Clowns in Conversation: Panel Discussion

Clowns in Conversation: Panel Discussion

Tile image of photos of panellists
Sun Sep 24 1:00pm
90 min | All Ages FREE Online Watch online at

But why is it CLOWN?…

Watch above, or on YouTube

An online panel discussion moderated by Jake Tkaczyk. From movies to TV to TikTok to the stage, clown and physical comedy are everywhere. But what makes clowning distinct from sketch, stand-up and other forms of comedy?


  • Aitor Basauri of Spymonkey, UK
  • Ingrid Hansen of SNAFU, Victoria
  • Dayna Lea Hoffmann, Batrabbit Productions, Edmonton / Amiskwaciwâskahikan 
  • Jacqueline Russell, Wee Witches Productions, Calgary / Mohkinstsis  

Watch online right here! Link live on Sept 24th at 12:30 MST.

Live Captioning by Tanzi Reule

Moderated by Jake Tkaczyk

Digital Stage management Lindy Mullen


Aitor Basauri is an acclaimed clown teacher, director. He is co-artistic director of Spymonkey and has participated in all of the company’s productions since 1998, including the creation of the Zumanity clown numbers for Cirque du Soleil, and regularly gives master classes for Spymonkey in London, New York, Berlin, Los Angeles, etc, and for the Clown Doctors organisation in Germany, Austria and France. 

Recent performance credits include Cal McCrystal’s 2010 Stuffed Hynes in Bilbao. In 2011 he appeared in Pasión sin Puñales at Circo Price in Spain. He appeared in 2003 in the Cirque Images series Solstrom for the Bravo Cable Network. He appeared in Bertold Brecht’s Mister Carrera’s Rifles at the Young Vic, directed by Paul Hunter (2007) Fulton and raised for RSC in The Three Musketeers 2018. He works at the National Theater in The Crazy Gang Project with Rufus Norris and Joss Houban.

He is physical comedy director of Chichester Festival Theatre’s ‘Mack & Mabel’ (2015), starring Michael Ball. He is currently directing La Casa de los Dedos for El Conejo Salvaje, El héroe for Inda Pereda productions, Thanks God for Tim and Joe in Canada, Manly Man in the USA and Orpheus in the Underworld for the Vienna food opera. Directing credits include: PALAZO Hamburg, Germany. 2019, Pretty Face for Amanda Huotari US 2019, Biteme for CB good and Hilary Chaplain 2019, Haha Hawaii for Suzen Mourakousi US 2019, Palazzo Vienna Austria, 2018, CHIFf, Chaff for Elfy Lions Uk. 2018, My life in a minor key for Erin Roy productions US, 2018, PALAZO Berlin, Germany 2017, Lie with me for Red Bastard, US 2017. 


Photo of Ingrid HansenIngrid Hansen (She/Her) In 2006 she co-founded SNAFU to create unexpected theatre, dance, and puppet theatre.  Ingrid is fascinated with ways of creating temporary communities out of groups of strangers. She likes to push polite Canadian boundaries with great mutual respect and humour. Her favourite performances invite the audience to participate in an unexpected way.   ​

She’s the co-creator of award-winning shows Epidermis Circus, Little Orange Man, Snack Music, Kitt & Jane: An interactive survival guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future, The Merkin Sisters, and a food-puppetry show called Table Top Tales which was invited to the National Art Centre in Ottawa. 

For the past twelve years, Ingrid has built an ongoing collaboration with the inmates at the prison theatre company William Head on Stage, the only prison theatre company in Canada that performs for the public. 

On TV, puppeteers and voices Heart, the lovable orange monster on Helpsters (Sesame Workshop/AppleTV+). She also performs with the Jim Henson Company in their new Fraggle Rock reboot.  Ingrid choreographs and puppeteers for the Emmy-Nominated preschool show Miss Persona (Amazon/TreehouseTV.) She is a lead puppeteer and voice actor for four seasons of the children’s television series Tiga Talk on APTN, and suited up to play a moon monster in Princess Sparkly Butt and the Hot Dog Kid. 

She has taught at Humber College, the Pacific Film and Media Academy, The Magnetic North Theatre Festival, the Toronto School of Puppetry, the Victoria Youth Justice Centre, Grand Valley Institution for Women, and has taught and performed at hundreds of elementary schools across Canada. Hansen earned her BFA in Theatre at the University of Victoria, and studied with clown master Sue Morrison, the SITI Company in New York, and the Old Trouts at the Banff National Arts Centre Puppetry Intensive.  IG: @snafudance @iamingridhansen 


photo of Dayna Lea HoffmannDayna Lea Hoffmann is a mixed-race artist and actor from the Unceded Coast Salish Territories colloquially known as Surrey, BC. She has a strong passion for creation, collaborative work, film, and clown and hopes to share these passions with audiences across Canada. For the last four years, she has been living in Treaty No. 6 Territory (Edmonton) honing her skills of clown, acting, dance and juggling. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA program and  additionally holds a diploma in Theatre from Douglas College. Dayna is a former performer, student and teacher of the Vancouver Circus School, and an alumni of Canada’s National Voice Intensive. Her recent clown work includes Rat Academy (Performer, Writer, Producer) and The Radical Re-Education of Generation Z Internet Hygiene and Being AFK (Director, Writer). 


photo of Jacqueline RussellJacqueline Russell (she/her) is an educator, director, performer, creator and clown based in Mohkínstsis/Calgary on Treaty Seven territory. She specializes in clown, mask, immersive theatre creation and theatre for young audiences. Jacqueline was the Artistic Producer of Handsome Alice (formerly Urban Curvz) Theatre from 2011-2015, the 2013-14 RBC Emerging Director at Lunchbox Theatre and the Artistic Producer for Evergreen Theatre from 2008-2013. She has directed for Evergreen Theatre, Calgary Opera, The Shakespeare Company, New West Theatre, Lunchbox Theatre, Urban Curvz, Keyano College, Calgary Young People’s Theatre, the University of Calgary and Inside Out Theatre. As a performer/creator she has contributed to many new works, including her feminist sketch comedy show Raunch (with co-creator Alice Nelson) which was held over at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival in 2009 and appeared at Fem Fest (Sarasvati Productions) in 2010 and Magnetic North in 2012. With her co-conspirator Jed Tomlinson she has created and toured two full-length clown shows, The Sama Kutra & Hushabye, to festivals across the country. She was an artist-in-residence at the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance from 2014 -2016. Jacqueline is a graduate of the BFA program in Acting at the University of Alberta and recently completed her MFA at the University of Calgary where her thesis research examined the intersection of clown ways of knowing and feminist ways of thinking. In February 2021 she performed as part of an international lineup of female clowns for the online Red Pearl Festival in Helsinki. Jacqueline has taught for the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary, Ambrose University, Brandon University, and Inside Out Theatre.


photo of Jake TkaczykJake Tkaczyk, moderator (He/Him) is an Edmonton-based theatre artist with a passion for creating new and engaging work collaboratively. He is currently in the midst of his PhD in Creative Practice from the Transart Institute and Liverpool John Moores’ University. Jake has worked as an actor, director, creator, and educator in central Alberta. Jake had the extreme pleasure of working as an Artist Intern at Northern Light Theatre for a few years and is currently the General Manager of Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre. Jake spent two years working as the Program Manager, Performing Arts at the Banff Centre. Jake recently received the AFA Young Artist Prize. W: |  IG: jdtkaczyk