IJA Festival Shows


Get ready for a phenomenal week of shows and entertainment at IJA Festival 2019 in Fort Wayne, Indiana! The IJA festival is excited to be welcoming these Special Guest performers, as well as many others, at the Welcome Show and the Cascade of Stars. All of the shows below will be held at the Springfield Symphony Hall.

Cascade of Stars

The Cascade of Stars is a highlight of the IJA festival. This Saturday evening performance will feature top notch juggling and circus talent from around the world. This will be the final theater show of the festival and is an event not to be missed! Get ready for a fabulous night of family entertainment.

Saturday, July 21 – 8:00pm
$40 Adults / $20 Children 

Mark Mitton

Cascade of Stars Emcee – Mark Mitton is a professional magician who is fascinated by using magic to better understand how we see the world. In addition to performing at private and corporate events all over the world, and creating magic for film, television, the Broadway stage, and Cirque du Soleil, Mark tirelessly explores the theme of ‘Misdirection’ from an interdisciplinary standpoint. He regularly presents on ‘Perception’ at universities and conferences in North America and Europe, including the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, and has lectured with the late Nobel Laureate Dr. Gerald Edelman of The Neurosciences Institute.

Wes Peden

Cascade of Stars – Wes Peden designs juggling to perform in space stations and parking lots. He has performed in over 25 countries including Japan, Israel, Australia, and Iceland. His energetic, complex, and playful juggling style has won him awards from the International Juggling Association and the festival Cirque de Demain.

Kyle Johnson


Cascade of Stars – Kyle has developed his juggling style from the influence of the worldwide juggling community through online video. Kyle works to integrate traditional juggling, contact juggling, and movement to make his juggling unique.

Erin Stephens


Cascade of Stars – Erin Stephens is a small town mountain girl from California, who spends her time organizing juggling events around the world and performing along the way as she does so.

She is the founder and director of the IJA Regional Competitions and recently formed her new company, Tricky Chicks. She is also a social media consultant for juggling and circus companies and is currently writing her first book, titled “Something Extraordinary”.

Cate Flaherty


Cascade of Stars – Cate Great is a 15 year veteran of circus, stage and street. She is a graduate of L’Ecole de Cirque de Quebec and has performed in 11 different countries. In 2008 she performed her handstand act in Cascade of Stars with her circus school classmates and in 2011 she won the first ever IJA Busking Championship with her comedy street show. Now, 10 years after her first appearance in the Cascade of Stars, she’s returning to the IJA stage with a brand new rolla bolla act that combines the grace, style and drive for technical perfection she learned in circus school with the wit, charm, and ability to handle danger she perfected on the street. Basically, it’s terrifying, but adorable.

Welcome Show

Start the festival off right with the delightfully entertaining IJA Festival Welcome Show! Featuring high quality talent and humor from American and international performers. Tickets to this festival are included in full festival passes, or can be purchased separately. Springfield locals are invited to join us in kicking off the 71st IJA Festival.

Tuesday, July 17 – 8:00pm
$35 Adults / $17 Children 

Fly By Night


Welcome Show Emcees – American comedians Stephen King and Ryan Dekoe have been performing their on-the-edge brand of “Dangerous Comedy” since 1990. This odd and hilarious duo combine a bizarre mix of stand up comedy, juggling, sideshow antics, and “other various skills and proficiencies,” into one extremely popular and unforgettable show.

Salih Mahammed


Welcome Show – Salih Mahammed is a Circus performer from Ethiopia based in Baltimore, MD, USA. He has more than 17 years of performing experience. He started performing internationally in 2007. He performed around Europe with the Circus Mother Africa tour from 2007 – ­2008. He has also performed with Circus Ferrel in 2009­ – 2010, a cruise ship with Mien Schiff in 2010, and in Cirque Dreams in the USA from 2011­ – 2015.

Kathryn Carr


Welcome Show – Kathryn Carr is a professional entertainer, juggler of hats, clubs, and contact with over 10 years experience.

Michael Karas


Welcome Show – Michael Karas has been an IJA member since 2003 and a professional juggler since 2007. Living in New York City, he is best known for his comedic and often musically-driven juggling routines and has toured the country both as a solo artist and with his trio Playing By Air. He won a Bronze medal at the IJA in 2006 (thanks to the Electoral College) and has been too scared to compete since. He does have a few other IJA awards, including some first place awards at the Individual Prop Competition and the only ever winner of the short-lived “Jazz and Juggle” Competition.

Wes Peden


Welcome Show – Wes Peden designs juggling to perform in space stations and parking lots. He has performed in over 25 countries including Japan, Israel, Australia, and Iceland. His energetic, complex, and playful juggling style has won him awards from the International Juggling Association and the festival Cirque de Demain.

Florence Huet


Florence Huet – Florence has been juggling with hoops since 2007. She attended the Regional Center of Circus Arts in Lomme (France) as well as Kyiv Municipal Academy of Circus & Variety Arts (Ukraine). Since she completed her training in juggling and dance, she has been working on composing juggling with a unique style. Since 2015, she has toured with Compagnie Jérôme Thomas and created her 2 solos acts, Dakatine and Sweet. Florence juggles cotton candy and icebergs when her hoops get tired. (Photo by Einar Kling Odencrants)

Christian Kloc


Welcome Show – Christian Kloc started juggling at six years old and thrives on the thoughtful movement that keeps objects aloft and lively ideas taken down for the record. He grew up in Maryland, but paid frequent visits to his mom’s native New York City. Christian’s childhood trips to the Big Apple taught him how to tear into a fresh loaf of bread, how to put on a show and how to stand on the subway. He also saw how people — in an unfathomable blend of attitudes, appearances and talents — breathe life into a city. Christian graduated from the University of Maryland in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, after which he immediately started working as a chef (no one is linear!). Aboard the fojol bros. Ethiopian food truck, in the kitchen at Restaurant Nora, and at the helm of Society Fair’s pastry program, Christian honed his palate, creativity and adaptability, skills that continue to serve him well as a full-time circus arts performer and educator.

Benjamin Domask


Welcome Show – Benjamin Domask is a Performing and Teaching Artist living in Minnesota, USA and working all around the world.

IJA Stage Championships

The IJA Stage Championships is a prestigious international competition recognizing top-level international entertainment. These championships will be held on two nights. The Juniors Championship will be held Wednesday, July 18th, in partnership with the Youth Showcase, and the Individuals and Teams Championships will be held Thursday, July 19th. Below are our featured emcees for these two events.

IJA Juniors Stage Championship
Wednesday, July 18 – 7:30pm
$30 Adults / $15 Children

IJA Teams and Individuals Stage Championship
Thursday, July 19 – 7:30pm
$35 Adults / $17 Children

Michael Trautman


Juniors Champs Emcee – Michael Trautman has been performing his one-man shows around the world since 1977. He has appeared in the New York International Festival of Clown Theater, Festival D’Ete, Just For Laughs Festival, and at The Kennedy Center. He was featured on WOW! The Most Awesome Acts On Earth, The Statler Brothers Show, CCTV in Beijing, China, and Le Plus Grande Cabaret du Monde. In 1999-2000, Michael was the star clown in the national tour of OOPS! The Big Apple Circus Stage Show. www.MichaelTrautman.com

Joe Showers


IJA Teams and Individuals Stage Championships Emcee A one time hobbyist, now professional, Joe Showers has loved juggling since the first time he tried it. Thirteen years ago, when he joined the Syracuse Juggling Club, little did he know it would lead him down a path to traveling all over the United States, making memories and friends from around the globe, and having a job that is more play than work. Joe is extremely honored to be your host of the IJA Individuals and Teams competitions. It means so much to him to introduce some of the best acts the juggling community has to offer. He hopes you will enjoy the festival and competition as much as he will.