"This year getting ready for the clown festival, reviewing applications, seeing shows. Fellas --assume nothing-the ladies are seriously rockin' it! As writers, directors and performers!!" Audrey Cabtree Director of the festival on facebook August 10, 2010.
Looking at the breakdown of shows in this years festival - here is the breakdown from what I can tell from the descriptions of male or all male companies, women solo and duo and men and women working together.
All Male Shows 4
All Female Shows 9 (just been informed they found some more males working with a female so change the number to 8)
All Mixed Shows 3; (this changes to)
Not sure if it is a male or female 1
Off Site Shows, Brick shows and other events
All male 7
All female 12(this changes to 11)
Mixed 4 (this changes to 5)
What does all this mean - nothing as long as we are laughing. But it does show a very real change in what women are doing in the entertainment world in North America. In the mid 80's I came very close to producing an off Bwy vaudeville show in a 299 seat theatre. One problem we had a was finding excellent female performers with great original material. There were some which where amazing and they were slated to be in the show. Since the 1980's this does show real change in what women are choosing to do in our entertaiment world. As another example I was just in San Francisco visiting Judy Finelli and met one of her assistants Milissa Arleth who besides having all of the normal skills in our clown world she has developed a very unique act called "Cirque du Sewer" working with "Rats" that she trained. It takes about a year plus to train a rat and she seems to be performing a good part of the year. Her web site is http://www.melissaarleth.com/.
Just as a note:
John Towsen is very much responsible for bring the first and second clown theatre festival to light. He is doing a workshop at the festival - if you are planning to take a workshop John workshop is one not to miss.