The Chinese Clown Cabaret

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The Creators

Voice Lessons



Jane Chen

JANE CHEN, creator of The Chinese Clown Cabaret, is a Taiwanese-American actor, singer, and teacher. A graduate of Yale University and the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theater, Jane has created and performed original theater which combines such varied forms as opera, clowning, and puppetry. Locally, Jane has performed with Ten Red Hen Productions ({99-cent} Miss Saigon), Opera Piccola/Stagebridge (Being Something, Oakland Metro, dir. Ellen Sebastian Chang), Mugwumpin, Shotgun Players, FoolsFury, Kearny Street Workshop (APAture Festival Featured Artist 2003), PuppetLOVE!, and UC Berkeley (Tarnival!). Jane has taught acting and voice for such organizations as U.C. Berkeley, AAA Summer Camp (Walnut Creek), Splash Circus (Emeryville), and Ten Red Hen (Berkeley). She is the lead soprano for the annual Fremont and Grand Lake Montessori School operas, performing alongside talented 5-12 year-olds. Commercially, Jane is represented by JE Talent and has worked for such companies as Microsoft, Genentech, Genesys, Brookstone, Brighton Shoes, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. As a child, she performed at Carnegie Hall with the CityKids and appeared in The Babysitters Club on HBO, In the Mix on PBS, and the documentary Visions of America (Amy Tan segment) on NBC. During her time at Yale, Jane founded the Homeless Theater Troupe, an organization of homeless people who created and performed plays based on their life experiences (Search "A Stage Where the Homeless Star" at for more information). Jane has also performed with Clowns Without Borders in Chiapas, Mexico, and currently teaches private voice lessons in her Oakland, California home.


TAIR CHEN, Tair ChenTair ChenTair ChenCo-creator, is a Taiwanese-American performer and computer engineer. Her experience in theater originated in observing and enjoying the rehearsals and performances of her two daughters, which she has done for the past seventeen years. She made an abrupt career change from software engineering to performing arts in 2004, with her starring role as "Mom" in The Chinese Clown Cabaret. In addition to co-creating and performing, Tair also takes on the roles of prop-making, sets, costumes, tour managing, and web maintenance. Her love of arts has helped her toward a very important purpose: connecting with her daughter, taking part in her life, and helping other mothers all across the world re-invest in their relationships with their children. Tair currently resides in New Jersey but commutes to California frequently to rehearse The Chinese Clown Cabaret. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science.


Maya GurantzMAYA GURANTZ, Director, is a theater director and writer who's created new works in New York, New Haven, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and rural Mississippi.  Favorite credits include:  CLUB*, Voices from the Crossroads: How the Deal Rocked Up, Holla', and The Living Newspaper Theater.  She's long been active in community-based theater projects, helping to develop new works with Planned Parenthood, the San Diego Repertory Theater and Mississippi Cultural Crossroads.  Maya graduated from Yale University in 1998 and was a 2001 Altvater Fellow with Cornerstone Theater Company.  She writes about theater and its discontents on her blog,



CHRISTOPHER W. WHITE, Christopher W. White2005 Co-creator, is a performer, director, and writer based in Oakland. He co-directs mugwumpin, a contemporary performance company which he co-founded in 2003. In addition to mugwumpin duties, San Francisco credits include performing with Lunatique Fantastique and the San Francisco Opera and co-creating Jane Chen’s Chinese Clown Cabaret for the 2005 SF Fringe. He has also participated in the Magic Theater Lab. Chris has worked as a performer, director and script-development advisor in New York (Flea Theater, CSV Cultural Center, among others) and Dublin, Ireland (Project Arts Centre, ReadCo, enElephants, among others). He received his B.A. in Theater Studies from Yale University and his M.F.A. from Naropa University’s Lecoq-Based Actor-Created Physical Theater program.