Clowns: In Conversation with Modern Masters is a groundbreaking collection of conversations with 20 of the greatest clowns on earth. In discussion with clown aficionados Ezra LeBank and David Bridel, these legends of comedy reveal the origins, inspirations, techniques, and philosophies that underpin their remarkable odysseys. Featuring incomparable artists, including Slava Polunin, Bill Irwin, David Shiner, Oleg Popov, Dimitri, Nola Rae, and many more, Clowns is a unique and definitive study on the art of clowning. In Clowns, these 20 master artists speak candidly about their first encounters with clowning and circus, the crucial decisions that carved out the foundations of their style, and the role of teachers and mentors who shaped their development. Follow the twists and turns that changed the direction of their art and careers, explore the role of failure and originality in their lives and performances, and examine the development and evolution of the signature routines that became each clown's trademark. The discussions culminate in meditations on the role of clowning in the modern world, as these great practitioners share their perspectives on the mysterious, elusive art of the clown.
Ezra LeBank is the Head of Movement at California State University, Long Beach. He is editor of the Association for Theatre Movement Educators (ATME) periodical ATME NEWS, and has taught movement and acting at several actor training programs including The Juilliard School, The State University of New York at Purchase, Vassar College, Smith College, and The University of Montana, as well as with Pilobolus Dance Theatre, AcroYoga Inc., and PUSH Physical Theatre. He also teaches AcroYoga internationally, and is an associate teacher with The Clown School in Los Angeles. David Bridel is a multi-award-winning playwright, director, performer, choreographer, and teacher of acting, movement, and clown, whose work has been seen in theaters, opera houses, on screen and at festivals across the world. His plays I Gelosi and Sublimity are published by Original Works. He is the Director of the MFA in Acting and the Associate Dean for Global Initiatives at the School of Dramatic Arts, University of Southern California, and he is the Artistic Director of The Clown School in Los Angeles.