Vashon’s UMO Ensemble Makes Buffoonery Beautiful

Clowns are freaky, we know. But if ever there was a time to conquer your coulrophobia, it would be
Brangien Davis  |   April 2011   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
UMO Ensemble
Hang around with the clowns of UMO Ensemble

Clowns are freaky, we know. But if ever there was a time to conquer your coulrophobia, it would be right now, so as to enjoy the sophisticated antics of UMO Ensemble. Based on Vashon Island, the physical theater company has been around since 1987 and has taken more than 20 original shows across the globe. Performances have included juggling, puppetry, acrobatics, comedy, drama, live music, aerial work and, yes, the dreaded clowning. The group’s new work, Red Tiger Tales, features red-nosed “monk clowns” enacting ancient Buddhist, Zen and Sufi stories—all with the troupe’s trademark irreverent wit. We promise that at no point will you be reminded of that undead clown doll that crawls out from under the boy’s bed in Poltergeist. (Sorry to bring that up.) In fact, the show serves as quite the curative for your clown nightmares. Ages 5 and older. 4/14¬–4/17 & 4/21–4/24 Times vary. $10–$20. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St.; 206.292.7676; tickets: acttheatre.org; info: umo.org.