Hawaii’s Volcano Circus

Who We Are

Hawaii`s Volcano Circus (HVC) mission is to organize, conduct, and maintain a company of performing circus artists for educational, cultural, instructive and entertainment purposes while owning and operating a cultural and educational center for performing circus artists.

Hawaii Island Community Circus Unity Project (HICCUP) is a program of HVC with a mission of promoting the healthy development of children using the time-honored skills and traditions of the circus.

Seaview Performing Arts Center for Education (SPACE)  is home to the HICCUP Circus, Aerial Arts Hawaii, and HAAS Assisted Homeschool program. It’s mission is to creatively promote sustainable community development in Puna Makai.

Goals

  • To provide quality performance arts education and social programs, both at SPACE and outreach, that reinforce our performing troupe.
  • To produce quality circus shows that tour locally and abroad.
  • To seek and maintain relationships with professional instructors and performers locally and internationally.
  • To maintain SPACE and it’s programs as a fun, safe place for families and people of all walks of life.

HICCUP Circus Instructors

Morgan Langham​ ran away from the circus when she was 16 years old! She was raised in Talkeetna, Alaska with 30 dogs and 3 brothers, in a cabin without running water or electricity. When she was five, her parents put her in their community circus perched high in a cloud-swing! She performed alongside her family in The Green Light Circus for years. She ran away to become a ceramicist, surfer, bicyclist, and paraglider. But luckily, for us, she has since fallen back in love with the circus, and now enjoys being a juggler, clown and musician; who moves and breathes for fun, excitement, beauty and oxygen!. Over the years she has performed with many circus troupes throughout the world. She started her own circus troupe in Alaska called the Roustabout Circus. As well as, co-directed The Green Light Circus in Alaska for 6 years. More recently she organized the 2019 New Old Time Chautauqua Tour ‘Be Mary’ in honor of her mother’s memory, Mary Langham, who shared the gift of circus with countless children and adults throughout Alaska for over 30 years. Morgan is the President of the non-profit Hawaii’s Volcano Circus. She is currently the acting executive director at SPACE, teaching for our local  HICCUP CIRCUS and HAAS school. Morgan is passionate about the collective empowerment of social circus.

Joe Hoffman encountered social circus for the first time in 1997 on the Big Island of Hawaii. He immediately fell in love with this way of being, playing and learning. He mentored under the founder and director of the HICCUP circus program, Graham Ellis, for many years, and has been involved with the program, off and on for the last 20 + years. He attended The Evergreen State College from 2001-2005 where he achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Performance Art, Education, and Language. He returned to the Big Island of Hawaii in 2005 to be a part of the circus community. He helped build the SPACE building where current programs are now being run by him and Morgan Moonshine Langham in order to enhance the community and serve, through a sense of play, the rural youth of lower Puna.

Board of Directors 

  • Morgan Langham
  • Cheryl Taylor
  • Henrik Bothe

History

  • HVC International Circus Arts Festival (1984 to 2003) – bringing hundreds of international professional circus arts performers to the Big Island of Hawaii to celebrate circus arts.
  • Puna Performing Arts Festival – HVC created the Puna Performing Arts Festival to stimulate community involvement and to offer circus arts education and improve self-esteem among youth in Hawaii’s Puna District.
  • Malama Ka Aina (2004) &  Malama I Ke Kai (2005) – Bringing together over 20 different community groups, HVC has coordinated music, acting, dance, acrobatics, juggling, clowning and circus classes at sites designated by participating community groups.
  • Seaview Performing Arts Center for Education (SPACE) (2007 to Present) – HVC currently manages a 3500sqft performing arts pavilion in Puna Makai.  the culmination of over 20 years of proactive community outreach programs, performances by Hawaii’s Volcano Circus (HVC), and its flagship education program HICCUP Circus.  SPACE is supported by members of title holding organization Village Green Society (VGS, or Belly Acres)
  • Seaview Community School (- Present) – An assisted home school program provided by an innovative local charter school, Hawaii Academy of Arts & Sciences (HAAS).
  • Le Chic (2008 to 2012) – A saucy annual variety show that began at SPACE but could not continue before we get the proper permitting to do public events there.  The show was held at Kalani Honua in 2012, but since then has been on hiatus.

Our founder, Graham Ellis, retired in 2015 after over 30 years of leadership and service to our community through H.I.C.C.U.P. and Hawaii’s Volcano Circus. We send Graham our deepest love and gratitude for all he has achieved in bringing this gift of Circus Arts to Puna Makai and beyond. Hundreds of children, statewide, have benefited from HICCUP programs over the years, and it is our intention to keep these programs going for another 30 years or more! Fortunately, Graham is still surrounded by talented youth, including his own family, and will remain a member of our Advisory Board to support us in moving forward.