“The Circus,” a new two-part film from American Experience, will air on CPTV on October 8 and 9, 2018.

“The Circus” explores the colorful history of this popular, influential, and distinctly American form of entertainment, from the first one-ring show at the end of the 18th century to 1956, when the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey big top was pulled down for the last time. As the home state of P.T. Barnum, Connecticut plays a unique role in this history.

Before “The Circus” premieres on CPTV, join CPTV and CT Humanities for a free advance screening of a portion of the film.

This screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Sally Whipple, Executive Director of Connecticut’s Old State House; Kathleen Maher, Executive Director of Barnum Museum in Bridgeport; and Walter Woodward, Connecticut State Historian and Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. Attendees will also hear clips from Woodward’s new two-part podcast, exploring Barnum’s lasting legacy in Connecticut and beyond.

Event Details

WHEN: Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 6 p.m.

(Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)

WHERE: Connecticut’s Old State House, Hartford, CT

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register, click here.

For more information on “The Circus,” click here, or view a preview below!


“Women's Work” features the stories of Connecticut women serving as leaders, trailblazers, artists, educators, advocates and entrepreneurs. Watch the original TV documentary. Six additional short films will be released weekly - watch them here.

Share YOUR story, too. Honor a woman who has made an impact in your life or tell us your immigration story. Post a photo and caption on our web page at cptv.org/womenswork. Find out more »

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