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clowning classes


Clown II:

S#*! Gets Real

Taught by Justin Cimino

Class Description

CLOWNING is based in the pursuit of the clown in all of us: you as the "little one" who played with abandon and wasn't yet socialized, the actor with a desire to uncover the beautiful, the violent, the passionate, the mysterious, and the funny with an intense curiosity. There's no politeness, no worrying, no apologizing. Clowning will help you fight your fears and identify and combat your inhibitions onstage; you'll work toward that messy, scary, FUN place of absolute generosity and vulnerability.


This class is for anyone who has previous clown training under their belt. 

The clowning work you know gets a little more real. The exercises get more advanced, and more scary, and more fun. We might even devise something ExtraOrdinary by the end...

​Students of clowning say over and over again how they find it to be the most important component of their acting training.

​Most clown classes in NYC run for half the time and cost double the price, so don't miss out on this deal! We're committed to providing quality training that doesn't break the bank!


Justin received his BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, training at the Meisner Studio. He has trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. As an actor, he has performed Off-Broadway and in many other productions in NYC. He has workshopped solo work under Austin Pendleton at The Directors Company. He has been a teaching artist for 15 years. He is currently the Education Director and Operations Manager for Zara Aina, a nonprofit organization that brings theater to at-risk communities in Madagascar and the United States. He was hired by UNICEF to use Zara Aina’s theater work to mobilize communities in Madagascar to fight polio. He has devised, written, and directed several original shows based on Malagasy folktales with Zara Aina’s Malagasy Youth Company. He has brought Zara Aina’s work to rural Southern Alabama, building original pageant-style shows with community members ages 4-84. Justin has directed and taught clowning and the devised “moment work” of the Tectonic Theater Project at NYU Tisch, Columbia University, the Studio/NY, and The Public’s Shakespeare Initiative. Recently Justin devised, wrote, and directed documentary theater pieces about a Jackson Heights hoarder, a triple amputee who runs a Hospice Center, and a 90-year-old woman who used to hunt Nazis. In the spring of 2019, Justin received a SU-CASA grant from the Queens Council on the Arts to build an original piece of theater with senior citizens in Queens. He recently collaborated with Smashworks Dance and Hope Salas Productions to build two Clown and Dance fusion pieces for LadyFest at The Tank and a Hotel New Works Residency at TheaterLab.

Justin Cimino- Todd Estrin Photography.j


"If you want to grow and step into your inner power as a clown, finding new skills and surprising yourself every step of the way, look no further than Justin Cimino! Not only is he the most compassionate and generous human being I have ever met, but the most intuitive and inspiring clown teacher I have ever had the privilege of working with. He has PROFOUNDLY changed my life and the way I view myself as an artist and what’s possible! He works in pure service to the craft and is always making sure the artist is doing the same. Watching him work is a master class on the vulnerability of human behavior, opening your heart and embracing a new learning in celebrating all the things that we instinctively hide, but that end up liberating us! He is a true master. I am honored to have had him as a teacher and continue to be amazed by his gifts!" -Karina Sindicich

"I’d never practiced clowning before working with Justin. He has this amazing ability of making you feel totally safe in circumstances that could simultaneously scare the crap out of you. Working with Justin means letting your guard down, not caring how you look or if you’re “doing it right,” and connecting to your fellow actors in a way that is deeper than what lines on a page suggest. I always look forward to Justin’s classes and leave inspired by his creativity every time. I can’t recommend working with him enough, whether you’re seasoned in clowning or have never heard of it!" -Morgan Hammel

"Justin is THE BEST.  During our time together, I got the opportunity to work with him, both as a director and clown teacher. In both roles, he was the most thoughtful, caring and down to earth guide in what can be really daunting work. All of us, both in class and in rehearsal, felt completely free to take risks and do the most ridiculous, STUPID work we've ever done, in the best sense of the word. Thank you so much Justin for your awesome presence and your enormous heart." -Dafna Gottesman

"I've worked on both clown and devising with Justin, and he's absolutely wonderful! One particular gift that Justin has as a teacher is that he's very smart and insightful in his critique, but he's also an exceedingly, beautifully gentle soul -- so, he immediately creates a lovely safe space where his students can grow and create and be ridiculous and vulnerable and joyful. His clown classes completely transformed my understanding of what clown work is, and both his clown and his devising classes helped me to greatly expand my understanding of how to go about creating theatre! I honestly cannot recommend Justin highly enough." -Alice Rothman-Hicks

"Clowning with Justin is like getting a hug from someone way bigger and stronger than you: sometimes it’s uncomfortable but it’s always filled with love and support. Justin directed a devised piece I had the joy of working on last year. His eclectic background introduced me to an entirely new side of theater making, exploded my imagination and inspired me to think in an entirely different way about all of the work I do. I am forever grateful for our time working together and can’t wait to team up again!" -Emma Simon

"Clowning with Justin is one of my favorite things to do. You will tap into your 'little one', your authentic self, and find a new sense of freedom in your work." -Mariel Matero

"It's easy to feel lost in a clown class; sometimes you feel like you are just off screaming in a corner. But working with Justin is way different---his attention to detail, quick creative mind, and gentle demeanor makes for an awesome room to grow and collaborate in. I never miss a chance to be in the room with Justin!" -Caroline Grogan

"In an often competitive city and industry, Justin creates a sense of ease, play, and safety in his classes, where each of us can be free to find the full expression of our truest and silliest selves. Not only is he skilled as a devisor and teacher, but Justin reminds us to find the joy at the heart of our work." -Devin Lloyd

"Justin made all of my dreams come true by saying 'YES' to my crazy idea of creating a devised project called 'The Laboratory of Soul.' Justin's enthusiasm for clowning and being an all around incredibly talented and genuinely wonderful human being made creating the Lab of Soul the most joyful experience I have ever had making theater!" -Jenny Hoofnagle

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