After nearly forty years in business, the Big Apple Circus' tent is coming down.

Last week, the nationally renowned circus put its assets up for auction. That news came alongside the announcement that later this year, competitor Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will hold its final performance.

The Big Apple Circus was well-loved in Boston, the city where it toured the most outside its home base of New York City. Big Apple Circus' executive director Will Maitland Weiss spoke with WGBH All Things Considered about why the circus is shutting down, and what the its end means for the future of circuses.