveled to Circomedia in Bristol, UK, the foremost school for circus with physical theatre in Europe, where she received an Oxford Cambridge Royal Society of the Arts Diploma in Circus Arts and Physical Theatre and a teaching certification in the same. She specializes in aerial acrobatics- tissu (fabric), corde lisse (rope), trapeze, lyra (hoop), bungee, harness, and any other means of suspension. She loves the strength, freedom, and exhilaration of ascending and descending great heights, and inspiring others to fly. She has performed with Zany Umbrella Circus since 2005.

Michael Carroll Originally from the suburbs of Washington DC, Mike always had a knack for getting himself into things that were a bit out of the ordinary. Shortly after meeting Ben Sota at the University of Pittsburgh, Michael started experimenting with the limits of what can be done in the circus medium. As an avid unicyclist, Michael has won competitions from Canada to France doing everything from jumping on cars to riding down stairs.

Jeff Gordon From the bright lights of Broadway to a dilapidated Bangkok amusement park; from a movie set on a cruise ship to a Pediatric Unit in a South Bronx hospital; and from the Big Apple Circus tent at Lincoln Center to the People's Gymnasium in Tianjin, China, Jeff Gordon's 28-year career as Clown Gordoon has celebrated our shared humanity and the power of laughter to heal, entertain, and reward. Utilizing circus skills, audience participation, improvisation and puppetry, Clown Gordoon brings joy and laughter to all. Clown Gordoon speaks the international language of laughter and delight in his one-man show Fools Foolin' - culminating in his signature "toilet paper act."