His first experience as an actor and clown came in the second grade when he produced the play, “Noah’s Ark” complete with a large refrigerator-box ark and spray-bottle rain. The production came to a hilarious and catastrophic end when a small riot broke out among the animals due to overcrowding in the ark. The result was a badly broken cardboard ark and considerable over-acting by the spray bottle crew.
In 1976 Jim joined the Royal Lichtenstein Circus and for five years he traveled throughout the U.S. and other countries performing as a juggler and acrobat in small tent circuses. In 1981 a bad fall from the high wire left Jim unable to perform for six months. After his recovery, he created original one-man productions for the theater using his experience as a mime and clown. These shows have won him international recognition.
He has a number of performances and shows available, including Art Guffaw, the story of an employment challenged housepainter who is afraid of color and cannot draw a straight line. Somehow, he finds himself in a mysterious artist’s studio where the easel speaks, the portraits come alive, and the “still-lifes” dance. Other shows available include a clown mystery The Missing Nose, a one clown circus The Firehouse Circus, a two person Circus Waiter show called Cirkoo, performed with his wife (a director and performer in her own right) Birgitta De Pree.
In 2001 Jim and Birgitta founded a theatre, the Manitou Arts Theatre. There they present a number of shows, and tour shows to the local community. Some of those shows include: a puppet and real life production of Alice in Wonderland; a trio of original plays about Jim growing up in Colorado: Stick Guns, Royal Buckskin, and Hut!; and guest performer’s shows.
These are just a few of the shows that they’ve put together. To find out more about Jim’s work or the Manitou Arts Theatre, visit the M.A.T. website listed below:
M.A.T. website: http://www.themat.org
Shows: Shows Available for touring