Clown Bible

From King David’s song of thanksgiving to the Lord:
with the loyal you show yourself loyal;
with the blameless you show yourself blameless;
with the pure you show yourself pure,
and with the crooked you show yourself perverse.”

Amen. Working directly from Biblical text, CLOWN BIBLE translated these tales, familiar and obscure, into the broad performance languages of both music and clown.

CLOWN BIBLE traced the running gags of obedience, masculinity, power, corruption and failure in the evolution of the relationship between God and man from Genesis to Revelations. We neither criticized nor endorsed the faiths that hold the Bible to be holy writ—instead we used the naked vulnerability of clown to interpret the mythic strangeness of the Biblical text, with its parade of flawed men chosen to be leaders.  Sam Hurwitt called CLOWN BIBLE the “#1 Show of 2007” in the East Bay Express.

“hilarious, haunting, and unexpectedly challenging in the hands of Ten Red Hen.  Their no-budget {The 99-cent} Miss Saigon was a hard act to follow, but CLOWN BIBLE is better.  The magic of the show lies less in any great spectacle of circus arts than in the way it can turn from funny to devastating in an instant.”

-Sam Hurwitt, East Bay Express

“The ensemble is due full, heartfelt praise, as is Ten Red Hen founder Maya Gurantz, for a truly collaborative show…contributing to the unique style and flavor of this bravura piece, a veritable tabernacle of prat-fall praise to the greater glories of the Theater of the World (amen)…CLOWN BIBLE is a theatrical event of real magnitude; the show doesn’t degrade scripture, but elevates the quietly sad or manically grinning countenance of the clown, as did the medieval Miracle Plays and strangely humorous decor of cathedrals, where sacred stories seem to get sent up on sacred occasions and in sacred places.”

Ken Bullock, Berkeley Daily Planet


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Ned Braeur (Adam, Saul, Ensemble)
Daniel Bruno (Percussion, Ensemble)
George Michael Chan (Solomon, Ensemble)
Jane Chen (God, Jesus)
Sig Hafstrom (Viola, Ensemble)
Will Howard (Cain, Samson, Viola, Ensemble)
Kazumi Kusano (Eve, Nahash, Mean Mother, Ensemble)
Dave Malloy (Job, Judas, Piano, Accordion)
Andre Nigoghossian (David, Guitar, Tin Whistle, Violin, Ensemble)
Conrad Seto (Bass, Ensemble)
Issabella Shields (Abel, Moses, Violin, Ensemble)
Alexis P. Wong (Sarah, Good Mother, Ensemble)


Director: Maya Gurantz
Composer, Musical Director: Dave Malloy
Set Designer: Adrian W. Jones
Lighting Designer: Raymond Oppenheimer
Stage Manager: Sarah Elovich
Production Manager: Mike Howard
Clown Trainer: Jane Chen
Acrobatics Trainers: Issabella Shields, Will Howard