Beau Jest is one of New England's premiere theater companies, known for their imaginative productions and a joyous physical acting style. Winners of the 1995 Boston Theater Critics Circle Award and the 2010 Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Award, they have long been recognized for their creative approach to theater. Whether taking a full year to create an original work, or interpreting an existing script, the company brings their trademark blend of physical imagery and innovative staging to every show.
A strong streak of optimism runs through all of Beau Jest's work, and a willingness to experiment with many styles. Mask and puppets, historical events, cabaret artists, cartoonists, tap dancers, choreographers, and composers have been but a few of the influences on the company's collaborations.
Beau Jest is an artist-run organization with a twenty-five year history of exploration and investigation into the role of the actor as creator, and the uses of movement and text to spark theatrical immediacy.
The artistic strength of their work has carried them to appearances around the country at prestigious festivals, three Off-Broadway runs, and hundreds of shows in theaters in the New England area. The desire for artistic freedom and a total personal investment by the actors in the quality of the work are major reasons for the company's existence. Beau Jest productions have been chosen Best of the Year by Boston area papers in 1985, 1987, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999 and 2006.
Beau Jest is based in Boston, where new works are premiered before being toured to theaters, colleges, and festivals around the country. The company also presents the work of other national and internationally known movement theater artists, making Beau Jest a center on the East Coast for the promotion of physical theater. Classes and workshops in movement and improvisation in the Beau Jest studio help bring new perspectives to actors, designers, and directors interested in exploring new directions in their work.
The company is led by Davis Robinson, Artistic Director and founder. Davis began training and performing with Tony Montanaro at the Celebration Barn Theater, and continued his studies in Paris with Jacques LeCoq. He has studied improvisation and choreography with Mark Morris, Pilobolus, Bill Irwin, and Lotte Goslar, as well as mask work with Ralph Lee. He has an MFA in movement education from Boston University, and a BA from Hampshire College in directing and improvisation. Mr. Robinson is on the faculty at Bowdoin College in Portland, Maine, where he teaches acting, movement, and physical comedy.
Two other founding members of the company, Elyse Garfinkel and Lisa Tucker, have continued writing and performing with Beau Jest since its inception.
The Physical Comedy Handbook
by Beau Jest Artistic Director Davis Robinson.