[B]laughter

SPEAKER BIOS

Carolyn Ratteray

Emmy nominated actor, director, and writer based in the Los Angeles area. She has performed off Broadway and in regional theatres as well as in TV, commercials, and video games. Carolyn has studied theatrical clown with Philip Gaulier, Chris Bayes, David Bridel, and Angela De Castro and is currently developing her clown show, “Both, And” with Boston Court Theatre. She is a Resident Artist at A Noise Within Theatre and a member of Antaeus Theatre Company, as well as Professor of Theatre at Pomona College.

Michelle N. Matlock

A native of Washington State, where she studied theater at Western Washington University for three years and then went on to graduate from the National Shakespeare Conservatory in New York City. She was the first African American Woman to create a main character/clown for a Cirque du Soleil show. The character was “Ladybug” and the touring show was OVO. Previously, Michelle spent 15 years in New York and enjoyed acting, clowning and creating shows while working with the Big Apple Circus, Circus Amok and the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus. Her critically acclaimed solo show, The Mammy Project, has been produced several times in New York City and all over North and South America. Currently, Michelle lives in Tacoma, WA and is the founder of Circle Up Productions, a live entertainment and performance education company focused on producing a blend of theater and circus arts shows, leading performance arts workshops and curating special events.

Lex Alston

(they/he/she) is a NY based performing artist and actor. Using physical comedy, and pantomime, Lex creates work that is interactive, encourages curiosity and joy, and attempts to inspire a sense of togetherness among audiences. In March of 2019, their interactive one-person clown show Falling on Purpose premiered at Purchase College. Most recently, Lex has been working as a teaching artist with Bindlestiff Cirkus After School, teaching youth circus skills and values as a part of their free programming.