Danielle Levsky

Danielle Levsky is a Post-Soviet Jewish multi-disciplinary storyteller who seeks to infuse the world with discovery, wonder, joy, and truth.
Danielle’s experiences in teaching, performing, and writing connect through her use of humor, physicality, and interactivity. She loves all of these manifestations of storytelling for how they connect her to all the souls in a room, to all the souls in the world.

A toast! To discovery, to wonder, to truth.

Danielle is a clown, physical theater performer, singer, and actor; her performance work is a reflection of her family's humor, tradition, culture, diaspora, and sense of humor. Most recently, Danielle was commissioned to create, co-devised, and performed in War and Play, a clown show about the war in Ukraine at the Lincoln Center through the Criminal Queerness Festival. Danielle also produced, co-devised, wrote, and performed in The Crone Chronicles, a physical theatre play that immerses the audience in the world of Baba Yaga's story through minimal set design and dynamic physicality, drawing heavily from the teachings of Jacques LeCoq. The play also showcases the power of clowning and mask work in creating an immersive experience that challenges stereotypical portrayals of characters. She has produced and hosted recurring vaudeville-style variety shows, to showcase the talent of local performers. Danielle has collaborated with institutions like Diversionary Theatre (San Diego), The Conspirators (Chicago), Silent Theatre Company (Chicago), Prop Thtr (Chicago), and Alliance for Jewish Theatre (worldwide).

Danielle is a certified clown teacher from The Clown School and has trained with teachers from Cirque de Soleil, Theater Unspeakable, and Viola Spolin technique, as well as Commedia dell'arte master Antonio Fava. She infuses Jewish humor into her teachings, inspired by comedic geniuses like Sarah Silverman, Bette Midler, and Joan Rivers. To foster a remote clown learning community during the pandemic, she hosted a weekly Clown Watch Party and created a community-sourced comprehensive clown watch list. Clown Yoga, also known as The Fool’s Yoga ©, is Danielle’s creation: a fusion of Clown and various yoga practices that improves emotional intelligence, authenticity, physicality, and public speaking skills.

Danielle created and hosted The Holy Fool Day Retreat on April 1, 2023. The day included workshops on Clown Yoga, introductory clowning practice, miming, and the art of mask. Participants also enjoyed curated clown ritual meals, tarot readings, accordion tunes, and other foolish activities.

Danielle has also developed the course Clown and Traditions in Judaism, which explores humor in Jewish tradition, the spiritual symbol of the Fool, the role of ritualism in clowning, and what clowning looks like for Jewish people in the 21st century. It is presented as a high-level overview or intensive focus on Clown in Holy Jewish Texts, The Schlemiel as a Jewish Fool/Clown, Jews on the Stage, and Today’s Jewish Fools.

Danielle has experience as an arts and culture journalist, poet, and sketch writer. Danielle has contributed to various publications such as Scapi Magazine, Newcity Magazine, Pittsburgh City Paper, Thrillist, and MentaFloss. She served as the Theater Editor for Scapi Magazine's DIY Theater section and the Theater Section Editor for Chicago's Scapi Magazine. Danielle's journalistic writing and editing focus on community news, lifestyle editorials, and arts/culture events. In the spring of 2020, her sad clown scenelet was published in TripWire Harlot's Theater Artists Making Theatre With No Theater.