Moshe Cohen creates, performs and teaches in the world of ‘the funny.’ For 38+ years now, he has pursued excellence in the elusive art form called Clown, seeking to bring more lightness and laughter into the world through his actions, be it as a teacher, a performer or actor.
Moshe teaches in Clown/Film/Theater Schools, Zen Centers, Spiritual Learning Centers, Corporations, Medical Clown Groups, Conferences, Universities, and NGO’s. His pedagogy has evolved over 26 years of teaching and continues to expand in the exploration of the world of non-verbal humor.
He began teaching Clown in 1993 at the San Francisco Circus Center. In 2001, Moshe started teaching Clowning Your Zen workshops with Roshi Bernie Glassman, shifting the focus from performing to lightening-up, creating mindful, collaborative communication, and personal well-being.
Moshe continues to teach with Zen Masters offering workshops interweaving Zen meditation and Clowning practice.
Moshe often trains Health Care Clowning groups internationally. These workshops focus on inner-and-outer clown connection, non-verbal expression, improvisation, re-vitalizating, resiliency and self-care.
Lightfulness, Sacred Mischief and Clown + Zen Trainings
Moshe offers team building and trainings working with diverse professions such as software engineers, health-care workers, therapists, social workers and teachers. Lightfulness, developed over a year-long team project (2015-2016) with the open source group @ PayPal, offers skillful tools in presence, active listening, and pathways to en-lighten collaboration in working groups. For more information, please visit the Lightfulness website.
Moshe discovered his funny as a street performing juggler on Rue Prince Arthur in 1983. He embraced the role of funnyman, or as they say in Quebec, amuseur publique. A pathway quickly opened leading to European Street Theater Festivals, Canadian Children’s Theater and Folk festivals, Theaters, Varieté, Circus … 35 years later, Moshe performs his one-man show Mr. YooWho’s Holiday on stages world wide for audiences small & tall of many cultures. In his 35 year performing journey, he has crossed the stages of all sizes. In festivals such as Anjos Do Picadeiro (Brazil), Winnipeg Children’s Theater Festival (CAN), Barcelona Olimpiada Cultural, or Les Accroches Coeurs (France), as well as theaters such as the Guanzhou Civic Theater (China), Teatro Jordi Isaacs (Cali, Co), Klein Komedie (Amsterdam) and the Noh Space in San Francisco.
In 2015, Moshe traveled to Japan to play a role in Fukushima Mon Amour, a feature by filmmaker Dorris Dörrie (D) that takes place in Minamisoma in the aftermath of the Fukushima tragedy. The film premiered at the 2016 Berlinale, has won a number of festival awards. The film gave Moshe the opportunity to hobnob at a number of film festivals: Guadalajara, Mill Valley, and the German Film Festival in Los Angeles.
As a comic actor and/or clown, he has performed in group productions including Traveling Jewish Theater, Theater of Yugen, lesser mortals, TISPIS, numerous Circus, Varieté, and Clowns Without Borders projects…
Moshe has played a pioneering role in the world of social clowning that began with a friend’s invitation led to shows for Guatemalan refugees in Chiapas in 1987. After further experiences in South Africa and the Carribean, Moshe traveled as part of a 9-person circus project to Croatia with Clowns San Frontières (Fr) in 1994. Inspired he founded Clowns Without Borders in the US the following year, organized and participated in many projects, directed the US chapter and played the catalyzing role of international ambassador leading to the creation of CWBI, the international federation of Clowns Without Borders chapters. Moshe continues to participate as a US board member, and occasionally participates in international projects.
Moshe was a member of Make a Circus’s Funny Bone Doctors from 1995-98 visiting Pediatrics wards in a number of Bay Area Hospitals on a weekly basis. He has carried that experience forward during hospital visits on CWB projects.
Moshe initially trained as a juggler. As a performer, he has studied in clown with Richard Pochinko, Ctibor Turba, and Wavy Gravy. In movement, with Sigfrido Aguilar, Daniel Stein School, and the Antwerpen Mime Studio. In physical theater, with Monica Pagneux and Phillipe Gaulier. In voice, with Saul, Rossignol, Ahkmatova and Vincente of the Roy Hart Theater. In Japanese Kyogen, with Kaoru Matsumoto , and Juro Zenchku. In Butoh dance, with Kazuo Ohno in Japan (1993-2010), and with the Tamanos in California (1992-97).
Belgium Teatre Op De Markt, St Truiden Hasselt; Fete des Artistes, Chassepierre. Brazil Anjos Do Picadeiro: Rio de Janeiro, Rio Preto, Sao Paolo (1998, 2000,2006, 2008); FILO 99, Int. Theatre Festival, Londrina; Teatro De Anonimo, Rio de Janeiro. Burma/Myanmar Clowns Without Borders Tour 2009. 2010, 2012, 2013. Canada Festival d’Eté, Quebec City; Quebec City’s 400th Birthday Folk Festivals: Winnipeg, Toronto, Edmonton, Owen Sound; Children’s Festivals: Calgary, Vancouver, Winnipeg; Winnipeg Storytelling Festival; Montreal Jazz Festival; Festival du Voyageur, Winnipeg. China 5 City tour in China. 2013 . 550-800 Seat Theaters. Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzen, Guanzhou, Zhengzhou. Colombia Teatro Jorge Isaacs, Cali Mimame, Medellin; Clown Encuentro, Bogota. France Les Accroches Coeurs, Angers; Eclat d’Aurillac, Jeudis du Port, Brest, Chalons dans la Rue, Coup de Chauffe a Cognac, Furies Festival, Chalons, Festival de Ramonville, Vivacité, Sotteville-les-Rouen. England Stockton Riverside International Festival; Bradford Intl. Juggling Festival. Guatemala Teatro National, Guatemala City; Payasos Sin Fronteras Tour. Germany Saarbrucken SommerSzene; Essen Festival; Comedy Arts Festival; Moers, Varieté, Berlin; Theatre am Liebnitz Platz; Bremen, Charivari’ Winter Circus, Hamburg. Haiti Clowns Without Borders Tour. Israel Jerusalem Festival. Haiti Clowns Without Borders Tour.Italy Festival de Torino; Festival de Teatro Comico de San Omero. Japan Fuchu City Theatre, Tokyo; Setagaya Theatre Festival, Tokyo; Toyama Tulip Fair, Toyama. Mexico Muestra de Arte Escenico Popular, Mexico City; Casa de la Cultura, San Cristobal; Festival de Teatro Alternativo, Mexico City; Payasos Sin Fronteras Tour, Chiapas. The Netherlands Limburg Straattheater Festival; Oerol Festival, Terschelling; Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Den Boss; Street on Stage, Amsterdam; De Klein Komedie, Amsterdam. Poland Teatr Montownia, Warsa; Loch Camelot, Krakow. South Africa Little Theatres Tour, Cape town Townships; Capetown University Theatre. Spain Encuentro de Malabarismo: Madrid, Granada, Mieres; Festival del Humor, San Sebastian; Fira de Tarrega (1984…2006); La Mercé, Barcelona; Olimpiada Cultural, 1996 Barcelona; Ple de Riure, El Manou; Festival de Teatre de Carrer, Villareal; Teatro Principal de Zamora.USA A Traveling Jewish Theater, San Francisco; Busker’s Fare-World Trade Center, NYC; Marsh Theater, San Francisco, Berkeley (Cirque Do Somethin’); One Arm Red, Brooklyn, NY; Pittsburgh Children’s’ Festival; Sing Out For Seva, BCT, Berkeley, Ca; PIXAR, El Cerrito, Ca; US Festival, Los Angeles; Theater of Yugen, San Francisco; Intersection Theater, San Francisco.
Zen/Spiritual Centers: Zen Center Los Angeles, San Francisco Zen Center, Tassajara, Omega Institute, St Virgil Bildungshaus, Village Zendo, ZLMC, Buddhistisches Zentrum Hamburg, Sivananda Yoga Retreat Bahamas….
Hospital Clown Trainings: CliniClowns Vienna, Upper Austria, Munich, Hanover, Hamburg, Köln, Dortmund; Röten Nasen International, Röten Nasen, Deutschland, HCIM2018, HaHaHa Akademie, Clown Visite…
Clown/Circus Schools: Camp Winnarainbow, SF Circus Center, TUT Schule, Alte Poste KulturForum, Ravensburger Clownschule, WiseFool NM, BolaRoja…
Clown Festivals: Anjos Do Picadeiro, Festiclown, BuBuBü, Miname, Congreso de Payasos Humanitarios….
Universities: Warsaw Academy of Drama, Cal Institute for the Arts, University of Capetown.