A Montreal-based circus group will perform in two magnificent historic spaces in Troy this month. On Feb. 7, F.A.Q. Circus will perform three free 20-minute preview shows in the Frear's Troy Cash Bazaar atrium and three 55-minute ticketed shows on Feb 20 & 21 in the Troy Gas Light Company gasholder.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Aaron Marquise,

Montreal Circus Enlivens Two Historic Troy Spaces

FAQ Circus Performs Feb. 7 at Frear Atrium, Feb. 20 & 21 at Gasholder Building

TROY/MONTREAL (2/2/15) — A Montreal-based circus group will perform in two magnificent historic spaces in Troy this month.

F.A.Q. Circus. Photo by Renald Laurin
(Photo by RenaldLaurin)

This Saturday, Feb. 7, F.A.Q. Circus will perform three free 20-minute preview shows in the Frear’s Troy Cash Bazaar atrium and three 55-minute ticketed shows on Friday Feb. 20 & Saturday Feb. 21 in the Troy Gas Light Company gasholder.

“Troy has a synergy unlike anywhere else in upstate New York,” said Aaron M. Marquise, 23, artistic director of F.A.Q. “I believe there is audience support in Troy for this style of entertainment.”

Founded in 2012, F.A.Q. Circus is a collective of contemporary circus performers who push the boundaries of what Americans typically think of as a circus. The company does not use animals or feature large bright colored costumes. Instead, their focus is on the incredible capabilities of the human body demonstrated through contortion, gymnastics and juggling. The venues, too, are smaller and more intimate than the typical American arena productions where large-scale circus normally occurs.

“So many other countries throughout the world have an incredibly rich circus culture and respect for the art. The United States is just beginning to discover modern circus,” said Marquise, a finishing student at The National Circus School in Montreal. “We are bringing what we have learned from studying circus arts abroad back to our home country.”

For Marquise, the effort to bring contemporary circus to Troy is personal. From age 8 to 18, Marquise studied at The New York State Theater Institute including his entire 2008-2009 senior year.

F.A.Q. Circus made their Troy debut in the summer of 2013 when they performed at Theatre Institute at Sage, with another performance there in 2014. In October, F.A.Q. Circus returned to the Collar City for its first performance in the Troy Gas Light Company gasholder building during a Breast Cancer Awareness Month benefit called “Light up Troy.” That show marked Marquise’s first time as director/producer.

F.A.Q. Circus performs in Troy Gasholder Oct. 2014. Photo by Douglas C. Liebig
(Photo by Douglas Liebig, Optimum Exposure Photography)

This month, the circus collective returns to the gasholder with a 55-minute show, titled “Running,” produced by F.A.Q and Sage Brothers Painting Co. Inc. and co-sponsored by Circus Theatricks. Directed and created by Marquise, “Running” explores what it means to leave behind the familiar and explore the unknown.

“This show is about running from the mundane to explore the unknown, to leave the familiar—running toward an alternative reality, free to forge a new identity,” Marquise said. “Our performers will help the audience imagine starting a new life.”

Contemporary costumes will resemble what one would need to wear if running away — not too tight, not too loose, Marquise said. The show will feature hoop diving, acrobatics, juggling, hula hoops and a clown. One performer will manipulate her body using a “German Wheel,” fashioned from two giant metal hula hoops. Another act includes an acrobatic ladder.

The emphasis in “Running” will be on ground acts, because the gasholder building is not outfitted for trapeze rigging at the moment.


Troy Gasholder Before Oct. 2014 F.A.Q. Circus Event Built in 1873, the Troy Gas Light Company Gasholder building is one of only a handful of such structures remaining in the U.S. The imposing circular brick building once housed a telescoping iron storage tank for coal gas. The tank has been removed, creating a cavernous space and dirt floor beneath the tin roof. The result, Marquise said, is that the building now resembles something very much like the circus buildings he observed while performing in France.

“When I saw that building my jaw dropped and said ‘I have to see inside,'” Marquise said. “When I saw inside, it confirmed my belief that it is a circus building. It continues to inspire me.”

Though it never actually was a circus building, the gasholder was owned and used for storage by the “OC Buck Shows,” a mid-century traveling circus in the region. A sign for the OC Buck Shows hangs above the office of Bill Sage, whose Sage Brothers Painting Company purchased the gasholder from OC Buck in 1969 and uses it to store lifts and other equipment.

“We do the best we can to keep up this building. We know it’s one-of-a-kind,” Sage said. “Most everybody who walks in there says ‘wow,’ ‘awesome’… words to that effect. I’m still impressed by it.”

Over the past 45 years, the company has allowed the space to be used for special dance and music performances as a way to give back to the community. Sage’s son Kevin Sage is helping Marquise with the logistics of setting up the space, rigging, etc. and plays a big part behind the scenes.

“Everybody should take the opportunity to see and experience this building,” said Michael Barrett, executive director of the Mohawk Hudson Industrial Gateway. “This type of building is becoming endangered in America, and Troy is very lucky to have one in good condition.”

Troy Gasholder Tin Roof From Inside (Gasholder circus photos by Douglas Liebig, Optimum Exposure Photography)


The F.A.Q. Circus free preview performances on Feb. 7 will also occur in an equally impressive space that few get the chance to glimpse, the atrium of Frear’s Troy Cash Bazaar. The spectacular open space dates to 1897, and features a double marble stairway with ornate cast iron railings, all beneath a huge glass skylight. The building is currently owned by Bryce Properties.

The performances will occur during the Troy Winter Farmers Market, which is held in the adjacent Uncle Sam Atrium. Market shoppers are encouraged to catch the shows. The Frear atrium is accessible via the second level of the Uncle Sam Atrium.


F.A.Q. Circus Preview
Feb. 7 at 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1 p.m.
Duration: 20 min.
Frear’s Troy Cash Bazaar Atrium
Corner Fulton and Third Street
(Enter via Uncle Sam Atrium 2nd Level)

Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m.,
Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Duration: 55 min.
Troy Gas Light Company gasholder
1115 5th Avenue, Troy NY
Tickets: Adults $15, Students $10
Purchase at the door or online at:

* NOTE: This is a standing event. However, if you require or prefer seating, please bring foldable seating and aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before the show starts. “Running” is performed inside a minimally heated historic venue. It is STRONGLY advised that attendees dress in warm winter clothes. (i.e. hats, scarves, gloves, large jackets, long-johns, etc.).


For High Resolution publicity images of F.A.Q. Circus and of their Oct. “Light up Troy” performance in the gasholder, visit

F.A.Q. Circus. Photo by Roland Lorente


For information, email or visit: or


Aaron Marquise,