a work-in-progress from the Clown Gym Ensemble

Developed Spring 2024

shared June 11th, 2024 at Chelsea Factory

A Note from the Clown Gym Team:
Thank you for joining us at Chelsea Factory on June 11th, 2044. We’re honored to present the Clown Gym Ensemble, reuniting after 20 years, to perform their award winning 2024 production of HERO: “In a fertile land gone dry, abandoned by the gods, the animals, and their daddy, a group of dreamers search for a hero to save us all.” The original production miraculously stopped climate change and made stars of its creators, collectively earning them a Nobel Peace Prize, a Pulitzer, and, after the Broadway transfer from The Tank, all the Tony’s. Now they reunite for one-night only in honor of its 20th anniversary. Thank you for being here for another history making night.

Directed by Julia Proctor and Rachel Resnik

Devised by Kevin Allen, Lex Alston, Michael Galligan, Julia Proctor, Rachel Resnik, and Aya Tucker

Performed by Kevin Allen, Lex Alston, Michael Galligan, Julia Proctor, and Aya Tucker

Original Music and Music Directed by Lex Alston

Production Managed by Rachel Resnik

Assistant Directed by Charlie Delaney

Assistant Stage Managed by Francesca Piccioni

Company Biographies from the Year 2044 . . .

Kevin Allen is an Emmy, Oscar and Tony-winning actor, writer and producer, famously known for playing Captain Reece on Star Trek. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Kevin received an honorary doctorate in acting from his alma mater before guest lecturing at Dartmouth for a year. He and his wife, Brooke Ferris, are co-CEOs of Socks & Unicorns, the production company that is developing a Broadway musical about former President Barack Obama. Kevin also created the Allen Endowment at the Iyengar Yoga Association of the United States, which funds yoga classes, workshops and teacher training for people of color and underrepresented communities.

Lex Alston is a performing artist and clown. Her career began as a roustabout with Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. Since then, he has performed with Big Apple Circus, Ringling Circus and Cirque du Soleil. They live happily with their partner somewhere. Maybe on a beach, maybe in the forest.

Michael Galligan is a performer, producer, and teaching artist. He is widely known for his refusal to play any realistic human characters, instead preferring to hide behind abstractions. He has avoided sharing himself just as he is on such stages as Woolly Mammoth, Radio City Music Hall, and the Theater at Epidaurus where his work literally transported him back in time to ancient Greek times. He sets strong boundaries for himself so that he doesn’t say yes to too many things and eventually just burns out, leaving everyone disappointed. Nope, he doesn’t do that anymore. 

Julia Proctor, Clown Gym’s Founding Director, is known by the NYTimes for making “inspiring, joyful, whip-smart theatre that rocks you to your core and eradicates loneliness.” The NYTimes named her “one of the most beloved educators who inspires the best in her students but doesn’t require them to worship her.” The NYTimes calls her acting “transcendent, beautiful and so so funny.” She lives in Manhattan with her husband, whose work not only stopped but also reversed the devastating impacts of climate change. They have a parking spot in a garage and are known for their great dinner parties. Their daughter was recently named a MacArthur Fellow.

Rachel Resnik is a Tony and Emmy award winning clown, writer and director. She is considered a comedic genius known for her keen eye for stage work. Rachel began studying clown as a teenager and was yelled at by every master clown teacher in the world until she became one herself. She is contracted to direct the all-woman 2059 Broadway production of Waiting for Godot. She is well known for her comedic TV roles where she says one line, makes it really funny, and leaves. She lives with her husband Ryan who proposed on her birthday in July of 2024, one month after the original Clown Gym Chelsea Factory Residency. They have 6 cats and 6 dogs which Ryan is fine with because they can totally afford it.

Aya Tucker is a clown, physical theatre artist, and acting coach. In addition to devising and performing in many award-winning plays, she has been a sought-after clown and acting teacher worldwide, including New York and Japan. Her class is known to be universally accessible, which helps students’ artistic growth, as well as their well-being in a sustainable entertainment career. Thanks to Aya, acting and clowning have become a highly respected and fairly-paid profession.

Clown Gym started as an itinerant drop-in clown class 30 years ago and is now a beloved community hub at its permanent home in Chelsea. Thanks to no-strings-attached federal funding, all Clown Gym classes are free, all staff are paid a living wage including full benefits plus funding for their personal projects, thousands of artists come through the doors of its 3 theaters showcasing new work for which they are paid to develop, and the company fosters long-term collaborations that feed the soul of American Theatre. “I couldn’t tell if I was laughing or crying, but I learned how to end war,” says most audience members after leaving their shows.

About Clown Gym:
Clown Gym’s mission is to build community, spread joy, and support artists as they embrace their humor, beauty, vulnerability, skill, intelligence, passion, and dreams. We do this through affordable high-quality training, teacher mentorship programming, new work development, performances, and community events focusing on clown and physical comedy.