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Eli Simon

University of California, Irvine
Eli Simon is a Chancellor’s Professor of Acting at the University of California, Irvine. During his tenure at UC Irvine, he served for five years as Chair of Drama and, prior to that, for eleven years as Head of Acting. Simon has directed productions across the country and overseas, specializing in the development of original clown shows, commedias, American classics, Shakespeare, and musicals. Theatres include the National Theater of Romania in Cluj, New Swan Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespearean Festival, PCPA Theatrefest, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, Rude Guerilla Theatre, Magic Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, La Mirada, Western Stage, One Act Theatre, Intersection for the Arts, and the Orange County Performing Arts Center. Critically acclaimed productions include War of the Clowns, CLOWNZILLA: A Love Story (Critic’s Choice, LA Times), CLOWNZILLA: A Holiday Extravaganza, Illegal Aliens, The 39 Steps, On Borrowed Time (nine Drama-Loge awards including best direction and production), As You Like It, Fiddler on the Roof, Death of a Salesman, Merchant of Venice, City of Angels, Twelfth Night, Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act, Golden Boy, Rimers of Eldritch, The Time of Your Life, as well as Three Penny Opera, Victor/Victoria and Noises Off, which were voted “Show of the Year” by theatre critics. Interdisciplinary productions pooling the talents of the Drama, Dance, and Music departments in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts include Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, Victor/Victoria, City of Angels, and Guys and Dolls.

Simon is the author of The Art of Clowning, first edition, 2008 and second edition, 2012, published by Palgrave MacMillan. This book illuminates a complete system of clowning that encourages the exploration, expansion, and fortification of your distinct clown persona. A natural result of these investigations will be the development of original clown routines performed alone or in partnership with other clowns. If you are interested in exploring and inhabiting your unique clown persona, the techniques described herein demystify the process, yielding swift and deep access to the clown in you. For more information about The Art of Clowning, second edition: http://us.macmillan.com/theartofclowning/EliSimon

Simon is artistic director of CLOWNZILLA, an original clown troupe that creates silent clown shows. Their first production, CLOWNZILLA: A Love Story, premiered at Rude Guerilla Theatre in Santa Ana and subsequently toured to the Arezzo International Theatre Festival in Italy and the Gwacheon International Theatre Festival in South Korea. It has also played at PCPA Theatrefest and The Muckenthaler Cultural Center. The troupe's second show, CLOWNZILLA: A Holiday Extravaganza premiered at Rude Guerilla Theatre and UCIrivne. For more information, please visit: http://eilsimon.com

My Artists Sessions

Friday, May 8