From the first Monday of Fall classes, both active and prospective members attend practices at 6:45 p.m. on Monday and Thursday evenings and 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoons in the South Gymnasium at Horton Field house. During this time, active and prospective troupe members work together learning skills, setting up and taking down equipment for practices, putting together acts for various performances, and most importantly, developing friendships that will last a lifetime.
Students who want to join the circus must audition. Auditioning students are judged on their progress and skill development, cooperative spirit, execution, strength, and their potential as a circus performer. Auditions are judged by the circus Directors and by Gamma Phi's student leadership-the captains of various acts. Each new member is required to attend practices, serve on various committees that help run the circus, perform in two small exhibitions, and the home shows.
Spring semester is spent developing and learning acts, making costumes, creating publicity materials, selling tickets, developing the annual yearbook, and of course, performing in the Home Shows. Although membership in Gamma Phi Circus requires hard work, dedication, cooperation, and adherence to circus rules, the group is permeated with a spirit of cooperation and "togetherness."
Students who want to be part of Gamma Phi Circus but who are admitted in the Spring can serve as a member of the backstage crew that semester. They must meet the requirements as a member in good standing.
Gamma Phi's professional staff and student performers place a premium on safety. Marcus Alouan, Gamma Phi's Director, has experience in training circus performers from amateurs to professionals. The circus has a strong safety record and it invests in new equipment designed to enhance safety.
Gamma Phi Circus offers many leadership opportunities to its members including serving on the student led Executive Board, being appointed as an Act Captain, chairing one of our many show committees, being a mentor to incoming members, coaching Junior Gamma Phi Circus, and more! Although not all members will fill a formal leadership position, you will develop and exercise leadership skills during the course of your experience as a Gamma Phi Circus member.
As a member of Gamma Phi Circus, you will have plenty of opportunities to perform throughout the year. Every member of Gamma Phi Circus is required to be part of the Home Shows, held at Redbird Arena in April. Members are also required to participate in at least 2 exhibitions per year. Exhibitions take place at the university, at community events, fundraisers, and more. Recently Gamma Phi Circus members have performed at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Navy Pier, the Sweet Corn Circus Festival, the Effingham Chamber of Commerce Gala, and the ISU Homecoming Parade.
Gamma Phi Circus members have the benefit of registering early for classes! Priority registration is a privilege given to special student groups by the university. Priority registration is available first semester for returning members registering for Spring classes and second semester for both returning and new members registering for Summer and Fall classes.
Gamma Phi Circus is happy to offer eleven $1000 tuition waivers and five $500 tuition waivers to our members. Undergraduate returning members in good standing will have the opportunity to apply for tuition waivers in the Spring semester. If any funds remain, new members then be given the opportunity to submit their applications. All waivers are subject to availability. Application information and the application form will be distributed to Gamma Phi Circus members at the beginning of Spring semester each year at practice and will be available for download on the Gamma Phi Circus Microsoft Teams page.
Process for application 2021:
The complete application packet, including the application form, essay, and resume should be submitted electronically through the tuition waiver form on the Gamma Phi Circus Microsoft Teams page or paper applications should be returned to Marcus Alouan no later than Friday, February 26th, 2021. Applications will then be reviewed by the review committee which will include Marcus Alouan, Ivan Stoinev, Rainie Themer, and other faculty/staff of Illinois State University.
**Applicants Please Note** The Gamma Phi Circus Tuition Waiver cannot be combined with other tuition-specific awards. If you have a question regarding conflicting tuition specific awards, please contact the Scholarship Resource Office at (309) 438-2740. Examples include: Military Waivers, Faculty/Staff Waivers, Honors Waivers, MAP Grant recipients.