Side Show is being shaped and molded through the dance and movement vision of Choreographer William Cooper Howell
In 1932 director Tod Browning made a film entitled Freaks about sideshow performers. Since Browning had been a part of a traveling circus for many years, he wanted to create the film using real sideshow performers instead of actors with make-up and prostheses.
Check out the video below for a sneak peek at one of the earliest choreography rehearsals for Side Show’s opening number, “Come Look at the Freaks.” The cast is trying out the whole choreography for the first time.
This production of Side Show is being directed by musical theater lover Johnny Hebda. Check out his bio to learn a little more about the man behind the vision.
Most of the human performers in side shows were either born with or developed physical anomalies that their current science and medicine didn’t understand. Some, such as Daisy and Violet Hilton, didn’t have a choice about joining the shows and were either sold or forced into their performing roles.
The side show was located just off the midway (hence the term “side”) and was not included in the price of the average admission ticket. Side shows featured anything that was considered an anomaly, including animals, plants and natural wonders—but the biggest draw of the side show was always the humans.