Accessibility links

Famous American Circus to Broadcast Last Show on Facebook


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performers ride camels during a performance, Jan. 14, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will end the "The Greatest Show on Earth" May 21, following a 146-year run of performances.


Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, a famous American circus, will broadcast its final performance on Facebook Live.

Earlier this year, Feld Entertainment, the company that owns the famous circus, said that the show would end in May.

The plan is to stream the last show on social media and on the circus's website. The final show will be May 21st, in New York.

Kristen Michelle Wilson, Ringling's first female ringmaster, will host the event.

The history of the circus in America

A circus is a traveling show that is often performed in a tent. These shows include trained animals, clowns and acrobats.

The circus has been a popular form of entertainment in the United States since the mid-1800s.

At that time, Phineas Taylor Barnum made a travelling show with animals and human oddities popular. The five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits in the American state of Wisconsin.

Eventually, Barnum's group joined with the Ringling Brothers to form what has been called the first modern circus.

Reasons for the decline of the circus

The circus's decline had many reasons. They include changing public tastes, high operating costs, and public battles with animal rights groups.

Sam Gomez is the circus's vice president of digital and relationship marketing. He says that organizers of the final show believe many people will watch it on phones and tablet computers.

"It's basically a TV shoot and we're certainly thinking about lighting and sound," Gomez said. "We've had lots of conversations about tight shots so you can see the performer's skill and expressions and their artistry."

Gomez said Ringling would leave the video online for a short time, but not forever.

The live show allows people to "witness the end of an era." Gomez said, "We wanted to give families around the world one last chance to experience 'the greatest show on earth' together."

I'm John Russell.

John Russell wrote this story for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section. _____________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

circus – n. a traveling show that is often performed in a tent and that typically includes trained animals, clowns, acrobats, etc.

stream – v. to transfer (digital data, such as audio or video material) in a continuous stream especially for immediate processing or playback

tent – n. a portable shelter that is used outdoors, is made of cloth (such as canvas or nylon), and is held up with poles and ropes

oddity -- n : a strange or unusual person or thing

juggling – n. the act of keeping several objects in motion in the air at the same time by repeatedly throwing and catching them

skit – n. a short, funny story or performance

decline – n. : a change to a lower number or amount
: the process of becoming worse in condition or quality

Your opinion

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG