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"The Circus That Ran Away with a Jesuit Priest" Reading
Monday, September 10, 2012 - 5:30pm to Monday, September 10, 2012 - 6:30pm

What: Reading by Royal Lichtenstein Quarter-Ring Sidewalk Circus founder and former Jesuit priest Nick Weber, from his recently published memoir, The Circus That Ran Away with a Jesuit Priest 

When: Monday September 10, 5:30 pm 

Where: Lincoln Hall Room 121, on the Portland State University campus, 1620 SW Park (with main wheelchair- accessible entrance on Broadway at Market St.) 

Cost: Admission is free and open to the public 

Books: Copies of the memoir will be available for sale; all proceeds from book sales and any contributions go to the author 

Contact: For more information on the book and presentation contact nickweber72@gmail.com; for information about the home reading and other local signings call (971) 221-4716 

Press Contacts: Nick Weber, 1831 N. Cambridge Av. #1006, Milwaukee, WI 53202, (414) 339-4423; Sam Lowry, 4210 NE 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97211, (971) 221-4716 

Background

From 1971 to 1993, the World’s Smallest Complete Circus toured the US in its little caravan of trailers and station wagons. Beloved in Portland, a city that helped its early launch, Nick Weber’s Royal Lichtenstein Quarter-Ring Sidewalk Circus always stopped at Portland State University, the University of Portland, Reed College, Lewis and Clark College, the old downtown Meier and Frank department store (now Macy’s), or the Valley Catholic Academy in Beaverton. 

In its ‘70s heyday the brilliant little amalgam of street theatre, mime, juggling, acrobatics, animals, social commentary, and charm – “alternative circus before there was alternative circus” – was featured in Time magazine, its founder on the TV show What’s My Line

As some audiences knew, some not, while the Royal Lichtenstein rarely mentioned religion it was nevertheless a project of the California Province of the Order of St. Ignatius Loyola. Nick Weber was a Jesuit Priest, living out his calling, pursuing the Jesuit motif “Finding God in All Things.” 

On September 10 at 5:30 pm, Weber will read from his newly published memoir, The Circus That Ran Away with a Jesuit Priest, at Portland State University.                                

The Circus That Ran Away With a Jesuit Priest recounts the show’s creation and wild years, and Weber’s spiritual path to the priesthood and the road. The tale mines dimensions of history, theater, circus, sanctuary, ‘50s youth, and spiritual grappling. 

Says one reviewer of the show and the book, “Deft delivery rendered the subtle merge of play, politics, pulpit and prayer inescapable. You’ll find that power and much more here in Nick’s backstory which moves with the enchantment of a circus bandwagon and delivers more surprises than a year of punch lines.”  

Weber’s youthful love of circus and religion launch the story, followed by 13 years of Jesuit discipline leading to his 1970 ordination. In consultation with his superiors, Weber developed the concept for a circus ministry and in 1971 became the show’s comic ringmaster as his official Jesuit ministry. Over the next 22 years, 100 different young performers logged 130,000 miles and performed 4000 shows for audiences of every age and background. 

Now a retired layman, Nick Weber studied at Santa Clara University, Gonzaga University, and San Francisco State University earning master’s degrees in theology and drama. Besides the circus, he toured several one-man shows and most recently taught theater arts at Milwaukee’s Divine Savior Holy Angels high school.  

The September 10 event is free and open to the public. Nick’s presentation will include readings from the book and demonstration of routines from the show. Questions and discussion will be welcome.  

Copies will be available for purchase and signing, but may also be ordered at all fine bookstores (paperback, Dog Ear Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4570, $18). For more information on the book and presentation contact nickweber72@gmail.com; for information about the reading and other local signings call (971) 221-4716.