Gilkey- Pitt- Donlon – 2 performances in San Francisco in July.

Any one of these guys would be a treat to see. All three is just the icing on the cake on the ice cream. If you are in the San Francisco area, don’t miss it!

The FLYING ACTOR STUDIO is an international center that celebrates the imagination and invites a profound journey into the very heart of life.

In Spring 2008, James Donlon, after a 40 year international teaching and performance career, was inspired to create a physical theater school in San Francisco, building on the rich history of clowning, mime, and circus that had flourished in the city for decades. Donlon invited fellow master teacher Leonard Pitt to share this vision, and together in 2009 they founded the FLYING ACTOR STUDIO, one of the few centers in North America where one can study physical theater. In the ’70’s both Donlon and Pitt operated nationally known movement theater schools in San Francisco and Berkeley, as part of a vanguard of artists that included Robert Shields, Geoff Hoyle, Bill Irwin, and The Pickle Family Circus. Now Donlon and Pitt continue.


To celebrate, master performers John Gilkey, Leonard Pitt, and James Donlon will perform a gala kickoff piece called

‘The Zany and the Surreal’

Two performances only July 18, 5pm & July 19, 3 pm at the EXIT Theatre in San Francisco.

The Show

Gilkey, Pitt and Donlon bring their individual “greatest hits” to the main stage of the EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy St., San Francisco for two performances only, July 18, 5pm, and July 19, 3 pm.

The Saturday (July 18th) show is followed by an 8pm to 11pm Gala at the new Flying Actor Studio, 40 First St. between Market and Mission, celebrating the launch of their new school dedicated to physical theatre and movement for actors.


John Gilkey has played a lead role in three Cirque Du Soleil productions; Quidam, Dralion and Varekai – more than any other performer. For each of these shows he developed and performed totally original characters and routines. With Cirque Du Soleil alone John has performed live for more than three million people. He also directed and performed in the clown troupe in Franco Dragone’s spectacular water show, Le Reve, in Las Vegas. Additionally, John has performed internationally for more than twenty-nine years in circus, variety, comedy clubs, theater and television. John Gilkey’s innovative routine with a coat rack is widely recognized as a landmark juggling act of the contemporary circus movement. WEBSITE:

James Donlon has been a celebrated international performer and master teacher of Physical Theatre for 40 years, presenting his original works throughout North America, Europe, and Latin America to critical acclaim. James is the only physical theater artist ever invited to perform with legendary San Francisco street mime Robert Shields of CBS’ The Shields & Yarnell Show. He is the first American clown to perform in the famed Teatro Dimitri of Switzerland. James has created award-winning ensemble works for James Donlon & Company touring nationwide and in Mexico, and also directed productions in Ireland and the Czech Republic. He has been on the faculties of acting schools such as The American Conservatory Theater, The North Carolina School of the Arts, The National Theatre Conservatory-Denver Center, The Yale School of Drama, UCSB, and UCSD, and has presented residencies with special institutions like El Teatro Campesino, Mexico City ‘s Bellas Artes, Prague’s national Academy of Performing Arts (AMU), Dublin’s Gaiety School of Acting, and Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus Clown College where he taught Tony Award-winner Bill Irwin. He has been a film movement coach for Oscar-winners Javier Bardem, Kathy Bates, and Frances McDormand, as well as Benjamin Bratt and David Strathairn. To find out more about James Donlon’s work, visit

Leonard Pitt has been performing and teaching for over forty years. In 1963 he traveled to Paris to study mime with Etienne Decroux, later becoming his assistant for two years. In 1970 he opened a school of physical theatre in Berkeley CA, attracting students from around the world. He has studied mask theater and carving in Bali and performed with the Balinese in their villages and temple festivals. He has presented his work internationally including England, Spain, Holland, Russia, New Zealand, Brazil, and Australia. He was a founding member of George Coates Performance Works, has received Chicago’s Actor of the Year Award for his solo work, and was movement consultant for Jurassic Park and motion-capture specialist for the films Dragonheart and Three Wishes. In 1986 Leonard co-founded Life On The Water, a contemporary performance space at Fort Mason, San Francisco. He has written several books, one of which, Walks Through Lost Paris, has become a bestseller in France. The Leonard Pitt Website:

To purchase tickets to the show, visit

To find out more about the school, visit the website

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