The Horse’s Mouth Traveling Circus performs in Silver tonight

Tanya Gagné rides a handmade aerial saddle that will be used in tonight’s show.
(Photo Courtesy of
Lauren Silberman)

In 2018, Tanya Gagné had a dream: convert an old horse trailer into a mobile circus, theater and soup kitchen, which she later named The Horse’s Mouth. After she shared her dream with her aunt and uncle, who happened to have an extra trailer at their farm, it was on the road to reality.
“My goal is to do all-ages, socially distanced shows for outdoor gatherings, small farms, community centers, dinner parties, nursing homes, women’s shelters, etc.,” Gagné said. “To bring joy, levity and soup. It is my dream to continue booking through the year, and get to come to your hometown” — wherever that might be.
Gagné’s dream makes a stop in Silver City today, with a performance at Jamie Thomson’s farm located at the Old Chinese Gardens just south of downtown. To find the site by car, drive to the very end of Mobile Drive off of Ridge Road, where signs will lead you right to it.
The all-ages show is free, and will start at 5 pm It’s an outdoor event, so you might want to bring a chair.
“I imagine it will go until 10 pm or so — I think people are going to want to socialize,” Thomson said. “The performance is only about an hour long, but I imagine people are going to want to hang around and talk.”
Gagné has been doing circus for over 25 years, with this being her newest venture. She first drove her horse-trailer-turned-theater all the way across the US in 2018, ending up in Washington state, where she met two of the performers who are on the current Southwest tour with her.
“I drove the project down to California, and now we’re doing a little tour of the Southwest, because I love the Southwest,” she said. “We thought it’d be a nice little trip, not too far away from home. But two of the performers did come all the way down from Bellingham, Washington, to do the project. We’ve all been working together for about three or four years now on different mobile circus projects.”
This evening’s show will feature an ensemble of aerialists, musicians, acrobats, clowns and illusionists. Joining Gagné are internationally acclaimed circus superstars Matthew Poki McCorkle and Sadye Osterloh.
“We have three performers total, and we do everything,” Gagné said. “We do the setup, we run our own tech, we are all-in stagehands, we are running our own sound cues, making the soup and breaking down the show. Just the three of us do it all — it’s a pretty ambitious little project.”
The circus will feature some performances familiar to those who’ve attended “big top” type shows, along with some more unusual fare.
The audience “can expect to laugh and be amazed. There’s going to be mind-blowing magic, and we have an aerial rig that we set up in front of the horse trailer stage,” Gagné said. “There’s going to be mesmerizing music and sweet serenades. We will have acrobatic ‘ponies’ that are really people — we don’t use any live animals at our show. People will be hanging off of their hair and off of each other. There’s all kinds of shenanigans.”
The intention behind the project is to bring joy to communities around America, and to places where audiences might otherwise not get to see this type of show. Gagné said her initial dream was to go to places that were out of the way, showing up just about anywhere to perform.
Her mobile theater “can serve community centers, dinner parties and nursing homes,” Gagné said. “I feel like I want it to be multi-use, and be able to reach as many people as we can.”
Food will also be offered at tonight’s show. Thomson is setting up a wood-fired pizza oven, and Gagné will have soup ready for those interested. This is one of the first events since Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham lifted the state mask mandate, so Thomson said he’s not sure how many people to expect.
“I don’t think it’ll be that many — but everyone is kind of crazy because of COVID, so it might be a lot of people,” Thomson said. “All these people that are, to me, pretty introspective are saying that they are dying to get out and go to this thing.”
Although tonight’s performance and food are free of charge, Gagné and The Horse’s Mouth Circus are supported by donations and an online Patreon fund. Follow her on Instagram: @thehorses_mouth and @tbirdgagne.
Jordan Archunde may be reached at [email protected] press.com.

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