Wendy Regan has been involved in Circus WOW since 2001 across a variety of roles including director, choreographer, performer, trainer, performance coordinator, outreach coordinator and training coordinator. Her greatest legacy with Circus WOW is a history of artistic direction and choreography, teaching Circus Wow performers to dance, production of large-scale site-specific works and fostering collaborative creative projects between Circus WOW and other local arts and cultural organisations and artists.
It all kicked off in 2001 when Wendy was directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of Stanwell Park’s Arts Theatre and invited Circus WOW to be special guests to perform stilt walking and fire twirling as part of an outdoor, site-specific work in a secret forest and park in Stanwell Park. Circus WOW became part of a cast of 40 and performed over three consecutive evenings. In 2002 Wendy was invited to be involved with Circus WOW as a choreographer for their headline act at the International Women’s Day event Diving for Girls at the Wollongong Continental Pools, and was invited to contribute choreographic ideas for Circus WOW’s first full-length show What’s Her Story? at the IPAC.
The following year she collaborated with Soraya Del Castillo to co-direct and choreograph Ignite—A Fire Spectacular as a headline act for Viva la Gong. It was a collaborative project with original music by Kevin White, together with fire sculpture and costume design by Janet Clouston and a cast of 20 performers. This ambitious project included all things circus, on fire-hula hoops, stilt walking, skipping ropes, acrobatics, dance, as well as fire twirling and fire breathing.
In 2004 Wendy choreographed Beneath My Feet, a site-specific conceptual work by Soraya del Castillo reflecting on the significant and outstanding landscape of the Illawarra. The work was showcased as part of Viva la Gong at the lighthouse headland in Wollongong and was a collaborative production employing video artist Sarah Moss, Relativity Production Company and David Kemmery and musician Marianthe Loucataris.
In 2006 Wendy worked alongside director Sue Broadway to choreograph an acrobatic dance scene The Journey in Circus Wow’s full-length production A Baggage Carousel, performed at The IPAC. In 2009 she collaborated with the Vaulting Horse Band to create Don’t Stop Me Now—Vault Airlines which saw Circus WOW do what it does best, with hilarious audience interactivity.
In 2010, Wendy choreographed Bonded in collaboration with Janys Hayes, which was performed at Wollongong Art Gallery. This documentary theatre told the true stories of migrant Illawarra women who had lost their employment in the Bonds factories of the Illawarra when the company moved offshore. In 2011 she took on the mammoth task of directing the Circus Wow 10 year show Wow—What a Story at the Vault in Port Kembla.
In 2012 Wendy directed and choreographed Circus WOW aerialists, acrobats and clowns in Shakespeare Fantasia, a collaborative project between Circus WOW and Eklektika. This showcased at Viva la Gong and also ran another season at Circus Monoxide and toured to Canberra. In 2016 Wendy was involved as choreographer for the opening act of One Really Big Circus Show, one of the last shows she worked on for Circus WOW. She has accepted the invitation to direct Circus WOW’s 20 year anniversary stage show when it is deemed COVID-safe.
As a trainer for Circus WOW, Wendy has met the most incredible array of extraordinary women anyone could ever imagine! Throughout Circus WOW’s history she has taught aerials, acro-balance, acro-dance, dance, performance craft, choreographic skills, hula hoop, stilt walking, yoga, pilates and general intro to circus skills.
Wendy has taught extensively through Circus WOW’s outreach programs reaching far and wide throughout the community and the greater Sydney area. Training at WOW was and will always be about supporting women in reaching their goals and dreams and having a really loud laugh along the way.
As a performer for Circus WOW, Wendy has had so much fun spreading the joy locally and travelling interstate with Circus WOW to the National Circus Festival and the Yepoon Village festival. She was a pivotal Circus WOW representative at the Vault and as part of the annual Treasures from the Vault at IPAC, from the very first day the Vault opened its doors to the last performance night. Some of her infamous acts such as Stunt Girl, Pina Colada, and her tutu contortion act were born at the Vault. She has been involved in several Viva la Gong festivals as a performer and represented Circus WOW in venues across the state.
Wendy performs anything from clown, acrobatics, dumb stunts, dance, aerials, magic, hoops, stilts, fire and physical theatre. From some of the most outrageous public displays of larrikin possible, to commentary of significant cultural heritage and storytelling, Wendy’s performance journey with Circus WOW has been far, wide, extensive and diverse.