'A Nerdy Gay Juggling Show' balances comedy and queer culture 

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In its world premiere at the Rochester Fringe Festival this fall, "A Nerdy Gay Juggling Show" will showcase performer Jacob D’Eustachio’s talents as he expresses his story through relatable humor. That story, which plays at School of the Arts: Movement Center on Sept. 15, 16 and 17, promises to feature plenty of extraordinary juggling and more. D’Eustachio aims to create a dynamic atmosphere of audience participation, storytelling and comedy.

“It is a circus show, but this time it's my circus show, and it's a queer, nerdy, quirky, hopefully slightly touching circus show,” he said.

The School of the Arts: Movement Center gymnasium venue will allow D’Eustachio to toss and bounce items of all sorts as well as engage with the audience, creating a truly immersive experience.

“We're all about creating spaces where space doesn't exist,” said Andrea Gregoire, the school’s art center director. “It's a unique performance space, one of the few places that have high ceilings for Jacob's show where his stuff won't get lost in the rafters.”

Professional jugglers are not often known for discussing queer culture and identity. D’Eustachio may offer a game-changing moment for the circus industry – he hopes that by sharing his story, it reaches others contemplating their identity.

“I can talk about being gay, and I can talk about my personal life,” he said. “I can also talk about how juggling is part of my queerness and part of my gay identity and how those things work together and they're not at war. I think there's something really powerful with that, and I think there's a power in sharing stories.”

click to enlarge PHOTO PROVIDED.
D’Eustachio, who is based in New York City, will unveil his captivating routine and self-taught tricks in an hour long performance where he plans to use the stage fully. The metaphor made between the act of physically juggling while balancing the concept of one’s sexuality adds another dimension to D’Eustachio’s show.

“It's not going to be a show about juggling, and it's not going to be a show where I talk about juggling. We're just going to do a really fantastic juggling show,” he said.

Fringegoers ages 13 and up are encouraged to attend and share in this storytelling experience. D’Eustachio is no stranger to the festival—Matt Morgan, who will also star in Shotspeare, directs this show, and their collaboration grew out of working together on “Cirque du Fringe: Afterglow,” last year’s Spiegeltent headlining act. This year, D’Eustachio plans to bring a little bit of everything to the table, while also being true to himself as a performer.

“I want to tell my true story. I want to talk about my gay identity,” he said. “I want to do it in a way where it’s still funny, where it's still engaging, where it's still an exciting, great circus show, but in a way where it feels like I'm bringing all of myself.”

Angela Nell-Tascon is a Goldring Arts Journalism and Communication graduate student at the Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University. The cohort previewed Fringe as part of a summer class.
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