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A Children’s Theatre Company American Premiere Production

World-famous Circus Abyssinia returns by popular demand! This extraordinary celebration of athleticism and the power of speed is inspired by Ethiopian runner Derartu Tulu, the first Black African woman to win Olympic gold.

Watch in awe as a dazzling spectacle of high-flying acrobatics, hand balancing, and juggling (sometimes with fire!) flashes before your eyes, backed by pulse-pounding beats of modern Ethio-pop! Experience the energy and spectacle of the Olympic games, packed with extraordinary circus acts, and be amazed as the world of triumph and virtuosity comes to dynamic life!

Co-created and produced by Mehari “Bibi” Tesfamariam
Co-created and directed by Binyam “Bichu” Shimellis
Choreography by Tamerat Ejeta and Binyam “Bichu” Shimellis

  • Run time

    90 minutes with one 20-minute intermission

  • Best enjoyed by

    All ages

  • Stage

    UnitedHealth Group Stage

  • Lap Passes

    Available for children 3 years and younger

CIrcus Resize

Three Things to Know About the Show


  1. Tulu tells the story of the first Black African woman to win Olympic gold, Ethiopian distance runner and Olympic legend, Derartu Tulu.
  2. Circus Abyssinia’s second creation, Tulu, is a family circus backed by the beats of 1970s Ethiopian funk and modern Ethio-pop, and packed with the exuberant joy of its cast.
  3. Dancing with flags and flames, invoking the iconic Olympic rings and showcasing Ethiopia’s diverse culture, the show emulates the mesmerizing and heart-racing thrills of the race that made Derartu a star.
Circus Abyssinia

“With our new show, Tulu, we’ll be pulling out all the stops to celebrate the story of Ethiopian icon and Olympic legend, Derartu Tulu, the first Black African woman to win Olympic gold. We can’t wait to perform with the wonderful audiences of Minneapolis again!”

– Creators Bibi and Bichu



2022 – 2023 Season

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Audience Resources

Audience photo by Dan Norman at Children's Theatre Company

Digital Program

Articles, conversation starters, and activities for both before and after you see the show!

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ASL-interpreted, audio-described, and sensory friendly performance are available on select dates.


Children's Theatre Company and Minneapolis Institute of Art building

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Children's Theatre Company and Minneapolis Institute of Art building

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Circus Abyssinia: Tulu

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