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Vaudevisuals interview with Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandell

It was a beautiful afternoon in New York City and I visited the Happenstance Theater Company founders, Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandell. We had a few hours together to catch up on all things ‘physical comedy’. Including their upcoming show “Barococo” which is Opening at the wonderful 59E59 Theater on March 18th. I questioned them about the show and the origins of the Happenstance company.

From the Press Release!

In this collaboratively devised ensemble work, the award-winning, DC-based company, Happenstance Theater portrays oblivious entitlement on the brink of extinction. BAROCOCO takes a physical comedy dive into the late Baroque and flaunts 18th-century finery, wigs, panniers, gestural styling, elaborate ornamentation and the excesses of Rococo. The show navigates the dangerous curves of manners and the Age of Enlightenment from the exquisite to the revolting. This charming and charismatic six-person ensemble exposes an indulgent aristocratic lifestyle and invites you to experience the charade — from parlor games to pantomime, from the exquisite to the revolting — in this delightful comedy of manners.

Featuring Mark Jaster, Caleb Jaster, Sabrina Mandell, Gwen Grastorf, Sarah Olmsted Thomas, and Alex Vernon.

WHEN: March 18 – April 5, 2020
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays @ 7:15pm Saturdays & Sundays @ 2:15pm
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WHERE: 59E59 Theaters – THEATER B – 59 East 59th Street – New York NY

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“Polished to an aristocratic shine” – Washington Post

“Kooky and astute” – DC Metro Theatre Scene

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For More Information/Tickets CLICK HERE!

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Clown NY Clown Theatre Festival 2012 Performing Arts Photography The Brick Variety Arts

2012 New York Clown Theatre Festival – “On The Nose” – Mark Jaster & Sabrina Mandell

‘on the nOse’

Directed by Elena Day and written by Antony Bolante


Mark Jaster

Sabrina Mandell

A wonderful program that incorporates video interviews with different clown professionals and on stage ‘clown’ business that helps explain the art form and it’s many different traditions.

Sabrina Mandell and Mark Jaster begin the show with some funny business.

The professor uses a new machine that monitors ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers.

Sabrina Mandell is the candidate for this new device.

The professor demonstrates many different props used by many different types of clowns over the years.

Sabrina gets a hold of one of the ‘traditional’ clown props and questions it’s use.

After much discussion about ‘pie in the face’ Sabrina decides she wants the honors.

Audience member Carol Sirugo gets the honors of doing the ‘pie in the face’.

The professor looks at Sabrina with question as she reads the ‘survey’ that the audience participated in.

The Professor (Mark Jaster) questions the power of the jester stick.

Mark and Sabrina finish the show with a nice little song that they play.

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Each clown is the expression of a unique comedic soul, so the connection he makes is uniquely personal.

It’s a direct connection that ignores the usual barriers between artist and audience. Yet, by embodying our most basic qualities, the clown’s appeal is also universal. Through laughter, clowns restore our spirit and rekindle out sense of play. They understand that laughter is more than the sound of joy. It’s the sign of our humanity, and it signals our recognition of the humanity of others. To inspire laughter is to inspire compassion, empathy, even fraternity. Clowns are important not because they can change the world, but because they believe then can. Laugh a little. Open your heart.

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