This Spring, Dell’Arte welcomed back former faculty members Stephanie Thompson, Joe Krienke, and current Director of Admissions Matt Chapman, to help lead classes in the study of Clown for our first-year students. For the past month, students have been immersed in the study of funny, bringing characters to life through play in the world of the Clown. This annual study of Clown is one of the liveliest times of year at the School, and Dell’Arte is thrilled to host these masterful teachers as guest faculty members. School Director Lauren Wilson will direct this year’s public Clown performances by the first-year class (in the appropriately titled “Clown!”), which runs from May 4 – 6 in Dell’Arte’s Carlo Theatre.

Stephanie Thompson is currently Managing Director at Ten Thousand Things Theater in Minneapolis. She is a recent transplant to Minnesota, having served for many years in various positions at Dell’Arte, including Executive Director, Associate School Director, and Resident Faculty Member. Stephanie has taught throughout the United States in the areas of mask, puppetry, commedia, clown, acting, community engagement, and entrepreneurship in the arts. Prior to her work at Dell’Arte, Stephanie served on the faculty of the MFA Acting program at University of Missouri Kansas City. As a performer, Stephanie has worked throughout the US and abroad as an actor, clown, puppeteer, stunt double, and commedia performer with companies such as Dell’Arte International, The New Pickle Circus, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Kenneth Feld Productions, California Revels and Tears of Joy Theatre. She is currently conspiring to re-mount the play “Three Trees” with long-time theater partners Joe Krienke and Lauren Wilson.

Joe Krienke is an Internationally Certified Teacher of the F.M. Alexander Technique and theater-maker based in Minneapolis, MN. He has a 20-year history with Dell’Arte in various roles including student, Core Faculty Member, Director of Admissions, Associate School Director, Board Member, and Company Member. Joe was on the Faculty in the MFA Actor Training Program at the University of Missouri, Kansas City from 2001-2006 and has taught workshops or been in residence at another two-dozen higher educational institutions nationwide. He has toured nationally with San Francisco’s Pickle Circus and Portland’s Tears of Joy Theater. In 2016-17 he will be teaching in Florida, Minnesota, Philadelphia, and California, and is launching a non-residential Alexander Technique Teacher Training program in Minneapolis in the fall of 2017.

Matt Chapman is a performer, teacher, and director of physical theatre and clown. After three years working on the Faculty at Dell’Arte, he is now living and working in Oakland, CA. Matt is also Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Brooklyn’s Under the Table, now in its thirteenth year of making works and touring the country and globe. He has taught Clown at Marymount Manhattan College and Manhattanville College in New York, and has taught workshops at such places as the Kennedy Center, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, NYU, Vassar, Sarah Lawrence, Towson, and many other universities and theatres. Matt regularly works abroad as well; he has taught and performed at festivals, schools, and theatres in South Africa, Denmark, Colombia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Canada, and England.

Photo by Alex Blouin, Marketing Director