Cirque du Soleil star and Dell’Arte Graduate Jeff Raz unveils his new book, The Secret Life of Clowns, at the Arcata Playhouse. Jeff’s only visit back to the Redwood Empire before launching his book nationally at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. this summer. This is a FREE to the public – reading, workshop, Q&A with the author and book signing.
More than one million people saw Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo with Jeff Raz in the starring role. Every night after the show, Raz hurried back to the hotel to do his “day job” as the director of the only school for professional circus clowns in the United States. The Secret Life of Clowns was born from Raz’s attempts to take the principles he taught at The Clown Conservatory into the grand chapiteau in front of 2,800 Cirque du Soleil fans eight times a week. The form of the book is modeled on Constantin Stanislavski’s brilliant trilogy that brought the Moscow Art Theatre to the world through the eyes of a fictionalized student. Since Raz was simultaneously running a school and starring in a show, he has doubled up on Stanislavski with twin narratives ¾ a fictionalized Clown Conservatory and a backstage tour of Cirque du Soleil.
"Jeff Raz is the perfect person to give the lowdown on what it means to train contemporary clowns, and what it means to actually be a clown — in the old circus, the ‘new circus,’ and in the theatre. His wonderful passion for the subject is now generously shared in his new book, just as it has been shared for so long with students and audiences."
- Joan Schirle, co-founder of Dell’Arte International