My Nose Turns Red Theatre Company

P. O. Box 120307
Covington, KY 41012


Our Mission:
"To preserve and enlarge the Art of the Theatrical Clown.
My Nose Turns Red Theatre Company exists to educate the public about the clown in culture, increasing the audience awareness of the art form, and to provide communities the opportunity to celebrate the experience."

Since 1980, My Nose Turns Red Theatre Company's education and entertaining programs have delighted audiences of all ages. The Company began in Lexington, Kentucky, as a Mime company that also juggled. Co-founders Jean St. John and Steve Roenker, realizing that they loved to talk to the audience and use lots and lots of props, decided on a change.

They became clowns - theatrical clowns - clowns in the European tradition, with a great love for physical theatre, dance history, culture and cheap theatrics, and following the great clown artists Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, as well as Grock, Dimitri and Engibarov. This is a rich tradition that has its roots in the Commedia dell'Arte, the masked, improvisational theater that originated in Renaissance Italy.

The Theatrical clown is an art form that is both traditional and innovative. It is a tradition that is centuries old yet remains on the cutting edge of theatre. It is a tradition that stretches the rules and bounds of traditional (some call it ”legitimate”) theatre. It is a tradition that sees the fourth wall (the traditional invisible barrier between the performers and the audience) not as a barrier but as a welcome sign.

Where traditional theatre might at most recognize the audience with an occasional aside, the clown artist regularly includes the audience in the production and will often invite audience members on stage to directly participate in the production. Clowns often take the action into the audience.

It is, perhaps, the closeness between the performer and audience that is so unique and special to the theatrical clown form. And it is not just a physical closeness but a closeness of spirit, of sharing. My Nose Turns Red celebrates clown theatre performances that are a partnership between performer and audience.

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