The Clown School
The mission of Los-Angeles based The Clown School is to bring laughter and joy into the world and to promote extraordinary theatrical events. Our classes, productions, outreach, international partnerships and special events are all dedicated to a celebration of the expressive potential of live theater. We anchor our work in the discipline of clown because we believe that clowning embraces and celebrates the totality of human experience and offers unparalleled freedom in art. We love to play.

The Clown School was formed in 2007 by David Bridel and Orlando Pabotoy; classes are currently taught by David, Zach Steel, Mike Funt, award-winning clown Phil Burgers aka Dr Brown, and Virginia Scott, a Chris Bayes certified teacher. We offer the highest quality of clown training to actors, performers, comedians, and participants from all walks of life, including doctors, teachers, healers, film-makers, and students. We have successfully “graduated” legions of new clowns, including many members of the multi-award-winning company Four Clowns. We’ve won widespread acclaim for our classes, described as “truly spectacular and unforgettable” in the LA Stage Times and “unbelievable – the best work I’ve ever seen” by comedian June Diane Raphael. While our home is Los Angeles, we’ve traveled to China, Australia, Turkey, and Brazil to spread the gospel of clowning. We are officially partnered with Four Clowns in LA, The Stanislavsky Institute in Sao Paulo, and Improv First in Beijing. We’ve also begun to bring world-renowned artists to Los Angeles to enrich our theatrical culture, including clown masters Philippe Gaulier, Aitor Basauri, Norman Taylor, and Paola Coletto.

We think of the clown as a natural part of your life, but one that has often been overlooked or pushed down. We want your clown to burst out of you, to give license to your spontaneous, fearless, and playful self. We’re sure that your clown is creative and generous and always alive.

Our methods are ancient and modern at once. We pay tribute to everything from indigenous clown rituals to the commedia dell’arte to the great era of the silent film comedians to the clown’s modern-day renaissance on stage, in film, and at the circus. The clown is an iconic figure, and it lives inside your body: silly, profound, and eternally mischievous.

Let go of your fears. Have some fun. Come and play with us.

  • Our unique series of classes (Level 1: Beginner, Level 2: Intermediate, Level 3: Advanced) has been designed to inspire actors, performers, improvisers, comics, and anyone who dares to let go and go deep!
  • Exercises and improvisations are carefully constructed to build skills and techniques that are applicable to many differing performance venues and disciplines, including stage, on-camera, comedy, improv, circus – and of course, life.
  • Students receive individual attention and targeted challenges.
  • Classes are disciplined, rigorous, and great fun.

The LA Stage writes: “A truly spectacular and unforgettable class.”

In the tradition of all clowns, we seek to liberate the creative spirit from the doldrums of everyday life, to make the sacred profane and the profane sacred. Come and make a beautiful mess!