14 Dec History has been made! Kristen Michelle Wilson joins Circus XTREME as Ringling Bros. first-ever female Ringmaster!
Feld Entertainment is thrilled to announce that performer Kristen Michelle Wilson will be joining the cast of Ringling Bros. Presents Circus XTREME® as Ringmaster, making her the first-ever female to hold the legendary position in Ringling Bros.’ 146 year history.
Females have always held important roles as performers throughout the last century and a half, and Kristen will continue the tradition, transforming and further modernizing The Greatest Show On Earth, all while bringing a fresh, vibrant voice to the experience.
“We constantly travel the globe looking for the best and brightest talent,” said Alana Feld, Executive Vice President of Feld Entertainment and Producer of Ringling Bros. “Kristen Michelle Wilson wowed us with her powerful voice and charismatic personality. We knew immediately that she would be able to connect with the audience and bring them along on the Circus XTREME adventure.”
As a young woman with a diverse background, Wilson will serve as a role model, inspiring and empowering children everywhere to follow their dreams.
The Circus Epiphany
How many of us dreamed of running away with the circus when we were kids? For Kristen Michelle Wilson, the calling came in late 2013 in a darkened Broadway theater during a performance of the celebrated, Tony-winning revival of Pippin. As she watched the show, which features a troupe of performers led by the aforementioned title character as ringmaster, Kristen was transfixed.
“I literally sat there pinned to my seat, unable to move with tears rolling down my face,” said Kristen. “Immediately I heard my calling. It was an epiphany, no joke! Right then and there I knew that I was destined to become a Ringmaster.”
She pursued her circus obsession with a lead role as a singer and master of ceremonies in The Cirque Magique. “The role was an incredible experience, and really gave me a taste of the circus,” explains Wilson. “Bringing joy to the faces of kids and adults, I realized that the sense of wonderment is ageless — and I wanted to be able to do that every night for audiences across the country.”
A Ringmaster is Born
When you meet Kristen Michelle Wilson, whether on stage or in person, you’re immediately drawn to her personality. She has that rare combination of a warm, embracing performer mixed with dynamic stage presence and powerhouse voice. And like Pippin, her ability to take you along on a performance shows she has the makings of one amazing Ringmaster.
In short: she was born to do this.
So when the opportunity came up over the summer when Ringling Bros. announced a worldwide search for a new Ringmaster, Kristen knew it was the role of a lifetime. The casting call she had been waiting for. Needless to say, she auditioned; impressing a team of talent scouts in the process.
A dream come true
In the end, Kristen beat out hundreds of candidates to earn the prestigious role. And when she takes the ring during her premiere performance on January 12, Kristen will be the 39th ringmaster in Ringling Bros. history and will star in Circus XTREME alongside artists who redefine the word “extreme” in everything they do by combining never-before-seen spectacles with original, fast-paced performances.
“Never, ever give up on your dreams,” said Kristen. “My entire life, all I’ve ever wanted to do is perform and make people smile in the process. To be the ringmaster of The Greatest Show On Earth is a bucket list role.”
Her premiere performance will be at the Amway Center in her hometown of Orlando, Florida, followed by a national tour including stops in Jacksonville and Tampa, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Greenville, South Carolina; and Greensboro, North Carolina.
WATCH NOW: Kristen shares her thoughts on what it means to be joining the Circus XTREME family and her thoughts on being Ringling Bros.’ first female Ringmaster!