Clown & Mask Instructor
First year on Faculty with Opera NUOVA
Jan Henderson is one of Canada’s leading clown and mask teachers and directors. She studied and performed extensively with master teacher, Richard Pochinko, before co-founding with him what is now the Theatre Resource Centre, Toronto. From 1982-91 she was co-artistic director and performer with internationally acclaimed Small Change Theatre, literally clowning her way around the world, discovering first hand that laughter is the universal language. Jan teaches at Grant McEwan University, and the University of Alberta, where she has received four awards for excellence in teaching. She also gives annual mask and clown workshops through her company, Fool Moon Productions. Her work is featured in the documentary Phyllis’s Miracle, the NFB film To Be A Clown, and the U of A films, The Art of Clowning and Clown and Mask. Jan was on the Creativity Faculty of the Leadership Development program at the Banff Centre from 2002 to 2017, and is a recipient of Global Television’s 2005 Woman of Vision award. In 2014, she was nominated for an Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award for the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, and she received the 2018 Elizabeth Haynes Stirling Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre in Edmonton. Jan directs for Girl Clown Theatre and is co-artistic director of Small Matters Productions, whose shows have toured to festivals in Western Canada, the Toronto Festival of Clowns, Le Festival des Clowns Montreal, and the New York International Clown Theater Festival. After a twenty-five year hiatus, she recently returned to the stage in the popular clownesque comedy, Over Her Dead Body, for Edmonton’s Fringe Theatre Adventures, and she is the subject of a new documentary, now in production, called the The Wise Fool.