Letter of Introduction

Mr. Kenneth Feld

     In 1968 my father, Irvin Feld, laid the foundations for an institution which would forever change clowning in America. He established a unique school -- Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Clown College -- to breathe new life into a fading art and carry on a time-honored tradition.

     In the years since that first graduating class burst through our doors, the world has undergone dramatic changes. We are increasingly dependent on technology. But somehow the intimate world of the clown has remained virtually unchanged. A clown who speaks and acts from the heart needs no sophisticated sound system, no amplification at all. Every word, every sound, every movement will be truthful -- clearly and instantly understood -- reaching up to the highest row of the largest arena.

     I recall fondly the great Master Clowns -- Lou Jacobs, Otto Griebling, Bobby Kay -- and the many years of laughter they gave to Children of All Ages. Now, it gives me great pleasure to witness the promise of a new generation of clowns... to watch as individual characters take shape, evolve, and move into the spotlight. Developing a clown character, finding a comedic voice, is a slow and evolving process... a long a demanding journey of self-discovery.

     Dick Monday, the Director of Clown College, strives to help today's students find honesty in their own performance and guide them through the exploration of clowning. His own passion for clowning and his respect for the masters is apparent. He and his dedicated faculty teach their students to honor the profession, continue the tradition and listen to their hearts.

     We want to ensure that future generations will experience and enjoy the wonderful time-honored tradition of clowning. Regardless of the ever-changing technical advances in the fast-paced world around us, there is always time and space for laughter.

Kenneth Feld
Chairman and Producer
Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey