was described by New York Magazine as "a clown for the thinking man".
His show Avner the Eccentric was a hit of the 1984-1985 Broadway season.
He appeared on Broadway in Ghetto and The Comedy of Errors, but
he is probably best known for his portrayal of the scene stealing holy man in
the film The Jewel of the Nile.
Avner continues to tour his one-man show internationally and has won awards
at the Edinburgh Festival, the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival, and
the Festival Internacional de Pallassos in Barcelona. He won the first prize
at the Arosa Humor Festival in Switzerland.
He recently won the "Snow Star" for comedy in Switzerland, and the
"Lachmesse" award in Germany. Avner starred as Vladimir in Waiting
for Godot at the Portland Stage Company. Avner studied with Jacques Lecoq
Dancer/choreographer Karl Baumann certainly fulfilled our high expectations
when he flew in at the last minute to replace a late cancellation at the
first MotionFest. Taking into account his years of experience as a featured
perfomer/dancer with Cirque du Soleil and Momix, it's easy to understand how
he could deliver a stellar performance on such short notice.
Is it fair to say he raised the bar even higher by conducting an
electrifying, kick-ass workshop on group and individual movement the next
day? Ask any of the dozens of excited participants who were fortunate to be
on hand as he shared his delightful sense of wonder and exploration.
We wanted Karl back for the next MotionFest. Unfortunately, his busy
schedule with Cirque du Soleil, as well as appearing in music videos and
television spots (both for North America and Europe) prevented him from
attending. Fortunately, he has time for this year's MotionFest at
If you move on stage (and we all do), you will want to take one of Karl's
Peter is a multi-disciplinary performer
working with juggling, dance and
monologue. He began as a teenage street performer in Los Angeles in the late
'70s. In 1982, he won first place at the National Juggling Championships and
became a founding member of the trio Airjazz. With Airjazz, Peter has toured
internationally and appeared on numerous TV shows such as the Tonight Show
with Johnny Carson. Peter has taught movement workshops at the national
circus schools of Quebec and France under the direction of Guy Caron (one of
the founders of Cirque du Soleil), at Celebration Barn Theater in Maine, and
at the Lecoq Theater Program of Naropa University in Colorado. Working
primarily as a solo performer since 1991, he has toured his show Up in the
nationally and was featured on Harry Anderson's CBS special The Tricks of
his Trade. Peter's new one-man show, A View from the Moon, a dance/theater
piece based on four famous insane artists, was produced in October at the
California Performing Arts Festival. Peter lives in Boulder, Colorado with
his wife and two children.
Ron trained with Jacques Lecoq and at the
Valley Studio in Wisconsin.
His solo clown shows have been presented all over the U.S. and
internationally, including The Actors Theatre of Louisville and the
International Movement Theatre Festival. He has received Solo Artist grants
from the National Endowment for the Arts and has directed nationally and
As a Master Teacher, he has been at
Dell'Arte since 1985; he has taught clowning to first year students as well
as given Masters Workshops and directed ensemble productions.
the head writer and chief performer for Comedy Industries. He has degrees
in math and computer science from U. C. Berkeley where he graduated
with honors. An ex-IBMer and a Watson Scholar, he chooses to spend his
time juggling knives on a six foot unicycle. He has performed at more
comedy clubs, trade shows, and corporate events than any other computer
programmer in the world.
to his performing skills, Scott has written commercials for radio, computer
code for database systems, interviews for professional wrestling and
over two hundred scripts for trade shows, training sessions and other
corporate events. Scott has also taught comedy writing since 1991.
performing as a child actor at the age of 10 with the award winning
San Jose Children's Musical Theater alongside such future stars as Charley
McGowan, Paula Benedetti, Megan Hart, Paula Mulcahey, and Eilana Lappalainen.
Scott met John Park and together they formed the American Dream Comedy
Team. They won first place in The San Francisco Street Performers' Festival,
an honor which led to lucrative bookings in Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia.
These first international shows led to further bookings back on the
streets of San Francisco. Oh well.
in 1986, Scott and John became the featured act in the glitzy Las Vegas
revue "Splash." They moved on to "Superstars and Stripes" in Atlantic
City where they received rave reviews. This critical acclaim led them
to even greater success back on the streets of San Francisco. Oh well.
producer of the Children's Miracle Network Telethon, gave Scott and
John their first national television exposure. The show went so well
that Scott appeared with John (and later with Rich) for nine straight
years on CMN telethons. Eventually the glamorous whirlwind that is telethon
television spat them out like a used Kleenex, and Scott and Rich returned
to the streets of San Francisco. Sigh.
never forgotten his roots as a street performer, probably because he
was constantly being reminded of them. However, now that he has created
Comedy Industries, he has left the streets for good. At least for now.
(The artist formerly known as Butterfly Man) A
former research chemist at Vanderbilt University, Robert Nelson quit
the world of science to pursue a dream of making people laugh, and has
never looked back. Mr. Nelson first metamorphosed into his Butterfly
Man character in 1978 while performing at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Soon after, he indelibly affirmed his commitment to performing by getting
his now famous butterfly tattoos.
stage entertainer and busker has been traversing the globe ever since.
Repeatedly voted the most popular performer at San Francisco's legendary
Pier 39, he also has won numerous international performing competitions.
strong after 20 years onstage, he observes, "You really have to love
people to keep this up." Mr. Nelson, also a writer and actor, lives
in Los Angeles with his wife, Kumi.
Raskin has made a name for himself as a leading physical comedy
performer of the New Vaudeville movement. He originated the role of
Lefou, the comic sidekick of the villain Gaston, in the Broadway
production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Before coming to
Broadway, Kenny also starred as the lead clown Everyman in Cirque du
Soleil's Nouvelle Experience, and recently filmed a 3D IMAX film
with Cirque du Soleil entitled Journey of Man.
In addition, he appeared as the Vaudeville Comedian in critically
acclaimed director Barry Levinson's latest film, Liberty Heights.
Before joining Cirque du Soleil, Kenny performed his one man show The
Audition in theatres, universities and festivals throughout the
United States and television shows in Europe and South America,
delighting audiences with a unique blend of theatrical pieces and clown
characters. The San Francisco Chronicle called him "a stunning
virtuoso." In the spirit reminiscent of the great old silent clowns,
Kenny explores the comic possibilities inherent in seemingly simple
tasks. He injects an infectious sense of play into his performances,
creating a true two way street between his audiences and himself.
Kenny has also served as an adjunct faculty member in the theatre
departments at Boston University, the University of Nevada Las Vegas,
New York University, and at Emory University, where, in the fall of
1999, he produced, directed and performed in A Fool's Festival: The Last
Laugh Before the Millenium. He also teaches clowning and physical comedy
workshops and retreats across the United States as part of actor
Jeff Raz is a professional playwright, actor, clown, director, consultant
and teacher living in Alameda, California. He is a graduate of Dell'
Arte School of Physical Theater and a veteran of the Dell' Arte Players
Co., Vaudeville Nouveau and Make*A*Circus. As a performer, Mr. Raz has
played on Broadway and toured nationally and internationally, specializing
in a wide range of material from Shakespeare to circus.
His credits include Comedy of Errors at Lincoln Center, N. Y., which
was televised nationally on PBS, Servant of Two Masters at Berkeley
Repertory Theater, the title role in La Bete at TheatreWorks and Midsummer
Night's Dream at the Marin Shakespeare Festival, winner of the Bay Area
Drama Critics Circle's Play of the Year of 1994. For almost a decade
he has worked with Diane Wasnak in the acrobatic clown duet, Pino &
Razz, at the core of the New Pickle Circus. In the mid 80's, Mr. Raz
was the founder and artistic director of the San Francisco New Vaudeville
Festival that featured hundreds of artists and was captured in two Disney
In addition, he has written 10 plays. He has taught at Ringling Bros.
Clown College, S.F. State University and is currently the director of
the Professional Clown Conservatory at the S.F. School of Circus Arts
and the Lead Teaching Artist at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts
in Berkeley, CA.
As principal performer, choreographer, and artistic consultant to David
Copperfield for 11 years, Joanie Spina redressed the ancient art of magic
with a flair of the caliber of Broadway and Hollywood productions. Critics
worldwide note that the results of her collaboration with the world's most
respected conjurer raised the stature of magic to new heights in the eyes of
the public and ensured the viability of the art form into the 21st century.
An acclaimed solo performer, Spina mesmerizes audiences as she infuses magic
with a gamut of emotions ranging from romantic mystery to whimsical fantasy.
These results invariably lead to unadulterated amazement. It is through her
work as a single performer that audiences gain insight into the depth and
range of this one-woman tour de force.
Las Vegas is very familiar with Joanie as she has performed at two
world-famous hotels, Caesar's Palace and the Riviera Hotel in their lavish
showrooms. She also co-starred in her own show with Becky Blaney, the
critically acclaimed "Women of Magic," at the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic
Todd was the juggling teacher at the National Circus
School of France and Die Etage circus school in Berlin. Todd is the
author of several books on juggling-related skills: "The Devil Stick
Book", "The Diabolo Book", "Diabolo für Fortgeschrittene", and "The
Dice Stacking Book". Visit Perceptual
Motion, Todd's web page.