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Jewish Clowns: A Hidden History

Hosted By: The Braid

The word “clown” may conjure up images of children’s birthday parties or circus attractions, but clowning actually is a long and ancient tradition — one with a surprisingly Jewish history. Educator, journalist, and a Jewish clown herself, Danielle Levsky is eager to share the secret story of clowning.

She will explore clowning’s roots in ancient Rome all the way through the Middle Ages to the present day, its variations across the world, and the specific role it has played in the history of the Jewish people. Weaving popular holidays with Kabbalistic lore, as well as Levsky’s own perspective as a Soviet Jew, the public is invited down the rabbit hole into a wondrous, topsy-turvy world in which exaggerated characters become vehicles into our truest selves.

The event listed here is hosted by a third party. My Jewish Learning/70 Faces Media is not responsible for its content or for errors in the listing.


Danielle Levsky

Danielle Levsky is a Post-Soviet Jewish clown, writer, instructor, and producer who seeks to bring more discovery, wonder, joy, and truth into the world. She is a certified clown teacher (The Clown School) and has taught classes in San Diego, Chicago, and in the virtual world. Prior to gaining her certification, she trained with teachers from Cirque de Soleil, Theater Unspeakable, the Neo-Futurists, Viola Spolin’s improvisational technique, the Ringling Brothers, and Commedia dell'arte master Antonio Fava. Currently, you can catch Danielle performing, producing, and teaching clown around Southern California. Past collaborations have taken place at institutions like Diversionary Theatre (San Diego), The Conspirators (Chicago), Silent Theatre Company (Chicago), Visceral Adventure, Prop Thtr (Chicago), and Alliance for Jewish Theatre (worldwide). In the spring of 2020, her sad clown scenelet was published in TripWire Harlot's Theater Artists Making Theatre With No Theater. Pre-clowning, Danielle worked as an arts and culture journalist; she served as the Theater Editor for Scapi Magazine’s DIY Theater section, as well as a contributor for Newcity Magazine, Pittsburgh City Paper, Thrillist, MentaFloss, and more. Her journalistic writing and editing focus on community news, lifestyle editorials, and arts/culture events.
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The Braid

THE BRAID shares and performs inspiring Jewish stories that connect us all.
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