"Kelly is an excellent self-producer and master marketer, both of which were evidenced as I worked with her on her production in the Fertile Ground Festival of New Work 2017. She met or exceeded every deadline and request, and asked many thoughtful questions. Her marketing skills and efforts far surpassed the average producer. She's a creative powerhouse from social media marketing to community partner-building, from email marketing and press development. I have a great deal of respect for her work professionally and creatively and am confident she will achieve and surpass what she sets out to accomplish. Should you have any questions about Kelly, please do not hesitate to reach out." - Nicole A. Lane, Director of Communications & Community Engagement at Artists Repertory Theatre & Festival Director, Fertile Ground Festival of New Work 2017
“Your confidence on stage and the absolute fully formed character gives the feeling you're in good hands. The commitment to the opaque marketing - if someone wasn't quite sure whether it's a serious event, comedy show, performance art, public medical procedure; even after arriving and standing in the lobby, they could still be unsure. 5 minutes before the show they might think "fuck this is actually a Lamaze class" and leave. That takes vision and some real courage to play with the contextual framing of a performance like that. The feeling that the character/workshop/show/idea refuses to be neatly categorized - bringing a huge amount of laughs and heart, growing way beyond the confines of one "type" of performance. Makes it unforgettable and the bond you can grow with the character is pretty amazing & amazingly hilarious.
I would have 100% loved the show without sound/music jokes, but that just pushed it into 'omg fuuuuck amazing' territory for me. The absurdly-long music samples, the snyc-error jokes where the effects were off as hell, the distorted whistling bit, the ASMR meditation jokes...the 'fade out' instructions read by an audience member. Those KILLED me. The intimate setting and small crowd (approx 40). This felt really critical to a bunch of mechanisms of the performance, though it could 100% work with larger crowds and through videos and other mediums. This still felt like the rare, "purest form" of the piece though, and also felt like another signal of dedication to the art. Most of all though - - the mind blowing surprise of being involved in the finale show. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but was so happy I did afterward. The adrenaline that gave me (as an audience volunteer) turned the ending of the show into a true emotional experience, honest. I came into the show shy (saw you in the lobby, and darted my eyes away) but left changed, however slightly, and that's pretty rare. You're onto something amazing as a performer/creator, please keep doing it!” -JAMIE VANCE (an audience member that I pulled up onto stage as a volunteer) 2017
recent press 2017
Oregonian TOP 12 NEW PERFORMANCES WORTH SEEING
OPB RADIO'S 'STATE OF WONDER' mention from 0:00-0:24 seconds
Thru Media 5 MINUTE AUDIO INTERVIEW, #16 (some profane language)
recent review 2017
SOMASPACE BLOG POSTED FEBRUARY 1ST, 2017
'I met Kelly Nesbitt when she attended a Neutral Mask week-end workshop that I taught in Portland, Oregon last Winter and then she also attended my three and a half week intensive clown training in Boulder, Colorado in the summer 2015. I have greatly appreciated her presence and work in my classes, as an artist, as a student and as a human being. The clown she developed during my class, Regyna, was a very funny excentric character with great improvising skills, both in physical play and with words. In the devising of our final performance Regyna jumped in the role of the MC with very little preparation and she was right on, delighting everyone with her comic virtuosities in being the ringmaster of our show: a strong sense of rhythm, swift and smart audience interaction, great sensitivity to the ensemble. Kelly is a great performer and a very caring human being. During the training, she gave great support to the work and to the group. I was touched by how deeply Kelly “feels” for the work: with her sensitivity and awareness of the emotional nature of clown, she brings her deep humanity into the work, both on stage and off stage. Kelly is an “heartist”, a rare rare find'. Giovanni Fusetti Artist, Natural Scientist, Pedagogue, and Multi-Disciplinary Fool, January 2016
'As Artistic and Executive Director of Celebration Barn, I've had the pleasure of collaborating with Kelly Nesbitt on multiple projects since 2007. In addition to co-creating and touring original work with The Celebration Barn Ensemble, we have shared numerous stages from The Cassandra Festival to Kelly's one-of-a-kind backyard 'Story Nights'. Time and time again, I've been impressed by how Kelly surrounds herself with creative community and instinctively nurtures the work of others.
Kelly is a gusty and passionate performer with a wild imagination. She brings an adventurous spirit, open heart, and generous humor to her work both on and off stage. With boundless creativity, in addition to clowning, Kelly's talents powerfully expressed through music, poetry, and visual arts. Regardless of the medium, her work is deeply infused with curiosity, vulnerability, and joy.' Amanda Huotari Executive Director of Celebration Barn Theater, January 2016
'I've had the delight of knowing Kelly since the early 2000's when our paths crossed on stage at the Philly Fringe Festival. From the start she impressed me with her quick humor, warm heart and authentic playful spirit. I knew I wanted to make work with this weirdo! We became fast friends and frequent collaborators. She often brought shows down to perform at the Puppet UpRising Cabaret that I co-curated in Philly and I brought mine up to the Casco Bay Cabaret that she organized. Often we'd use these opportunities to make a new piece together to perform in addition to our own acts. She is a rare bird who is game to make new work fast and loose and in relationship to the moment/ audience/ space at hand. We busked together around France, Spain, and Italy- developing our clown show on street corners and in coffee shops. Our 3 month gelato-fueled journey culminated in a bi-lingual performance at the Andorra International Festival of Women Clowns in the Pyrenees Mountains. What an adventure! Kelly was an easy, fun, and flexible travel companion even as we negotiated tight budgets, sketchy accommodations, multiple languages, and the death of the Pope. I've learned a lot from my friendship and work with Kelly. She is generous with her many skills and huge imagination. She is a miraculous combination of brave and vulnerability, strong and open, deep and playful. A human being/ clown who does the dirty work of finding love, light and laughter in an often rotten world.' Beth Nixon of Ramshackle Enterprises MFA Interdisciplinary Art at Goddard College & current candidate in writing for performance at Brown University, January 2016
'I have known Kelly for quite a few years. We were both at Celebration Barn working with my director Robert Post. Kelly was part of Celebration Theater Ensemble at that time, working in a four person movement theater group. Her involvement with CBE demonstrated her collaborative abilities, along with her wide range of talents as a creator/performer. I have also worked with her as a community organizer and promoter. Kelly produces an occasional local event called Story Night in her back yard here in Portland, ME. I had heard of it before, and this past fall, I was available and offered to perform. On a chilly October night, Kelly managed to pull together a great line-up of performers, organize and promote the event, and have a capacity crowd turn out for the event. I had a great time and enjoyed the experience, especially the feeling of community in the crowd. Most had been to a previous Story Night, and all were obviously enjoying themselves. Kelly was also responsible for structuring the order of the show, and did an excellent job of understanding the wide variety of artists and their work, the audience, and how all of that fit together to make a successful and enjoyable event. She also performed some of her clown that evening. I believe that Kelly has a true love of the clown as performer, and understanding of the clown as artist and commentator that it takes to be a wonderful performing artist'. Michael Trautman International Variety Artist, January 2016
'I have known Kelly since 2003 when she took her first clowning workshop with the Celebration Barn Theater in Maine, and have followed her development with interest and admiration. Kelly brings a wacky humor, keen social perspective, and love of humanity to her work. In the Portland, Maine area she has consistently been a center point for community based events such as the Sacred and Profane Festival and local cabaret productions. She is one of the most effective collaborators with whom I have had the pleasure to work. And as you know she was one of the few chosen to present her work at the International Women’s Clown Festival in Andorra.' Avner Eisenberg 'Avner the Eccentric' Hailed as one of the greatest clowns of all time! January 2016
'I’ve had the pleasure of working with Kelly Nesbitt, an amazing and incredible woman, under dire conditions in the rural mountains of the Dominican Republic, working with those who are in need. I’ve traveled on 13 occasions to the Dominican Republic, helping to lead undergraduate nursing and athletic training students with Partners for Rural Health in The Dominican Republic. Kelly was the first (and to date ONLY) Occupational Therapist who has worked with us, and she was invaluable! Her friendly demeanor and easy going personality, combined with her obvious therapeutic skills made everyone love her! She was the ultimate team player, working closely with students (even writing reference letters for them post-trip), serving as a Spanish translator as needed for our team, and providing her therapeutic expertise to patients and the group as well. In addition, she also kept the group thoroughly entertained with her zany and witty performances! Her presence had a very positive and relaxing effect on us all. She’ll forever hold a place in my heart as an amazing professional, unique personality and even better person. She is amazing!' Ben Towne MA, ATC Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, University of New Hampshire, January 2016