Helen Donnelly is an actor, instructor and theatrical, therapeutic and circus clown. In the past, she was a professional performance storyteller and appeared in over 300 schools and libraries, and as an actor toured various childrenâ€™s shows in Ontario. She has been teaching clown and movement workshops in the US and Canada for over 6 years at high schools, colleges and art institutions.
Helen is a graduate from the University of Toronto with an Honours B.A., Specialist in Drama. Helen has studied clown with David Shiner (Cirque du Soleil, Fool Moon), Roch Jutras (Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Eloize), John Turner and Mike Kennard (of Mump and Smoot fame), Grindl Kuchirka and Theatre Smith-Gilmour. She continues her study of the art form.
She has worked with circus groups such as Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Sublime, Cirque Eos, Zero Gravity Circus and continues her work with Circus Orange. Aside from her work in the theatrical clown realm, she is a professional therapeutic clown offering friendship and therapeutic play at Bloorview Kids Rehab and worked at The Hospital for Sick Children for 2 years. She is a member of The Canadian Association of Therapeutic Clowns.
In 2005, Helen formed her own theatrical clown company, Foo Productions. This company seeks to produce quality theatrical clown shows which entertain through parodying existing art forms. Its other mandate is to expose clown to a more multicultural audience as the language used presents no barrier. Poseyâ€™s Wig is a theatrical clown musical, performed entirely in gibberish (an invented language) with original music. The Foo Talk Show,created primarily for the corporate world, parodies the talk show formula as Foo the host interviews in gibberish with the guests responding in English. The format showcases Fooâ€™s unique interview style and a musical sidekick (James Fisher), with original music.
Helen also teaches a number of workshops, including “Discover Your Clown” for beginners and “Flexing Your Clown Muscle” for intermediate students. These are offered a few times a year. Her website has a downloadable list of upcoming workshops.
To find out more about Helen’s work, visit her website listed below: