Clown Conservatory: Summer Workshop 2015



CLOWN: Summer Workshop 2015        APPLY NOW!

July 6 – 17 & July 20 – 31

Discover Clown! Take the RISK of being vulnerable for an audience. What does it mean to be funny? In this workshop students will explore various points of departure toward the generation of a playful spirit and the will to delight an audience. How do you create humor and spontaneity in front of a live audience? How do you remain emotionally and physically receptive? In this two-week workshop you will be asked to delve into specific aspects of imagination, physical comedy, mime, and improvisation in order to ready yourself for a kind of fearless devotion to play. Come forward into yourself and discover generosity, wonder, resilience, and timing.

Tuition for 1 Workshop $ 850

Tuition for 2 Workshops: $1500

M – F, 3pm – 9pm


Click here for Application

 Contact Dan Griffiths for questions or more information       415-990-6336


Instructors: Dan Griffiths & Danielle Conover

Guest Instructors: Nathaniel Justiniano, Stephen Chipps, and Dominique Jando


About the Instructors:

Dan Griffiths is Founder of KAPOOT CLOWN THEATER and the Director of CLOWNZERO a therapeutic clowning unit in residence at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Dan has served as faculty for The School for Mime Theater, Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University and Indiana University Northwest. He currently teaches Movement, Mask, Mime and Clown, in the School of Acting at Academy of Art University in San Francisco and is Associate Director of Clown Conservatory. Dan has performed with the Klown troupe Die Hanswurste, served as a director, performer and educator with Chicago’s 500 Clown, and worked as a clown doctor and trainer for The Big Apple Circus. He’s studied with Marcel Marceau, Polish Mime master Stefan Niedzialkowski, and at The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. Dan holds an M.A. in Experimental Performance from New College of California and an M.F.A in Interdisciplinary Art from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Danielle Conover is an interdisciplinary artist who has been making original solo and collaborative performance work since 2000. Her study and exploration of forms have included Japanese Noh and Kyogen Theater, West African Dance, Bunraku style Puppetry, Commedia Mask, Clown, Modern Dance and Vocal training. She is a graduate of the Jaques Lecoq International School for physical theater, and holds an M.A. in Experimental Performance from New College of California and an M.F.A in Interdisciplinary Art from the California Institute of Integral Studies. Danielle has created and performed over a dozen original performances exploring the themes of domesticity, rites of passage, childhood, Americana and socio-personal decadence using installation, original music, object-theater, puppetry and dance.


Guests Instructors:

Stephen Chipps has  performed in over 45 states and seven countries and has studied with mime and movement masters from around the world including Marcel Marceau, Stefan Niedzialkowski and The Goldston & Johnson School for Mimes. He created two national touring companies – Ground Zero Movement Theatre and Kapoot Clown Theatre with partner Dan Griffiths. He toured his solo mime show ‘Manthology’ nationally for over twelve years. He is a Teaching Artist with the Ohio Arts Council – Arts Learning Program and an associate director for The School for Mime Theater where he co-founded their youth mime theatre program with mime artist Rick Wamer. Stephen is also a visual artist, writes in his spare time and resides in Lakewood, Ohio.

Nathaniel Justiniano is the founding artistic director of Naked Empire Bouffon Company, and an award-winning actor/creator and physical theatre instructor. He is a senior instructor at the new Clown Conservatory of San Francisco where he recently created and taught the United States most comprehensive bouffon training to date. He has served as the Director of Physical Comedy for the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, Movement Designer for UC Berkeley’s Theater Department, and guest teacher of physical theatre at Sacramento City College and Kinetic Arts Center of Oakland. He holds an MFA from DellArte International School of Physical Theatre.

Dominique Jando began his involvement with the performing arts more than five decades ago in his native France, when he first stepped into a circus ring as a clown at the legendary Cirque Medrano in Paris. Later he pursued an artistic and administrative career in both the theater and the circus. In 1974, as General Secretary of the Paris Cultural Center, he participated with Alexis Gruss in the creation of France’s first professional circus school, and of Le Cirque à l’Ancienne, which eventually became the French National Circus and is considered a catalyst of the ‘New Circus’ movement.

He moved to New York in 1983 to join the Big Apple Circus, and served as its Associate Artistic Director for nineteen years. He then worked as Creative Director of Circus Center in San Francisco, California. He is now an independent circus arts consultant and writer, and is Vice-President and Artistic Director of Lone Star Circus® in Dallas, Texas. He is also Founder and Curator of, an international online circus encyclopedia funded by the Big Apple Circus.

A circus and popular entertainment historian, Dominique has published several books and written many articles on these subjects, both in Europe and the US. The Russian translation of his Histoire Mondiale du Cirque is used as a textbook at Moscow’s Circus and Variety State College and GITIS theater institute. He often lectures on circus and popular entertainment, has taught classical clowning at Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory, is the International Circus Consultant for Guinness World Records, Ltd., and is a founding member of the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain, an international circus competition that has been held each winter in Paris since 1977.

Dominique is married to trapeze artist and aerial arts coach Elena Panova. They presently live in San Francisco, California.

Published books:

  • Histoire Mondiale du Cirque (Paris, Delarge, 1977 – ISBN 2711300544 – published in Russia as История мирового Цирка, Moscow, Iskusstvo, 1984)
  • Histoire Mondiale du Music-Hall (Paris, Delarge, 1979 – ISBN 2711301362)
  • Clowns et Farceurs [Co-author] (Paris, Bordas, 1982 – ISBN 02441780)
  • The Great Circus Parade [Co-author with Herb Clement] (Milwaukee, Gareth Stevens,

    1989, and Odyssey, Hong Kong, 1989 – ISBN 0836801598)

  • Big Apple Circus – 25 Years (New York, W. W. Norton, 2003 – ISBN 9622177247)
  • The Circus (1870-1950) [Principal writer] (Cologne, Taschen, 2008 – ISBN



Clown Conservatory on Flickr

Clowns on FaceBook

Also in this section: