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Circus PAWS Is Coming! - Magical Entertainment Without Animals

By Georja Umano

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Circus PAWS is coming to town- Saturday and Sunday September 29 and 30!  Three shows only, held at the Avalon Theatre in Hollywood, promise to be inspiring and cruelty free entertainment for children and adults. It will show the world, in the words of Bob Barker, “a circus needs no animal performers to be spectacular.” Circus Paws is billed as a “pint-sized version of Cirque du Soleil, yet with a distinct colorful and inspiring look to the troupe.”


Don't miss this spectacular show and chance to support rescued circus animals!

This project is sponsored by the PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society) Sanctuary in an effort to promote humane animal-free entertainment. Proceeds will benefit the more than 100 rescued and retired animals living at the PAWS Sanctuary in Northern California, many of them veterans of circuses.

The stars of the show, Le Petit Cirque troupe, are all children under the age of 12! It is the only all-kid humanitarian cirque company in the world founded by Nathalie Yves Gaulthier, who herself was a child prodigy in Canada.  The troupe includes some of the top aerial arts/circus arts in the country and has mesmerized numerous audiences worldwide.   Le Petit Cirque uses their prodigy and gifts to heal, usually only performing for causes. They use their performances to inspire or boost morales.  They are not only exceptional cirque children but actual young prodigies in music, karate, skateboard and world-record holders (World Champions and Guiness Book record holders) who amaze the audience with every move.


Le Petit Cirque troupe works out at the beach

PAWS Circus is one of the many creative ways directors and founders Pat Derby and Ed Stewart have reached out to the community over the years.  In addition to founding and running their sanctuary, keeping up with the latest animal research to make sure their animals get the very best care, they also sponsor an Elephant Summit bi-annually which attracts elephant researchers, zoologists, rescuers, and other advocates from all over the world. 

Pat Derby and Ed Stewart pioneered a method of elephant handling that uses NO bull hooks, weapons or aversive training techniques. PAWS was the first facility to use this “non-dominance” technique successfully, and since 1985, the work of Derby and Stewart has been a model for elephant handlers around the world.

Pat Derby and Ed Stewart outside the African elephant exhibit at PAWS sanctuary

PAWS is internationally recognized as a leader in animal welfare; among PAWS’ greatest concerns is the treatment of animals in traveling shows, animal acts, television and movies, captive breeding, the exotic animal trade and inadequate standards of care for all captive wildlife.

They have been very active politically, influencing those in power to curb the animals in entertainment trade by exposing the cruelties behind the camera and outside the big top, and try to shut down the animal nightmare that is the traditional circus. 

Performing wild animals are torn from their mothers, family groups and native habitats at a young age and put into abusive conditions where they are afraid not to obey the man.  Then they are forced, often for their whole lives to perform and be confined in ways foreign to nature. Often the “tricks” they must do are painful and debilitating.


Fluffy, one of 29 rescued tigers at PAWS sanctuary

On November 2, 2011, PAWS, along with Bob Barker, Animal Defenders International and CSI’s Jorja Fox have initiated a bill – HR 3359-TEAPA (Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act) in Congress with Congressman Jim Moran.  This bill will restrict the use of exotic and non-domesticated animals in traveling circuses and exhibitions.  It is the first bill to comprehensively tackle the use of all wild animals in circuses ever to be launched in the U.S.

There will be three shows: Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 1PM and Sunday evening shows begin at 7PM.  On Sunday evening there is an opportunity to also enjoy a VIP reception 90 minutes prior to the show with many special guest entertainers, many of them child prodigies. Boy band IM5 founded by Simon Fuller of “American Idol” will entertain.

Kat Kramer, Stanley Kramer’s daughter and a performer in her own right will also perform. Kramer, an animal advocate, was brought to her convictions early on through her father's socially relevant film, "Bless the Beasts and Children." The movie's theme song was originally sung by the Carpenters. Kramer will be premiering her own first live version of the song at the reception.


Circus photos courtesy of Gaulthier Productions

Animal photos courtesy of Performing Animal Welfare Society.


Georja Umano is an actor and animal advocate.


Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

San Andreas, CA



Avalon Theatre

1735 Vine St.

Hollywood, CA 90028






Saturday, September 29 at 1:00 PM

Sunday,    September 30 at 1:00 PM

Sunday,    September 30 at 7:00 PM

VIP reception:

Sunday,  September 30 at 5:30 PM


Tickets : $79 for adults; $49 for children under 12

VIP tickets : $150 adults; $95 children



Published on Sep 23, 2012

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