Big Apple Circus, which recently traveled to Washington, D.C., isn’t your typical show. It’s led by ringmaster Stephanie Monseu, who’s only the fourth woman to lead it in its 41-season run. Monseu heads up a roster of women-led acts, including acrobat Virginia Tuells — the “strongest mom in the world” — and third-generation circus animal trainer Jenny Vidbel.

Photographer Kate Warren spent a night at Big Apple Circus in Washington, D.C. Here’s what she saw.

Stephanie Monseu, above, has been an entertainer for over 25 years, starting her own circus before joining the Big Apple Circus this season as the show’s fourth female ringmaster.

Virginia Tuells, above, was raised in Argentina and became a circus performer at the age of 18. Known as “the strongest mom in the world,” she makes up half of Duo Fusion with her husband, Ihosvanys Perez.

Ekaterina Abakarova.
Ekaterina Abakarova.

Marina Therese Crest, above, began training for the circus in France when she was 7 years old, specializing in trapeze.

Jenny Vidbel, above, is a third-generation circus animal trainer and seven-year veteran of Big Apple Circus. She runs her own animal sanctuary in Upstate New York.

Virginia Tuells.
Virginia Tuells.
Stephanie Monseu.
Stephanie Monseu.
Virginia Tuells and Ihosvanys Perez.
Virginia Tuells and Ihosvanys Perez.
Jenny Vidbel.
Jenny Vidbel.
Ekaterina Abakarova.
Ekaterina Abakarova.
Ekaterina Abakarova and Valeriy Sychev.
Ekaterina Abakarova and Valeriy Sychev.
Virginia Tuells.
Virginia Tuells.

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