Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Sunday Morning With The Braid Presents JEWISH CLOWNS: A HIDDEN HISTORY

Educator, journalist, and a Jewish clown herself, Danielle Levsky is eager to share the secret story of clowning.

Sunday Morning With The Braid Presents JEWISH CLOWNS: A HIDDEN HISTORY

The word "clown" may conjure up images of children's birthday parties or circus attractions, but clowning actually is a long and ancient tradition - one with a surprisingly Jewish history. Educator, journalist, and a Jewish clown herself, Danielle Levsky is eager to share the secret story of clowning in Jewish Clowns: a Hidden History, part of the acclaimed Sunday Morning with The Braid series.

As part of a conversation moderated by Braid staff member David Chiu, Levsky will explore clowning's roots in ancient Rome all the way through the Middle Ages to the present day, its variations across the world, and the specific role it has played in the history of the Jewish people. Weaving popular holidays with Kabbalistic lore, as well as Levsky's own perspective as a Soviet Jew, the public is invited down the rabbit hole into a wondrous, topsy-turvy world in which exaggerated characters become vehicles into our truest selves. The conversation will take place Live on Zoom Sunday, Oct. 2, at 11am PT/2pm ET, and is free to attend (although The Braid hopes attendees will support future programming by purchasing a virtual ticket).

"Danielle is a captivating speaker," raves moderator Chiu. "She amazes me with both the breadth of her knowledge but also her fearless vulnerability. Alternating between fascinating history and her own deeply personal stories, she changed the way I think about clowns forever."

Viewers will hear how she confronts her own family's struggle to survive under the Soviet Union with the provocative absurdity of one of her clown characters, and how taking her first clowning class inspired Levsky to come out of the closet. She'll explain how clowning isn't merely the art of amusement but is a powerful way to explore our deepest anxieties and to speak truth to power when no other avenue is possible.

Chiu wryly notes that with movies like Stephen King's It (about a killer clown), some people might even find clowns frightening: "I learned from Danielle that this fear can actually be a good thing. If we push past the discomfort, sometimes a truly masterful clown can cause us to confront our fears - and give us the courage to transcend them."

In addition to her clowning, Danielle Levsky is the host of the Alliance for Jewish Theatre's podcast, Theatre Schmooze. David Chiu serves as The Braid's marketing & communications manager and a producer of its StoryNosh web series, as well as a professional screenwriter. Together they hope audiences will join them for a delightful, informative, and truly surprisingly Sunday.

To learn more about The Braid's origins, mission, and community, visit the-braid.org/about/.


BroadwayWorld Logo Vote Now for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Los Angeles Awards
Vote Nowvoting ends in



Interview: Cirque du Soleils Stefan Haves, Creator and Director of SHAMBLES Photo
The Actors' Gang is excited to present their family friendly holiday show, Shambles, an unbridled concoction of seasonal charm and sassy cunning all rolled up in a cirque-infused panto, blurring the lines between audience and performers. When I read that this immersive experience will drop theater goers into a 60's NASA holiday party complete with alien abductions, ugly Christmas sweaters, and free-flowing champagne offered as theatergoers meander through curated rooms of wonder, I knew I had to speak with the production's creator and director, Cirque du Soleil's Stefan Haves about his vision to bring such fun family fare to the stage.

Interview: SMASH-ing Broadway Baby Megan Hilty Talks Caroling with The Tabernacle Choir &a Photo
Megan Hilty’s stint with The Tabernacle Choir last year O Holy Night, narrated by everybody’s favorite baddie Neal McDonough, will air on PBS December 13, 2022 and BYUtv on December 18, 2022. This, the latest edition of PBS’ #1 primetime holiday program for seventeen years, “Christmas with The Tabernacle Choir,” features an Irish-themed program of holiday and classical music. I had the opportunity to participate in the live portion of the Zoom preview presentation with Megan, Neal, Ron Gunnell, (Global Convoy of the Tabernacle Choir), and The Tabernacle Choir’s musical director Mack Wilberg via Zoom from Salt Lake.

STAGEStheatre Presents ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE: A RADIO PLAY At The Curtis Theatre Photo
Curtis Theatre & STAGEStheatre present Joe Landry's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE A Live Radio Play directed by Amanda DeMaio, running December 15 - 18, 2022.

Idyllwild Arts Presents A Westside Ballet Masterclass With Robyn Gardenhire On January 15 Photo
For students aged 12 to 17 years old who are interested in exploring dance, Idyllwild Arts (www.idyllwildarts.org) will present a ballet masterclass with Robyn Gardenhire, the Founder and Artistic Director of City Ballet of Los Angeles.


More Hot Stories For You


El Portal Theatre Presents Three Special Shows For The Holidays!El Portal Theatre Presents Three Special Shows For The Holidays!
December 7, 2022

El Portal Theatre presents three special shows to celebrate the holidays onstage at the historic El Portal Theatre Debbie Reynolds Mainstage, 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in the NOHO Arts District, North Hollywood, CA.

Free CHARACTER TRANSFORMATION WORKSHOPS: With World Renown Acting Teacher Giles Foreman Announced In NYC And LAFree CHARACTER TRANSFORMATION WORKSHOPS: With World Renown Acting Teacher Giles Foreman Announced In NYC And LA
December 7, 2022

Free three hour character transformation workshops with world renown acting teacher Giles Foreman will be held in person in New York City and Los Angeles. 

Langson IMCA Presents New Exhibition BRUTON SISTERS: MODERNISM IN THE MAKINGLangson IMCA Presents New Exhibition BRUTON SISTERS: MODERNISM IN THE MAKING
December 7, 2022

UCI Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art (Langson IMCA) is presenting The Bruton Sisters: Modernism in the Making, a new exhibition organized by guest curator Wendy Van Wyck Good.

World Premiere of ON THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD & More Announced for East West Players 57th Anniversary SeasonWorld Premiere of ON THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD & More Announced for East West Players 57th Anniversary Season
December 7, 2022

East West Players, the nation’s longest-running Asian American theater and the largest producer of Asian American theatrical works, is launching its 57th anniversary season.

Full Cast Announced for HITS! THE MUSICAL Featuring 29 Young Singers and DancersFull Cast Announced for HITS! THE MUSICAL Featuring 29 Young Singers and Dancers
December 7, 2022

“HITS! The Musical” has announced the cast of 29 singers and dancers who will deliver an unforgettable 90 minutes of non-stop, foot-tapping fun and excitement for music lovers young and old.