Teachers

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David Bridel

David is the Founding and Artistic Director of The Clown School.

He trained with Philippe Gaulier – one of the world’s foremost clown teachers – and has been teaching clown, mask, movement, and performance for twenty-five years.

David has conducted clown seminars, workshops, and courses at  universities including NYU, UCLA, Cal Arts, and SUNY Purchase, as well as abroad in Melbourne, Shanghai, Beijing, Brazil, Turkey, Austria, and the UK, and independently with multiple theatre and organizations in LA, and New York. He has represented The Clown School as a Clown Specialist on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, and served as the Commedia dell’Arte and Movement Director for Center Theatre Group’s production of The School of Night by Peter Whelan at the Mark Taper Forum, for which he won an Entertainment Weekly ‘Special Events’ Award, and the adaptor and Movement Specialist for Classic Stage Company’s Dr Faustus in New York. His commedia-inspired choreography for William Friedkin’s production of Ariadne Auf Naxos at Los Angeles Opera was much acclaimed. David’s own clown plays and productions include Abraham & Isaac (with Four Clowns and the Latin American Film Institute, Sao Paulo), Sublimity (at the International Drama Festival in Sao Paulo and the United Solo Festival in New York) and Lunatics and Actors (with Four Clowns), Il Sogno d’Arlecchino (UCLA), Twelfth Night and The Legend of the Dead Soldier (Franklin Stage), Our Worser Genius (Purchase), The Dispute (UCLA), and Clown Crazy (Central School of Speech and Drama). David’s clown and commedia dell’arte plays I Gelosi, Lunatics and Actors and Sublimity are both published by Original Works. (I Gelosi continues to receive productions across the USA, including California, Washington, Alabama, and Texas.) The Los Angeles Times writes: “Bridel is the real thing, one of the most inventive, scholarly and vastly challenging voices on the current theatrical scene.”

In 2008, David (along with Orlando Pabotoy) was honored to co-teach a workshop in The Presence of the Clown with David Shiner, one of the great living clowns (Fool Moon, Cirque du Soleil), at the Summer Arts Festival in Fresno. In 2013, David facilitated the visit of Philippe Gaulier to Los Angeles to teach at The Clown School in partnership with Fixt Point of Canada. His book, Clowns: In Conversation With Modern Masters, featuring interviews with many of the world’s greatest clowns, published by Routledge UK, is available through Amazon.com. He sits on the board of the National Alliance for Acting Teachers and is the dean of USC's School of Dramatic Arts.

 
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Zach Steel

Zach is the co-Artistic Director of The Clown School. He studied theatre at New York University Tisch School of the Arts (Stella Adler Conservatory, Experimental Theater Wing, and ITW in Amsterdam). He has performed original works in various theaters throughout New York including PS 122, Symphony Space, and Dance New Amsterdam. He has studied with Philippe Gaulier and has spent the last five years in Los Angeles studying clown under David Bridel as well as performing with the clown troupe, Four Clowns. LA performing credits include Four Clowns productions Romeo & Juliet (2011 Hollywood Fringe top honors), Lunatics & Actors (written and co-directed by David Bridel along with Jeremy Aluma), and his own multi-award-winning original works, Me Rich You Learn (2013 Hollywood Fringe Best in Physical Theatre, Best World Premiere) and The Kitty Kat Show (both co-written and performed with Adam Carpenter). Most recently, he traveled to Brazil with Four Clowns where taught workshops in clown at the Stanislavsky Institute in Sao Paolo and created a show, Abraham and Isaac, wherein he played Abraham. Abraham and Isaac was performed at MUBE in Sao Paolo.

Along with his work at The Clown School, Zach teaches Physical Theatre at USC’s School of Dramatic Arts and has taught clown and improv at CalArts as well as the UCLA Performing Arts Summer Camp. He appeared regularly on the Disney television show A.N.T. Farm, and has made appearances on Parenthood (NBC), Kath & Kim (NBC), Key & Peele (Comedy Central), and Shameless (Showtime).

 
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Chae Chaput

Chae is the Administrator for The Clown School. She received her MFA in Acting from the University of Southern California and has studied clowning and Commedia dell'Arte with some of Los Angeles' finest: David Bridel, Zach Steel, Matt Walker, and Virginia Scott. Prior to venturing to the west coast, Chae obtained her BA in Theater Arts from Fairleigh Dickinson University, studied at The William Esper Studio in NYC, and trained across the pond at Wroxton College in England.

Chae has performed with Troubadour Theatre Company's Funky Punks kids clown troupe, the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, Find the Light, and has acted in several shorts and independent feature films. She has also performed and taught in the Tri-State area with companies such as Writer's Theatre of New Jersey, Luna Stage Theatre Company, and Mystic Vision Players.

In addition to her work with The Clown School, Chae is an actress studying on-camera acting with Sue Hamilton. She is also a teaching apprentice at USC shadowing Andy Robinson's Grotowski technique. 

 
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BOB BEUTH

Bob learned the art of mask-making with Julie Taymor (The Lion King) in the early 80s. He has designed masks and puppets for various theater companies in the Los Angeles area including Four Clowns, The Broad Stage and the Rubicon Theater in Ventura. Over the years he has studied marionette carving in Prague and recently Italian leather mask-making in Padova, Italy.

As a playwright, he has co-written and produced two full length plays with masks and puppets, STORIES OF THE SEASON and IN THE VALLEY OF MIST.

Also a professional actor for the past 40 years, some of his television work includes: “FRIENDS”, “E.R.”, “THE WEST WING”, “BONES”, “MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE”, “RULES OF ENGAGEMENT”.

Regionally he has appeared at the Kennedy Center in “SHEAR MADNESS”, the Getty Villa in “TUG OF WAR” and “THE WASPS”, and the Fulton Opera House in Lancaster, PA in “TINTYPES” and “THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS”.

Some of his film work includes: “WHEN HARRY MET SALLY”, “IN THE LINE OF FIRE”, “OUTBREAK”, “HEARTBREAKERS”, among others.

He is currently in training to begin to teach clown work through The Clown School.

 
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Mike Funt

Mike Funt is the Artistic Director of the internationally-touring, multi award-winning clown troupe Four Clowns. Additionally, Funt is a highly-respected and sought after teaching artist who travels the world leading workshops in clown, mask, and circus arts, and has taught workshops in China, India, Japan, and all over the U.S. Funt has directed many shows utilizing his personal brand of physical performance including Servant of Two Masters, a stage adaptation of the 1971 film, Cold Turkey, and his own translation and adaptation of Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid. Clown training includes work with Philippe Gaulier, Aitor Basauri, Stefan Haves and John Gilkey of Cirque du Soleil, Avner the Eccentric, Aziz Gual, and instructors from Ringling Brothers. He has also studied with play expert Dr. Stuart Brown and trained extensively in Laughter Yoga with Dr. Madan Kataria. He formerly taught at the San Francisco Comedy College and served five years as head of the Theatre Department for the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program.

 
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CAITLYN CONLIN

Caitlyn Conlin is a Los Angels-based actress, musician, clown and educator. She received her MFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts and holds a BA in Acting from Arizona State University. 

Caitlyn has worked with several award winning movement based theater companies and her work has been performed at notable venues including REDCAT, Bootleg Theater, Grand Performances, International RADAR LA Festival, LATC, Getty Villa, South Coast Repertory, and SOMA Fest.  She has also presented work internationally in England, Scotland, China, Saint Petersburg and the Chekhov International Theatre Festival in Moscow.

As a musician and lyricist, Caitlyn has composed and performed music at REDCAT’s Summer Studio, The Fifth String (REDCAT),  Lost in Lvov, winner of Best Satire (United Solo Festival, NY) and USC's production of Buenaza/Cabron.  Caitlyn continues to perform and collaborate with a wide range of eclectic musical groups and projects around Los Angeles. 

Currently, Caitlyn serves as program supervisor for USC School of Dramatic Art's new program in Medical Clowning, the practice of bringing highly skilled performers into the hospitals.   As a medical clown, Caitlyn works at Norris Cancer Center, LA County Hospital, and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.  She has also taught clowning workshops at various centers and universities including CalArts, USC, Improv First (Beijing, China), Beijing Clothing Technology University, Nevada Arts Council and The Clown School.