April 7, 2011

Moisture Festival Performer Interviews: Avner The Eccentric

Avner Eisenberg was one a handful of 1970s street performers who took their acts into theaters and, along with the Flying Karamazov Brothers and others, gave birth to the New Vaudeville movement. Even in those early days, this Georgia-born clown was recognized by other performers as wise beyond his years. He helped them to consider what it was they were doing onstage and how they went about doing it. After obtaining a BA degree in theater at the University of Washington in 1971 he took further training with Jacques Lecoq in Paris and then with Carlo Mazzone Clementi in California. Avner acknowledges a debt to these two masters who helped to give him direction: “Lecoq, taught me everything I know and Carlo taught me the rest” and he repaid that debt by doing the same for many of us for many years. Along with top theater credits (his one-man show was a hit of the 1984-85 Broadway season and was followed by rave reviews as he toured America and European theaters), the big screen (he co-starred with Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny Divito in the film Jewel of the Nile) and small screen (many TV shows worldwide) Avner was recently inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame. You can see Avner at Hales Palladium on April 7th, 8th and 10th and on Vashon Island at the Open Space for Arts and Community April 9th

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