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Cirque Mechanics Brings Zephyr—A Whirlwind of Circus to Pepperdine University



September 28, 2023 – Malibu, CA – The Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine University is pleased to welcome Cirque Mechanics as they present Zephyr—A Whirlwind of Circus at Smothers Theatre on October 3 at 7:30 PM.

The show, recently nominated for a Drama Desk Award in the “Best Unique Theatrical Experience” category, is an emotive and exhilarating tale about our choices for our planet and its resources, featuring a performance windmill as the multi-functional mechanical centerpiece of the story. Audiences will witness the unrelenting tug-of-war between man and nature in the name of progress as the artists harness human power, instead of wind, to generate an awe-inspiring, energetic acrobatic experience.

Audiences will be thrilled and amazed by the matchless skill and innovation of the show’s creators, acrobats and groundbreaking storylines framed by remarkable machines and devices. In Zephyr—A Whirlwind of Circus, performers will fly, balance, float on air, and defy gravity in an exhilarating circus, taking audiences on a journey with the beauty and efficacy of that timeless and ingenious process inspired by the creative team at Cirque Mechanics. In this all-ages show, traditional circus acts from contortion to hoop diving, hair hang to foot juggling, will be presented with modern and distinctive whimsy and theatricality.

Zephyr—A Whirlwind of Circus is the fourth unique Cirque Mechanics show that Pepperdine has presented. Cirque Mechanics brought wonder to Smothers Theatre in 2017 with Pedal Punk, in 2018 with 42ft—A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels, and in 2021 with Birdhouse Factory.

"Cirque Mechanics is one of our favorite companies to work with at Pepperdine,” said Rebecca Carson, managing director of the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts. “Their technical brilliance and the magical worlds they create bring joy to audiences of all ages. We are excited to welcome them back to Pepperdine!”

The show is produced by Chris and Aida Lashua, with creative direction by Chris Lashua and co-direction and choreography by Aloysia Gavre. The production is written and co-directed by Steven Ragatz, with set design by Sean Riley, lighting design by Joe D’Emilio and Leo Hidalgo, costume design by Kalin Henning, production direction by Janeen Johnson, and music composed by Michael Picton.

Tickets are available online, by phone at 310-506-4522, and at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts Box Office at 24255 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. The box office is open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5 PM, and two hours prior to most performances.

About Cirque Mechanics
Cirque Mechanics was founded in 2004 by Las Vegas residents Chris and Aida Lashua, after the success of their collaborative project with the Circus Center of San Francisco, Birdhouse Factory. Cirque Mechanics quickly established itself as a premier American circus, with its unique approach to performance, inspiring storytelling, and innovative mechanical staging. Spectacle Magazine hailed it as “the greatest contribution to the Americancircus since Cirque du Soleil.”

Cirque Mechanics, although inspired by modern circus, finds its roots in the mechanical and its heart in the stories of American ingenuity. The shows, rooted in realism, display a raw quality, rarely found in modern circus, that makes their message timeless and relevant. The stories are wrapped in circus acrobatics, mechanical wonders, and a bit of clowning around. The troupe has created a series of extraordinary productions, Birdhouse Factory, Boom Town, Pedal Punk, the Orchestra Project, 42ft—A Menagerie of Mechanical Marvels and for this season, Zephyr—A Whirlwind of Circus.
Learn more at cirquemechanics.com.

About The Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts
Delighting more than 50,000 patrons and participants annually with live performances, art exhibitions, and local outreach opportunities, the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts serves as a hub for the arts on Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus, uniquely linking professional guest artists with Pepperdine students as well as patrons from surrounding Southern California communities. Three performance spaces, including the 450-seat Smothers Theatre, the 124-seat Raitt Recital Hall, and the “black box” Lindhurst Theatre, host hundreds of performances, rehearsals, and master classes throughout the year. The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, a dynamic, two-story exhibition space, showcases a revolving selection of modern and contemporary art with a focus on art made in California.

Media Assets
Download a photo of Cirque Mechanics in Zephyr 1 | 2
Download Zephyr’s logo
Additional photos available upon request


Media Contact

Ericka Sherrill
Marketing and Publicity Manager, Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts