FOUNDERS & DIRECTORS…
Pedro Reis and Dolly Jacobs have combined their expertise and passion for the circus by creating Circus Sarasota. Their mission is to provide a circus that represents the circus arts at the highest level and that is linked to the community through performance, education and integrated arts programming. They have helped bring the magic of circus to more than 200,000 people.
Their goals include creating a permanent, professional circus school where students will be encouraged to achieve professionalism and excellence in the circus arts while embracing all performing arts.
Founder & CEO
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Pedro Reis began his circus training at the age of 12 at a local YMCA. He developed his skills on the flying trapeze and later helped develop the first circus school in South Africa.
Pedro has toured Europe and the USA extensively and is the winner of several circus competitions. He made his American debut with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1984. One of his proudest moments is becoming an American citizen.
Founder & Associate Director
One of the great American circus artists of all time, Dolly Jacobs started her career as an aerialist in 1976, at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, following in the footsteps of her father, clown Lou Jacobs. For nine seasons, Dolly thrilled audiences with the Roman Rings that made her the undisputed Queen of the Air.
In 1984 Dolly joined The Big Apple Circus, where she starred again in 1985, 1987 and 1988. She has also toured extensively throughout the world. In 1994 Dolly and Circus Sarasota Co-Founder, Pedro Reis, created and toured their aerial pas de deux, On Wings of Love.
Dolly Jacobs is one of the very few circus artists who has been invited twice to participate in the International Circus Festival of Monaco – each time winning the Dame du Cirque (Lady of the Circus) award and in 1988, the coveted Silver Clown award. In January 1997, Dolly was inducted into the Circus Ring of Fame at St. Armand’s Circle and in January 1998 the Ringling Circus Museum Hall of Fame.
Spurred on by the quotation, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” Pedro Reis, a twenty-five year veteran circus performer, and his wife, Dolly Jacobs, an acclaimed world-premier aerialist and daughter of the legendary clown Lou Jacobs, created Circus Sarasota. They combined their years of experience and passion for the art of Circus, drew on talent from around the globe and created a one-ring, five-star European-style circus with, frankly, few equals in all of North America. Circus Sarasota intersperses high drama and glamour with traditional circus acts to create a sophisticated and inspirational showcase of exciting family entertainment.