Comedy for a cause

Duo to juggle, mime, clown around at NEYT to raise money for Haitian orphanage

BRATTLEBORO — On Friday, Aug. 23, at 6:30 p.m., there will be a family event at New England Youth Theatre on Flat Street in Brattleboro.

Two performing artists, Chris “Hoopoe” Yerlig and Henry the Juggler, will juggle, mime, clown around, and even perform magic, to help support the Foyer Evangelique Orphanage, a small orphanage near Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The duo last performed together in 2009 on a tour of the Dominican Republic as part of a campaign to build a school for deaf children.

Yerlig blends silent comedy, movement and illusion with audience participation to create a unique and imaginative show where the unexpected is to be expected.

He began performing mime on the streets of Europe and since then the universal language of his show has taken him to 20 countries. In the United States, he has worked with Enchanted Circle Theater, the Revels, and Northern Stage.

Henry the Juggler (a.k.a., Henry Lappen) delights audiences everywhere with his zany attempts to defy the laws of gravity. He balances strange items on the tip of his nose and juggles any number of balls, clubs, rings, and innocent bystanders.

He has been performing for more than 30 years, studied physical comedy at California's Dell'Arte School, and is an active member of the International Jugglers' Association. He has performed in Spain, Israel, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

This performance benefits Foyer Evangelique Orphanage, located in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, just northeast of Port-au-Prince. Within days of the devastating 2010 earthquake, the Foyer's child population increased more than six-fold, from six to 39 children, all from vulnerable circumstances and all already familiar with hardship.

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