NY Clown Theater Festival 2012 at the Brick (Sept 9-30, Brooklyn NY)

NY Clown Theatre Festival 2012The NY Clown Theater Festival 2012  starts in just a few days, and features loads of great shows.  (I’ve already featured my show and the workshops that are taking place, but there’s lots of other great stuff, including an opening pie fight, a closing funeral procession (made a little bit more real by the death of one of the prospective performers of this year, Vince Tortorici, a blow that will continue to resonate for years to come to all that knew him or had seen him work.)

There’s also workshops, lectures, cabarets, and aa really exciting film project called Portmanteau, where festival performers contribute small 2-3 films that as a whole make up a larger film.  I’m really excited to see that!

With performers coming from Mexico, Finland, Wales, Russia, California, Washington DC and of course NYC (among other places), there’s some amazing talent going to be on display.

All of the shows take place at the Brick Theater, 579 Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn.  Tickets are $15 each, or you can buy a 5 show pass for $60, making the shows you see $12.


Here’s a list of this year’s performers. For more information, visit the Brick website.


Please note, I’ll be blogging about the shows I see, as I’ve been doing in the past, even though my show is one of the shows of the festival.   (Naturally, I won’t be reviewing my own show, other than to biasedly state that you should see it!)  The festival will be providing me free tickets to the shows, but my opinions will remain my own.

Free Festival Events

photos: NYC-Man

Opening Parade, Pie Fight & Free Cabaret!!

September 7, 2012

Free fun for the whole family!

Put on your finest stripes and polka-dots and join us for the opening day parade! We’ll march, unicycle, juggle, roller boogie, and pratfall around Union Square. Then we’ll turn the L train into the ultimate clown car, and pop back out at the Bedford stop for general communing with the Williamsburg hipsterati. We’ll continue the ruckus down Bedford Avenue, stopping for photo ops at McCarren Park Running Track and outdoor gym where clowns will train for the 2012 Clown Olympics. After training, the parade will conclude at The Brick, home of the festival, where a massive public pie fight will ensue.

Meet at Union Square in Manhattan at 5:30pm.

After the Pie Fight, grab a quick bite in the neighborhood and return at 10pm for a FREE FESTIVAL PREVIEW CABARET! Line up early as seats will fill up!



Click here for a short video from Time Out New York of 2010’s parade and pie fight!


Friday September 7th @ 5:30pm



Clown Procession, Funeral & Memorial Service

September 30, 2012

Join The Clown Funeral March of The NY Clown Theatre Festival 2012 as it winds through the streets of Williamsburg with morbid buffoonery, audience participation, and the choral singing of sacred hymns. As clown mourners follow the casket to its final destination at The Brick, the bereaved are likely to cry out in anguish to unsuspecting passersby, wail hysterically on the hoods of parked cars, and periodically trip over the coffin. At the funeral rite following, clown widows and widowers will remember with great passion the achievements of the festival in its 4 short weeks of life. Be sure to stay after the funeral rite for the traditional Closing Night Party. He would have wanted it so.

Procession begins at Bedford Ave. and North 7th Street (Bedford stop of the L Train)

September 30th @ 6pm


Mainstage Shows

photo: Bill Wadman

Buffoon Anonymous: 12 Steps to Inanity

Acme Clown Company

September 9, 2012

Creator/performer: Adam G. Gertsacov

Yonkers, NY


Buffoon Anonymous: 12 Steps to Inanity is a fictional autobiographical story about a clown who needs to quit—and can’t. Through trial and tribulation, the clown wages an unsuccessful war on his own stupidity as he strives to find a cure for . . . well, himself. Buffoon Anonymous contains classic clown routines, addictive behavior, a circus ring, an obligatory avante-garde dance piece, the ACME DECLOWNIFIER, and mediocre juggling. Performed and created by Adam Gertsacov, who is perhaps best known for his Acme Miniature Flea Circus.

“Full of silly sight gags, extended silences, galloping slapstick, and shameless borrowings from Road Runner cartoons. . . . Quickly wins over the audience.”—Providence Phoenix

“Gertsacov holds the audience (and the performers) in the palm of his hand.”—Los Angeles Times

60 minutes

Sunday September 9th @ 7pm




photo: Carlton Mickle

Dante—The Magical Mysterious Man in Plaid

September 23 – 28, 2012

Creator/writer: Sean Dawson
Performers: Sean Dawson, Tanya Solomon
Director: Sean Dawson
Musician: Tanya Solomon

New Orleans, LA


Follow the Magical Mysterious Man in Plaid down the rabbit hole as he ponders the benefits of a low cholesterol diet. Then thank your little lucky stars he only uses his powers for good!

“Very funny and astonishing… approaches perfection”—David Cuthbert, Times-Picayune

“Dante has a fun and campy sense of comedy…and he can do some amazing things”—Katie Kidder, Where Y’At Magazine

25 minutes

Sunday September 23rd @ 8:30pm (Dante/Members of Our Limbs)
Thursday September 27th @ 8:30pm (Dante/You Are Here)
Friday September 28th @ 7pm (Dante/You Are Here)

$15 (on a split bill with Members of Our Limbs on 9/23 and with You Are Here on 9/27 & 9/28)


photo: Chris Zedano

Deadpan Alley

September 15 – 29, 2012

Creator/Performer: Will Shaw

New York, NY


In Deadpan Alley, Will Shaw uses his skills as a juggler and musician to explore the big questions such as: Huh? . . . and: What the . . . ? Also featured will be random discourse as well as periodic non sequitur. Persons with a history of sensitivity to quandary or predicament should consult a doctor before attending this performance.

“Jon [Stewart] definitely loved [Shaw]. He said it a couple of times, and specifically praised [his] comic timing.”—Tim Greenberg, The Daily Show producer

“This is a world class performer whose mastery and innovation is rare.”—Performing Arts Insider

55 minutes

Saturday September 15th @ 8.30pm
Saturday September 29th @ 5:30pm



photo: Izolda Trakhtenberg

Delusions of Grandeur

Clown Cabaret

September 25 – 26, 2012

Creators/Writers/Performers: Rich Potter, Matthew Pauli, Karen Beriss

Washington, DC


www.clowncabaret.com/delusionsThis brainchild of the three producers of Washington DC’s Clown Cabaret is a new narrative about reaching for the stars and spectacular failure. A classically-trained actor, a pompous clown, and a reluctant emcee try to create epic theater. The show devolves into Shakespeare, pies, and laughter. As the action progresses, so do mayhem and absurdity.

The thin line between success and failure is explored as homage is paid to Vaudeville, Shakespeare, Film Noir, and French Surrealism. This show explores the past, present, and future of the Clown.

Matthew Pauli, Karen Beriss and Rich Potter formed Clown Cabaret in 2010 as a laboratory for physical comedy in the nation’s capital, and this is the first full-length work to emerge.

“High octane slapstick! A seriously funny farce that would be a shame to miss!”—DCTheater Scene

“Very, very funny.”—Washington City Paper

“Delicious send-ups of Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet!” —Greenbelt Patch

Tuesday September 25th @ 7pm
Wednesday September 26th @ 8:30pm



photo: Ellen Webber

The Dingbat Show

September 19 – 22, 2012

Creators/Writers: The Dingbat Show
Performers: Matthew Morgan, Tina Groff, Guilford Adams, Brandon Breault
Director: Matthew Morgan

Los Angeles, CA


The Dingbat Show is a surreal performance experience filled with juggling, acrobatics, family dysfunction, and boobies. Featuring clowns from Ringling Bros. Circus and New York’s acclaimed comedy trio Happy Hour, this “slapstickin’, ass-kickin’” (LA Weekly) show is for adults only. Two brothers, a sister, and an uncle present classic clown material with a twist. Bring your mother; ours will be there!

“laugh your pants off funny . . . a rock and roll circus”—Lena Lecaro, LA Weekly

60 minutes

Wednesday September 19th @ 8:30pm
Friday September 21st @ 10pm
Saturday September 22nd @ 10pm



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photo: Pirkko

Don’t run, RUSH!

September 15 – 20, 2012

Creator/writer: Mona Ray (Ratalahti)
Performer: Mona Ray
Director: Lilli Sukula-Lindblom
Music: Sami Sippola

Tampere, Finland



This absurdly fascinating comedy comes straight from Finland, known for its wintery darkness and summery light, where people neither talk, kiss, nor laugh out loud. The bold and hot-blooded Mona Ray conjures up therapeutic as well as hysterical and infectious laughter. Don’t run, RUSH! features four different pictures of reality in its most absurd forms. A one-woman show where the viewer is never safe. The feeling of danger brings that extra spice to this comedy act where the recipient gives and all is taken.

In this presentation, believe it or not, the audience really wants to participate! Come along and experience Mona’s incredible characters!

Video: http://www.monakomedia.fi/videot/ready_for_the_weddings.wmv

“The show was well composed and directed, I just loved it. Mona Ray captivated the audience by a relaxed atmosphere. She made them laugh true, therapeutic laughter. … Comics often ask helpers among the audience; however Mona picked them up as a dictator. She made them feel so safe that the spectators just hoped to be selected.”—Avner Eisenberg, celebrated comic and one of the world’s leading teachers in physical comedy.

45 minutes

Saturday September, 15th @ 7pm
Sunday September 16th @ 5:30pm
Thursday September 20th @ 8:30pm



photo: Marc-Julien Objois and Matt Schuurman

Fools for Love

September 8 – 10, 2012

Creators/writers: Small Matters Productions
Performers: Christine Lesiak (Sheshells) & Adam Keefe (Rocket)
Director: Jan Henderson, assisted by Anna Bado
Sound design: Adam Keefe & the company

Edmonton, Canada


Rocket & Sheshells are neighbors and confidantes as they each search for the perfect romantic partner. But one adrenaline-pumped night, the best friends discover they may have been overlooking what’s right under their noses. With only two chairs and a handful of props, Rocket and Sheshells take you on a hilarious roller-coaster ride of imagination, while they plummet straight into your heart.

A hit of the 2012 Toronto Clown Theatre Festival (“stellar duo…virtuosic”), directed by Canadian clowning legend Jan Henderson.

2012 Best of the Fest Manitoba Fringe Festival

“A treat of hilarity and whimsy. Jan Henderson and company have created a lesson in imagination with the stellar duo of Lesiak and Keefe. This is what good clowning is all about—virtuosic, full of heart, and funny.”—Adam Lazarus, Artistic Director, Toronto Festival of Clowns

Press quotes for Small Matters’ last show, Sofa So Good:
“I wouldn’t want to do without seeing the likes of Edmonton-based Small Matters Productions, and their clowns-in-love Rocket and Sheshells… [They] find endless creative and comedic possibilities… wicked, well-conceived comedy.”—Kenton Smith, Uptown Magazine

“I laughed at the silliness and at the joyous physicality, but mostly I laughed at the truth of it all.”—Clare Lawlor, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

60 minutes

Saturday September 8th @ 7pm
Sunday September 9th @ 8:30pm
Monday September 10th @ 7pm
Lecture Monday September 10th @ 8:30pm



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photo: Ernesto Muñiz


September 11 – 14, 2012

Created by La Piara with Seth Bockley and Devon de Mayo
Performed by La Piara (Artús Chávez, Fernando Córdova, and Madeleine Sierra)
Directed by Seth Bockley and Devon de Mayo

Mexico City, Mexico and Chicago, IL

Guerra: A Clown Play combines slapstick, clown, dance, bouffant, and farce to tell the story of a military outpost’s last stand. Created by a Mexican/U.S. collaborative team, Guerra is performed in three languages and features a trio of incompetent officers engaged in a struggle against a vast unseen enemy. Their epic yet intimate journey features a recruitment lottery, bloodthirsty nursery rhymes, and at least one aerial bombardment. Guerra blends bombast and camp with serious echoes of American and Mexican military realities to create an irreverent and darkly resonant satire.

Guerra is sponsored by:

55 minutes

Tuesday September 11th @ 7pm
Wednesday September 12th @ 7pm
Friday September 14th @ 8:30pm




photo: Amy Bolger

Handshake Uppercut

September 21, 2012

Creators/Writers/Performers: Jay Dunn & John Leo

Brooklyn, NY


Two gentleman brawlers drag each other through eternity with only each other’s courtesy and cruelty to keep them alive. A hysterical, brawling clash of 1920’s silent film and rock ‘n’ roll vaudeville, Handshake Uppercut is an unabashedly dark, erotic, edgy, and super funny experience. Oscillating between gleeful savagery and seething politesse, Fringe circuit veterans John Leo (Best of Fringe, SF: ’03/’08) and Jay Dunn (Edinburgh & Philadelphia ‘10) take silent comedy to its outer limits in this hilarious Beckettian duel. Straight off a successful run at the Chicago Fringe 2012, Handshake Uppercut debuted at the NY Clown Theatre Festival cabaret in 2010.

“Every moment was totally alive…Handshake Uppercut will help raise the quality bar of clown-theater.” —maskarts.com

“They made me crème fraîche my panties!” —audience comment book

“Hilarious and beautiful. Thank you!” —audience comment book

60 minutes

Friday September 21st @ 8:30pm



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photo: Summer Shapiro

In the Boudoir

September 16 – 27, 2012

Creator/Writer/Performer/Director: Summer Shapiro

San Francisco, CA



Matters of the heart can be messy and In The Boudoir delights in making a mess. San Francisco comedienne Summer Shapiro, returns to the New York Clown Theatre Festival for her fourth time with this deceptively simple story of a young female clown’s love life. Veering erratically and erotically between exactitude and befuddlement, control and rashness, beauty and broken, Shapiro plays with the consuming need to be liked and revels in the futility of such a hunger.

“a masterful, sweetly-scathing performer.”—Chloe Veltman, lies like truth

“raises the craft of clowning to new levels.”—NYTheatre.com

45 minutes

Sunday September 16th @ 8:30pm
Saturday September 22nd @ 7pm
Thursday September 27th @ 7pm



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photo: Christopher Lane

Jester of the Peace

September 18, 2012

Creator/Performer: Barbara Ann Michaels

New York, NY


Promo Video

Dearly besotted . . . come get “married” or legally married at the New York Clown Theatre Festival by the Jester of the Peace! Declare your truer love for a person, pet, object of your affection, or even a place in an evening of love and laughter. Bring him/her/it/them/you to our “wedding night” party and by appointment throughout the clown fest. Barbara Ann Michaels is a real-life New York wedding officiant and an art-life clown and performance artist. Enjoy spontaneous street art–style ceremonies that instantly evoke real emotion and enthusiasm. Be understood. Inspire others with your love. Art is Love. Love is Art.


Best of The Knot 2012

Wedding Wire Rated 2012 & 2011

Seen In: The Learning Channel: Four Weddings, Time Out New York, New York Daily News, New York Magazine, Huffington Post



“Regardless of the level of [wedding] formality, Michaels is willing to [do and] wear just about anything to make the event more personal for the couple.”—Time Out New York

“She was able to take our crazy ideas and materialize them into a ceremony that kept our guests on the edge of their seats some times laughing and sometimes crying with tears of joy.”—Carolee and Desiree, married 2011 by Jester of the Peace, Barbara Ann Michaels

Tuesday September 18th @ 8pm
Please email clown (at) bricktheater.com to initiate a performance of Jester of the Peace on other September dates.



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photo: Matthew Belopavlovich


September 21 – 23, 2012

Creator and Director: Matthew Belopavlovich
Choreographer: Matt Konop
Comedic Consultant: April Vollm
Performers: Matthew Belopavlovich, April Vollm, Matt Konop

Tampa, FL


Lauffiti blends clowning, breakdance, and magic to create a theatrical experience unlike any other that will inspire audiences to laugh, dance, and play. Lauffiti tells the story of a clown who has lost all hope and is mysteriously sucked into a graffiti-covered wall while walking the streets of the city. The graffiti comes to life and the clown reemerges from the wall exuberant and full of color. The clown finds joy in spreading laughter throughout the city after his experience.


“Belopavlovich has created a brilliantly minimalist theatrical experience.”—Russ Bickerstaff, Express Milwaukee

“A very short suite of clown-related material all delivered with a remarkable amount of charm and charisma on the part of Belopavlovich.”—Russ Bickerstaff, Express Milwaukee

50 minutes

Friday September 21st @ 7pm
Saturday September 22nd @ 5:30pm
Sunday September 23rd @ 10pm



photo: Javier Oddo


September 8, 2012


Created by the cast: Lauri Berritta, Andy Dickerson, Perry Garvin, Ethan Leinwand and Jason Leinwand
Director: Andy Dickerson
Musician: Ethan Leinwand

Lighting Design by Andy Dickerson; sets, masks, and puppets by Jason Leinwand and Andy Dickerson, animations by Ethan Leinwand and Jason Leinwand


Brooklyn, NY, USA



Interspersed with live music, animations, puppetry, and pageantry, Machinationsfollows 5 characters through a whirlwind of all-consuming ambition and crushing disappointments in an ongoing attempt to push the very boundaries of science itself! This warping of space, time, minds, and morals is a funny and dark look into the experiences of those tragically caught up in much more than merely the task at hand.

“Despite all of the monkey business, goofball antics, and clowning around, this novel addition to circus theater manages to slip a powerful message into its absurd machination…”—Colin Mixson, The Brooklyn Paper

60 minutes

Saturday September 8th @ 8:30pm



Members of Our Limbs

September 23, 2012

Created and performed by Jenni Kallo, Sampo Kurppa and Thom Monckton
Lighting Design: Alice Leclerc
Costume: Tauko

Finland, France and New Zealand


The traditional and contemporary Frankenstein clown, Members of Our Limbs is a frenzy of absurd and eccentric clowning. It follows the antics of three sporadically violent and markedly edgy characters as they are dragged unwittingly through their own show. The patterns of the ordinary world mixed with principles and influences of clowning are put on an operating table and dissected. A suitable set of body parts are selected and a Frankenstein clown is produced like you’ve never seen before. It’s frantic, it’s visual, it’s skillful, and above all: It’s funny.

This is the premiere production from Kallo Collective and has received noteworthy reviews as well as invitations from programmers from around the world.

Praise for Members of Our Limbs:

“Members of Our Limbs hit the adult funny-­bone without hitting below the belt.”—Helsingin Sanomat

“Their timing is impeccable, and great physical agility is coupled with plasticine faces, crazy hair and a myriad sound effects.”—The Dominion Post

“It is the essence of emotional truth in ‘personal clowning’ that is at the heart of this sort of physical theatre’s success. .”—theatreview.org.nz

30 minutes

Sunday September 23rd @ 8:30pm (Dante/Members of Our Limbs)

$15 (on a split bill with Dante—The Magical Mysterious Man in Plaid)



photo: Riku Virtanen

Moving Stationery

September 23 – 29, 2012

Created and performed by Thom Monckton

Patea, New Zealand


Moving Stationery is a multi-award winning physical comedy solo from New Zealander Thom Monckton and Finnish clown company Kallo Collective. Thom’s character Sigmund, the bewildered recipient of a new office job, is a bundle of comedy wrapped up in a ridiculous amount of error and a tight-fitting cardigan. He desperately attempts to defend himself against his own mistakes and at the same time eat lunch and fulfill his responsibilities.

The show combines object and body manipulation, clown technique, and imagery to create a visual and energetic piece of physical comedy in a style of its own.

“Thomas Monckton’s silent performance is self assured and his comic timing is wonderful. He is a physical genius and his incredibly elastic body contorts and moves in ways that shouldn’t be possible…”—Heather McDonald, Capital Culture

“The man seems made of rubber; his timing is superb and his surely boneless body flows like an irresistible tsunami.”—Terry MacTavish, Theatreview

45 minutes

Sunday September 23rd @ 5:30pm
Monday September 24th @ 7pm
Saturday September 29th @ 8:30pm



photo: Rene Ferrer

on the nOse

on the nOse productions

September 12 – 13, 2012

Concept and Original Video: Elena Day and Antony Bolante / on the nOse productions
Director: Elena Day
Writer: Antony Bolante
Video Editor: Antony Bolante
Performers: Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandell / Happenstance Theater
Lighting Design: Daniel Mori

Washington, DC & Orlando, FL


on the nOse is a 60 minute multi-media clown show, alternating video interviews with live clown performances. The video sequences feature interviews with notable figures in clowning, including Switzerland’s renowned Gardi Hutter and Tony Award–winner Bill Irwin. The live clown performances feature one of Washington’s premiere physical theater companies, Happenstance Theater.

“on the nOse…is a loving, clever, touching and terribly funny celebration of clowning.”—Gazette.net

“A serious look at the art of clowning that can’t help but be funny at the same time.”—Orlando Sentinel

“[Jaster and Mandell] give just about the two best performances I’ve seen all Fringe.”—Orlando Weekly

60 minutes

Wednesday September 12th @ 8:30pm
Thursday September 13th @ 7pm



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photo: Pep Castillo

Perhaps, Perhaps … Quizás

September 15 – 22, 2012

Creator/writer: Gabriela Muñoz
Performer: Gabriela Muñoz
Co-Director: Luis Sosa
Costume: Valentina Muñoz
Art and graphic design: Marion Sosa

Mexico City, Mexico

If at first you don’t succeed, try again … and again … and again. Perhaps, Perhaps … Quizás is a clown piece playing with the idea of loneliness, and waiting and hoping for the right man. In an era where nothing seems to impress anyone anymore and longing for “real love” seems to be the burden of our time, Greta, our protagonist, is a lonely woman who rehearses once a week for the arrival of the so-called “one.” Will she get lucky tonight? Perhaps, Perhaps … Quizás


“Her strong, vulnerable, thoughtful, performance creates moments that invite both empathy and self-reflection.”—Alex Kipp

“A beautifully performed clown piece”—Drunken Chorus UK

“How difficult is it to love a dreamer? Well, without a problem we love Gabriela Muñoz”—Aya Stehager. Kulturhuset, Stockholm

60 minutes

Saturday September 15th @ 5:30pm
Thursday September 20th @ 7pm
Saturday September 22nd @ 8:30pm




photo: Tracy Olsen

Poe and Mathews: a misadventure in the middle of nowhere

September 8 – 14, 2012

Creators/Writers/Directors: Brian Kuwabara, Emily Windler
Performers: Brian Kuwabara, Emily Windler

Los Angeles, CA

Poe and Mathews are an unlikely duo. Once shipwrecked on a deserted island they realize the only thing they have in common is getting on each other’s nerves. Will they survive or kill each other trying? Find out in this absurd clown show!

“Laurel and Hardy waiting for Godot”—King Rivers Life Mag

“Physical pratfalls, sight gags, wry bits of literary humor and mismatched-buddies comedy rule the day.”—Fresno Bee

“Witty, clever, and entertaining.”—Joel Elkins, LA Theater Review


55 minutes

Saturday September 8th @ 5:30pm
Thursday September 13th @ 8:30pm
Friday September 14th @ 10pm




Image: Ben Model

Portmanteau: a Clown-Sourced Silent Film Project

September 24, 2012

Teams of NY Clown Theatre Festival Participants will make 3-minute silent movies with the amazing Vintagio iPhone/iPad app. In the classic Pormanteau Film style, these pieces will be structured around an assigned theme with required elements. All movies will be stitched together digitally to make up a full omnibus film. Storyline by Ben Model, Audrey Crabtree, and Jeff Seal. Participants will have 2 weeks to complete their film. The final project will be screened at The Brick on Mon, Sept 24 at 8:30pm with live piano soundtrack by famed silent film accompanist Ben Model!

Monday September 24th @ 8:30pm



photo: Neil Muscott

Saucisse: A Foo Musical

September 26 – 29, 2012

Producer/Artistic Director/Performer/Writer: Helen Donnelly
Director: Susanna Hamnett
Composer: Matthew Reid
Costume/Set Designer: Lindsay Anne Black
Lighting Designer: Michelle Ramsay

Toronto, Canada


Foo, a skeptical, nomadic peddler, strikes an unlikely friendship with Saucisse, a new-age vegetarian pig. Foo is horrified when he discovers the awful truth about Saucisse’s Divine Plan. Will Foo make the right choice and honor his friend’s wishes? Or take action and alter the pig’s destiny? Find out in this clown musical about friendship, fate, and meat.

“delight, amazement and playfulness apparent in her fine physical and facial work.”—NOW Magazine

“Helen Donnelly…is bold, experimental and on her way to the top.”—Toronto Star

“Foo is the most narcissistic, reckless, careening, primal personality ever to crash the civilized sanctuary of my CBC radio studio.”—CBC Radio, Here and Now

Wednesday September 26th @ 7pm
Friday September 28th @ 8:30pm
Saturday September 29th @ 10pm




top graphic: Darlene Gist; bottom photo: Jim Moore

Smoke & Fire

September 16 – 29, 2012

Two clowns-of-a-certain-age each take on the uphill battle of a lifetime. Developed in collaboration and presented on a double bill:

Leave Nothing but Footprints created and performed by Deborah Kaufmann
The Quitter…Now with added flavor! created and performed by Nina Levine


Leave Nothing but Footprints


Brooklyn, NY



Cookie, seeking to fulfill a lifelong dream of scouting, challenges herself in the wilderness. Is a badge within her reach, or will she be undone by the Great Outdoors?

Deborah Kaufmann has delighted audiences worldwide with original physical comedy and puppetry, most recently in Warsaw and Lisbon. She celebrates over 25 years of foolishness with Big Apple Circus Clown Care®, where she oversees the artistic development of BAC-CC clowns. She teaches Pochinko-inspired mask-to-clown and as “clown midwife” she helps others develop new material.





The Quitter…Now with added flavor!



Queens, NY


A devoted smoker reaches her moment of truth: extinguish the habit! Is being a quitter for life attainable, or will she be undone by the Great Addiction?

Nina Levine creates, performs, directs, writes about, and teaches clown. Based in New York, she has appeared in numerous venues here and abroad. Nina’s acts reflect her traditional theatrical background in combination with training in physical comedy and music. In addition to her body of solo work, she is a founding member of the award-winning clown trio Those in the Nose.

About Deborah Kaufmann:

“by no means merely cute…a performer to be trusted, enjoyed, and seen!”—Ivanna Cullinan, nytheatre.com


About Nina Levine:

“It is heartening to see the tradition of female clowns revived. Indeed, it is not going too far to say that it is being reinvented.”—Simon Loekle, WBAI-FM

50 minutes

Sunday September 16th @ 7pm
Saturday September 29th @ 7pm



photo: François Angers


September 23, 2012

Performer: François-Guillaume LeBlanc

Quebec City, Canada


A goofy character tries to find a way not to drown in his narcoleptic behavior. No matter what, his dreams and nightmares will always take the stage. An extraterrestrial invasion, a city that grows too fast, a chicken cruising bar, and a dumb vampire adventure are some of the different situations that will pop out of the mind of François-Guillaume LeBlanc. Back from the creation of OVO, he comes to New York to present his special comedy stylings. With more than 30 characters,Snooze is built with mimes, postures, and voice sound effects. A cartoonish experience throughout a unique performance.

Sunday September 23rd @ 7pm



photo: Susanna Latorre

Super Spectacular! To Opera with Love

September 15, 2012

Creators/writers: Joe Kolbow, Johnnie Niel and Deanna Fleysher
Performers: Joe Kolbow, Johnnie Niel
Director: Deanna Fleysher
Lighting Design: Andy Dickerson

Union City, NJ


2 showmen. 6 operas. 1 hilarious hour. Has been/never was actor Merril Garrick has been waiting to make his big comeback and opportunity has finally knocked: an audition for a TV miniseries chronicling the life and times of Luciano Pavarotti! Merril’s sidekick Emmet has schemed up the perfect audition material: absurdly reinvented seven-minute versions of the world’s greatest operas. In this 60-minute show the duo plunges into classics including La Boheme and Carmen while injecting Led Zeppelin, Taylor Swift and others. Awarded “Best in Fest” (KC Fringe), “Encore Presentation” (MN Fringe), and KC Stage Magazine top-rated show of 2011.

“Super Spectacular is just that. A+”—Uptown magazine

“…a tsunami of contagious glee…you’ll likely be swept up in its old fashioned, madcap charm.”—Winnipeg Free Press

65 minutes

Saturday September 15th @ 10pm




Photo credit: Malwina Matusiewicz

Unbearable Lightness

September 14 – 17, 2012

Created and Performed by: Kate Taylor/Denni Dennis

Cardiff, Wales/New York, NY


On assignment in New York, Screwtape and Wormwood have souls to corrupt. The Boss has given these poor devils the seemingly simple task of inflicting each of the seven deadly sins upon the unsuspecting folk of the City. With their wiles, suave tango moves, and even their pointe shoes, these fiends seduce the good people of NYC.

Will they succeed? Will you die laughing while they try? Nobody knows, but as unionized employees of Satan the devils get mandatory cigarette breaks. One day they listen to a local radio station and everything changes. Now these spawn of Satan meet their greatest challenge yet.

“ Dennis’ Company of Clowns was next with a skillful presentation of mime and storytelling. The talented troupe of performers were indeed a coup for Maindee 2012 – utilising every prop they could lay their hands on as they created a production line of hilarity.”—Andy Howells, South Wales Argus

“Kate’s clown was phenomenal. I laughed and cried. I was laughing so much and it turned into crying.”—Trac Minh Vu, filmmaker

50 minutes

Friday September 14th @ 7pm
Monday September 17th @ 7pm



photo: Roman Kosins

What If I’m Dead?

September 8, 2012

Written and Created by Alan Fessenden with Giovanni Fusetti & The Geniuses
Performed by Alan Fessenden

New York, NY

Life is strangely clearer when viewed from the inside of an urn. Birth. Loss of innocence. Your mother. Donuts. Everything that’s important swims into focus. And then what do you do?!?! In this solo show, one clown (Bartholomew) tries to stage his own funeral and accidentally saves the world. That’s right, the world. You don’t want to miss this.


Or, in other words: “Come see my very smart, serious and important show.”—Bartholomew

75 minutes

Saturday September 8th @ 10pm




photo: Giovanni Tortorici

You Are Here

September 27 – 28, 2012

Created & Performed by Vincenzo Tortorici

Decatur, GA


A clown is tethered to an unknown source. He extolls the virtue of being “here,” until he finds himself unsatisfied with his circumstance. He frees himself from his hempen shackles, and finds that being unbound comes with a side order of abject fear. You Are Here is a clown show that has three things going for it: Location, Location, Location.

25 minutes

Thursday September 27th @ 8:30pm (Dante/You Are Here)
Friday September 28th @ 7pm (Dante/You Are Here)

$15 (on a split bill with Dante—The Magical Mysterious Man in Plaid)




Photo credit: Joe Kolbow

Opening Night Preview Cabaret

September 7, 2012

Hosted by Festival Directors Audrey Crabtree and Robert Honeywell

Kicking off the 7th year of the NY Clown Theatre Festival, the festival directors host a hilarious night cram-packed with the best of 2012 Festival! Come find out all the shows you must see, and stay to mix and mingle with your favorite clowns afterwards! Featuring excerpts from Machinations, Will Shaw, Fools for Love,Declarations of Love with Barbara Ann Michaels the Jester of the PeacePoe and Mathews: a misadventure in the middle of nowhere and What If I’m Dead? and many more surprises!

Friday September 7th @ 10pm


Clown Cabaret: Hosted by Fantasy Grandma

September 13, 2012

Hosted by Fantasy Grandma

Straight from the Silent View Home for the Elderly, Fantasy Grandma hosts this night of variety clown acts. Myrtle J and Jane B will makes raps and songs for all of their grand babies!


Blind Love with Mister & Missus Clown: Ignorancia is a small town girl come to the big city to find her one true love! Sometimes a lady has to try on a lot of shoes before she can find the right pair.

Gooper Jr. wants to have a little show and tell. Straight from Ramseur, NC, he’s gonna give you some passionate inspiration. With Billy Schultz as Gooper Jr.

We’re Not Here: Bernie & Fontaine are two ageless, bohemian ladies secretly living in your parents’ hallway closet. But remember – We’re Not Here – so mum’s the word, you dig? A kid’s show for adults. By James & JF

Z Smith in Pepito’s Big Date: An irreverent love story. Pepito captures the hearts of all while wooing one.

Also featuring excerpts from the shows: Guerra, Don’t run, RUSH!, Unbearable Lightness, and other surprise guests!


“I’m tired.”—Jane B

“She’s not Catholic.”—Myrtle J

“a few hard candies.”—Time Out NY

“Grandma loves you more than your friends.”-Fantasy Grandma

“Who is Fantasy Grandma?”—The Apiary via The Huffington Post


Thursday September 13th @ 10pm




photo: Tom Haake

Clown Cabaret: Hosted by Jack & Diane

September 20, 2012

Hosted by Jack & Diane

JACK & DIANE present a cabaret of a very personal and intimate fashion. Their parents taught them that entertainment is a precious gift; and if it hurts, people will love it! Jack & Diane might just make out with you!

Featuring: Myles Goldin‘s GAZEaperte Medusa did not start out how we know her today. How would you feel turning people to stone?

Bouffon Glass Menajoree Rises! Crawling back out of your nightmares, Tom Amanda and Laura plume the family nest with broken glass, twisted morals and perverted minds.

Cirque Du Soleil’s François-Guillaume LeBLanc. Tanya Solomon in A Pretty Girl is Like.., in which Cloris Flap’s new dress inspires her to dance. Directed by Deborah Kaufmann. Dell’arte Grads, Farfalla and Pico present an acrobatic and wild night!


And short excerpts from Lauffiti, Perhaps Perhaps … Quizas, Members of our Limbs,Moving Stationery and In the Boudoir.

Press about Jack & Diane:

“Awkwardly Entertained” —LA Weekly

Thursday September 20th @ 10pm



Photo: Starr

Clown Cabaret: Pleasure in the Park

September 27, 2012

Hosted by Maggie and Phil

Maggie and Phil, from John Towsen’s NY Physical Comedy Lab (Audrey Crabtree and Billy Schultz) host this cabaret as they attend an evening performance in the park.

Featuring: To Forever!, in which Pearl the Mime will perform a tragicomic interpretation of life’s idiosyncrasies…an entertaining, existential journey reaching the soul and lifting the heart. Sampo Kurppa, from Finland, brings the audience into his world where inanimate objects have characters and lives of their own. His humble but surprisingly sinister character and expressive physical articulation will have you captivated from start to finish.


Straight off their Canadian tour,THIS TOWN arrives with Carol Lee Sirugo and Jonathan Kaplan, directed by Ryan Shams. Jeff and Buttonswill return to the clown festival with more of their comedy hijinks! With excerpts from Dante—The Magical Mysterious Man in Plaid , Will Shaw, and other surprises!

Thursday September 27th @ 10pm



Return of the Old-Timey Clowns

September 28, 2012

Co-hosted by John Towsen and Mystery Guest

Vintage clown-theatre performers from back in the day will be gathering in New York City this weekend for a 30th reunion, and a whole bunch of them will be staying up way past their bedtime to share this cabaret stage.

Featuring acts by: Stephen Ringold‘s dark and twisted bouffon Charlie tells a story, directed by Peter Daniel Strauss with music by Ilene Weiss and Kevin Schmidt. Playful and absurd, Therese Schorn and Liz Bolick bring to life The Tunisian Toe Tapping Twins, directed by Nancy Smithner.




Help Yourself by Celia McCarthy and Joan Merwyn. A bit of fumbling, mumbling, grumbling, bumbling, and stumbling as self-help gurus Fools Unlimited lead an existential exploration into the sacred and the propane.


Michael Lane Trautmnan’s KING PONG’S PING PONG RODEO. King Pong, The Human Pop Gun, is the World Record Holder (and only) Ping Pong Propulsion Target Shooter. ‘They can have my balls when they pry them from my cold, dead hands.


Also featuring Christopher Agostino, Bernie Kramer, Hank Smith, David Tabatski, and all the way from Ireland, Terry Dineen and other surprise guests from the original NY Clown Theatre Festival!


A Silent film by Jim Moore that utilizes the silent film conventions of the past with the ‘bait and switch’ comedy element of the present. Kevin C. Carr heads up the cast of clowns that demonstrate that love is the answer ‘sometimes’.

Friday September 28 @ 10pm




Free Lectures

Photo: Jim Moore

Chain of Fools: A Lecture

September 19, 2012

with Trav S.D.

Brooklyn, NY

Performer and writer Trav S.D. will merge themes from his new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube with themes from his previous book No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous. He will discuss great stage clowns who became Hollywood stars including many famous names you will recognize, and many who have long since become obscure. The scholarly talk will be enhanced with a multi-media presentation, and hopefully a few laughs!

On No Applause:

“A book that sharpens the mind and stirs the heart…The writing is as snappy as these troupers and headliners deserve. And the scholarship is high-class.”—Margo Jefferson,New York Times

“Exuberant…Trav S.D. makes grand claims for vaudeville…His well-researched excursions into vaudeville’s prehistory, and his arguments for its influential role in American culture, make his book something more than a fast-moving tour of popular entertainment and long-forgotten stars…By turns shrewd and amusing.”—William Grimes, New York Times

Wednesday September 19th @ 7pm


CWB India
photo: Ira Chaplain

Community Clowning:
Clown and Bouffon in Compromised Communities

September 29, 2012

Moderated by Audrey Crabtree

Clowns and bouffons talk about how using their art forms can support society as they bring their work to war zones, hospitals, nursing homes, mental health organizations, orphanages and community centers. The panel will discuss and take questions on working with those who live in stress, danger or poor health and those with economic, physical or mental disabilities. This panel will feature images and videos from the organizations and group discussion on how to make the work more effective and lasting, and the care and support of the artists doing this work.

Whether you currently do this work, or have interest, we invite you to attend and share your thoughts.

Panel members will include:Matt Mitler, the founder and director of Dzieci. “Art as Service is not some metaphysical activity that Dzieci is concerned with. It is practical. We approach this work by initially interacting with disadvantaged populations in hospitals and other treatment centers. We do not take this on in order to heal (or even help) those in need. We do it to purify ourselves.”

Dianna Hahn from Clowns Without Borders USA.

Michael Christensen from the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit, and Vaudeville Caravan



Anna Zastrow will represent Bond Street Theatre, who utilizes the performing arts to provide joy and laughter, educational enrichment, trauma relief, post-conflict rehabilitation and cultural stimulation as a path to peace.

Helen Donnelly has been a therapeutic clown and artistic trainer of the Therapeutic Clown Program @ Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, Canada The artistic clown team works in the duo clown model and the clown artists parody a nurse, a doctor and a security guard.

Terry Dineen, who works with Ireland’s L’Arche community, adults with intellectual disabilities.

Saturday September 29th @ 3pm


Photo: Fred Katz

Extreme Clowning: Expanding the Joey/Auguste Archetypes

September 10, 2012

with Jan Henderson

Edmonton, Canada

Jan Henderson, director of the festival show Fools For Love, will give a slide show-based talk on how to evolve the core clown. When you seek your personal clown, you discover two inner archetypes—the leader, or Joey, and the follower, or Auguste. Taking these two aspects to extremes expands your clown’s emotional and physical range. The Extreme Joey gives a visceral experience of the power inherent in absolute self-acceptance, resulting in greater self-trust and ability to live in the moment, comfort in stillness and silence, and enormous presence. The Extreme Auguste increases vulnerability, accessibility, and emotion.

Monday September 10th @ 8:30pm



Spymonkey Clown Masterclass


September 5 – 9, 2012

Led by Aitor Basauri, Spain

In the SPYMONKEY CLOWN MASTERCLASS, you will learn to further discover what makes you funny, hone your skills, and practice making an audience belly laugh! This workshop will culminate in a public showing at the NY Clown Theatre Festival. Through clear and specific instruction, Aitor will support you to develop and hone your comedic skills in a safe and fun environment. This positive group dynamic will allow you to focus on following your impulse, being adventurous, and taking risks. You will learn how to shine as an individual and improve on every spontaneous opportunity.

In this highly enjoyable workshop you will play games and do exercises developing trust and complicity with the group. In this atmosphere of discovery and revelation, you will be developing and showing new material. The best of this work will be shared with an audience on the final evening of the workshop, followed by group discussion and feedback from Aitor. Be prepared to find the pleasure in your own ridiculousness, stay optimistic, and discover the golden moment to make an audience belly laugh.

AITOR BASAURI was born in Bilbao, Spain. For the past 20 years he has been teaching and performing clown all over the world. He is one of the most sought-after clown teachers in the world, regularly holding sold-out master classes in London and New York. Aitor has been staff tutor at École Philippe Gaulier in Paris; taught for Cirque du Soleil, and at universities, institutes, and festivals to students, professionals, and clown doctors all over the world including Madrid, Berlin, Damascus, and Taipei. He is also a co-founder and performer in the internationally renowned clown company, SPYMONKEY. His teachers include Phiippe Gaulier, Cal McCrystal and Pierre Byland.

Aitor talks about clown:
“I do theatre because it is fun because it makes me live life twice and I love life! The clown lives in a fantastic theatrical world. For an actor the clown stimulates a fresh immediacy full of pleasure and mischief.

“It is this brimming pleasure that fills the performer and touches an audience. The audience in turn feel they are watching something very special and unique because the clown is generous, sharing with them their most intimate vulnerability, fun and unique personality.

“The performer who dares to stand before a crowd, unafraid to make mistakes and find pleasure in being wonderfully silly will reap fruitful rewards. In Spymonkey we strongly believe that it is in this moment that the seed for the best performances can begin.”

The workshop will be held at Triskelion Arts:
118 North 11th Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11249

September 5th–9th, 2012

Public Showing: @ The Brick Theater: Sunday, September 9th 5:30pm

$500, Max 24 students


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Clown Intuition

September 15 – 16, 2012

Led by Denni Dennis

This workshop is a guided journey to discover and further develop your unique and personal way of bringing your intuitive clown to life. For Denni, the world of clown is not only a profession, but a lifestyle. In this workshop he will combine his background of the European style of Jacques Lecoq, Russian character clown and the Pochinko method, with his personal experience working in clown and as a clown director. Throughout this workshop, you will explore the clown’s world—what makes us laugh and why, with an emphasis on having fun and searching for the beauty and poetry of each clown. This workshop will allow you the space and opportunity to explore plastic training, status play, improvisation, parody, and your personal creativity, working individually and within groups. Denni will share his process of building and maintaining contact with the audience. Come for 2 days to practice trusting and playing using your spiritual intuition!

DENNI DENNIS was born in Denmark. Originally trained as a dancer, and then an actor at The Commedia School in Copenhagen, Denmark, he performed at The Royal Theatre, Denmark. Later training in the UK and Russia for clown, he has been performing and directing clown internationally. Today, he is based in Wales with his company The Denni Dennis’ Company Clowns.

Denni Dennis has extensive training in the Jacques Lecoq style, the Russian character clown and the Pochinko method (Native American spiritual clown) which he has been studying with Sue Morrison in Canada. His work has taken him around Europe, USA, Canada, and Russia both as a professional clown and as a workshop leader and director. He combines clown, mask, dance, acting, and improvisation to create unique and dynamic characters. His clown work has been featured in theatre, circus, dance performances, and art installations.

His company Denni Dennis Company Clowns’ performed his original piece Titanic on a beach at night this spring, and are currently developing PORNo which will be performed in a local sex shop in Wales, premiering in May 2013. Currently he is directing UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS premiering this September at the 2012 NY Clown Theatre Festival. For more information about Denni, UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS, or his company, go to: www.dennidennis.com


The workshop will be held at Triskelion Arts:

118 North 11th Street, 3rd Floor,

Brooklyn, NY 11249

September 15th–16th, 2012

$200, Max 18 students


photo: Jim Moore

One of Us! A Bouffon Emersion

September 22 – 23, 2012

Led by Audrey Crabtree

Spend two days embedded in the world of the bouffon! Learn to translate your observations and frustration with society, systems, and stereotypes into playful dynamic theater work. Through pre-table work and physical play you will develop a unique core character from the inside out. Working in packs you will practice the skills, tools, and tactics of bouffon and begin to find your endless voice. Come to birth a new character or deepen an existing bouffon. Be prepared to move, play hard, and become ONE OF US!

Your bouffon mythology from Audrey:
Cursed with the misfortune of a grotesque appearance, and compulsion to push the limits of decency and morality, you are deemed less than human. You are beaten and driven from your home. Outside of the village, you band together with other bouffon creating your own bizarre community. Forever tormented by the rejection, you are obsessed with the society from which you were unjustly cast, and spend your time observing the villagers, their hypocrisy, and personal private vices.

Once a year, foolishly, the villagers invite you and your friends back to the village for a festival, so they can secretly mock and ridicule your physical imperfections. Seeing the perfect opportunity to enact your revenge, you all offer to bring a show. Reveling in the perverse attention and using wit, parody, and charm you devise the most clever ways of slipping seeds of doubt, guilt and truth under the skin of the villagers, in hopes it will resurface later to destroy their precious society.

AUDREY CRABTREE is a master teacher and award winning creator, performer, and producer of original work. Since 1992 Audrey has been teaching professional theater practitioners in universities, theatres, and studios. Her original collaborative work has won a Drama Desk Award, a NY Innovative Theater Award, Best Comedy in the San Francisco Fringe Festival, and the Spanish language HOLA and ATI Awards.

She is a director/founder of the NY Clown Theatre Festival, Co-artistic director of Ten Directions along with Lynn Berg, creating over 13 original productions including the acclaimed Bouffon Glass Menajoree. Her bouffon, Graspy McTakeItAll, was originally commissioned for the International Globesity Festival and now performs variety programs in NYC and appeared in the plays Detritus and Robert Honeywell’s Lord Oxford.

She has written and performed parody with NPR and Minnesota Public Radio and political and social humor with the Brave New Workshop, and was featured in ComedyCentral’s satirical Lets Bowl! Audrey studied bouffon with Sue Morrison and Giovanni Fuscetti, and has continued working and training in the form, including by leading the year-long weekly Bouffon Workout. Currently, she is in development on projects working in bouffon with young adults in the foster system and physically and mentally handicapped adults.



The workshop will be held at Triskelion Arts:

118 North 11th Street, 3rd Floor,

Brooklyn, NY 11249

September 22nd–23rd, 2012

$200, Max 20 students


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