Highwire Entertainment specialises in circus and multi-artform performances and events. We have created and toured several original, award-winning works nationally and internationally, including Rouge, The Defiant, and Rebel.
We make work that is playful and exciting, bringing a sense of wonder and irreverence to theatrical spaces and non-traditional venues, through contemporary physical theatre, circus arts, and theatre for children and adults. One of Highwire’s primary focuses has been creating works that increase the profile, visibility, and representation of women and gender-diverse circus artists. We want to speak to those who have been traditionally under-represented or marginalised, by generating opportunities for diverse casting and access to high-level skills training. We extend this into our hiring practices as well, employing predominantly women and gender diverse designers and technicians. Notably, the current Highwire producing team are all women.
Director Elena Kirschbaum has been creating and producing circus since 2003. She casts a diverse range of artists, particularly championing queer and gender diverse representation. She believes that coupling politically progressive messaging with broad-appeal entertainment is one of the most powerful political tools that we have. One of our key achievements in this regard is the reception that our show Rouge receives in regional Australian venues. On Rouge’s first regional tour, we had one patron thank performers for creating more representation of queer voices, as it helped them to feel positively seen within their community. That is something we carry with us now into every regional tour.
Key achievements include:
+ Producing two nearly sold-out seasons of Rouge at the 2019 and 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festivals;
+ Winning Best of Circus at the Adelaide Fringe for Rouge (2020) and The Defiant (2022); and
+ Receiving a 2021 Creative Ventures grant to launch our circus artist residency program, Livewire.