The Making and Performing of Thalassa: A Dive Into the Deep

By Cora Williams

In this article, I will be introducing you to the making and performing of the show Thalassa: A Dive Into the Deep… Showing our process of creating this show.


What is Thalassa?

Thalassa, which means “sea” in Greek, was Troupes 1st full-length show. Thalassa was performed and created by the Circus Culture Troupe over the course of 5 months. In that time we worked hard creating the show piece by piece. We did everything from scratch, including costumes, lighting, marketing and advertising, set, props and even introduced some brand new apparatuses to Circus Culture. Showcasing everything from clowning to dancing to aerial acts. There was a total of 7 aerial acts as well as contortion, clowning, and dancing.

What is the “Circus Culture Troupe” and what do we do?

The troupe is a group of dedicated teens that perform around Ithaca, NY.  We are very devoted to what we do, spending hours working on each and every act/show. We perform an average of 2-3 times, two-weekend shows per year. We are a range of ages from the oldest being 20 and the youngest (me, by two hours) being 13. We are all like a family to each other.

Meet the cast and crew

Amy – producer

Emily – dance choreographer

Holly – clown coach

Kiera – light and sound technician.

Jesse – Lighting design

Jenny Leigh – costume design

Cora (Me) – sea snake/fish

Izzy – Force of Nature/fish

Alex – eel/fish

Nuala H. – Mystery of the Deep/fish

Nuala U. – Clownfish/fish

Alice – Dolphin/clown

Anya – octopus/fish

Nevada – Angler fish/clown

Kayla – Dolphin/clown

Luna – Dolphin/fish

Simone – eel/fish

What the show was about

In the beginning, we all brainstormed on what the show was going to be about. We had lots of ideas ranging from it being about trees to technology and phones. After much discussion and random off-topic questions, we finally decided that it was going to be about the ocean and the animals within it. We also wanted to add the not so happy elements like overpopulation, bycatch (What is “Bycatch”), and pollution.

Week intensive!!!

To prepare for our show we had a week intensive during winter break. We were there for 9am-3pm on Monday-Wednesday, Thursday 9am-7pm and on Friday we stayed the night. That was the week where we got the show together and all the group acts. We worked on all the nitty gritty parts of the acts, got Indian food and we sweat A LOT. On the last day (Friday), we had a company sleepover to celebrate our hard work. This week intensive brought us closer together and cleaned up the show quite a bit.

Before show dash?

When the show rolls around there are some traditions we always do. We always play the song, “Level Up” by Ciara to get hyped. And there’s the “mad eyeliner dash”. The mad eye liner dash is when we all race to get to one of the 3 working eyeliners . But mostly we all just get into costume and makeup, do our hair, practice our acro, and just hang. At this point most of us are feeling lots of adrenaline. We all express it a different ways. Someone might get sleepy. Some might get nervous and some might just feel normal.

Opening night

Opening night of the show was sold out. We were all high on adrenaline and getting ready for the show of our lives. We all got there at call and got dressed started with our makeup and hair. An hour later we were ready and getting into our starting positions. As people started to trickle into their seats. I couldn’t believe that this was happening.  As the lights rose, I could hear someone opening a seltzer in the front row. As we lifted into our shape all I could think of is OMG this is really happening. All the hard work we put in has paid off. Opening night went almost perfect.

Thank you, Amy

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who put this show together but especially Amy Cohen. I can’t express all my love I have for her. Amy is our Director. She made this show happen and gave us the amazing opportunity. She spent so much time with us working for hours on this show. She was there with us through thick and thin. She really is like a superhero not just in the show, but in all the classes. She supports us with everything we do.  Amy if you are reading this THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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