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Two masks lying on black cloth

Audience raves about 7 by 1 Samurai

Gaines as a director

David Gaines is not only fond of producing works in which he is a performer. He has also been asked on a number of occasions to develop and direct performance works for other actors and companies. These have been successful not only in that they produced works that audiences enjoy, but also because the process through which Mr. Gaines directs is a collaborative one, which leaves the actors feeling that they have participated with their whole imaginations in the writing of the play.

To these these writing/devising/directing collaborations, Mr. Gaines brings:

...and Enthusiasm for the task.



Member of British Improv Olympics Team – Vancouver Expo

Currently working with Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit

Studied, taught, and performed around the world

Produced and performed numerous full & half-mask pieces

Studied with Carlo Boso, of the Piccolo Teatro; Milan

Trained in Aikido; graduate of S.A.F.D. Summer Workshop





With professional companies:

"Schnick - Schnack" - YBY Theatre, Salzburg, Austria (2006)
A clown play inspired by the written work of Daniel Charms and 2-dimensionality of Toy Theatre of the turn of the last century. An exploration of how to create a world of play out of your own imagination, and the value and place of other people in a meaningful life.

"Durch Dick und Dunn" - YBY Theatre, Salzburg, Austria (2000)
A Maestro’s servant (clown) and a double bass run away together in this road-trip buddy story of overcoming fear of the unknown, reaching for your dreams and the dynamics of friendship between two different beings. Mime and imagination bring the audience through vertiginous mountain cliff-slides, a tempest at sea, and the cold of homelessness on a New York City street, before culminating in a spectacular rap and funky bass concert at Carnegie Hall.

"Lonesome Tonight?" - Nottingham Playhouse, U.K. (1990)
A full-mask piece about social acceptance and the difficult social dance of desirability.

"Obsessions" - Theatre du Parti-Pris, Paris (1990)
A simple comic piece, developed on the theme of people’s obsessive or idiosyncratic behavior, for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

"Office Suite" - Extemporary Dance Company, London (1985)
A piece devised with a professional modern dance company on the theme of office behavior and intrigue. Non actors were brought to a point of acting subtly, with believability and joy.

"Handle With Care" - Moving Picture Mime Show, London, U.K. (1983)
(Full mask performance) Two old men in an old folks’ home, managed by an officious but well-meaning nurse. Cartoonish hijinx, comically apoplectic situations, a sublime moment of bygone memories shared, and, in the end, a farcical chase, and a tender goodbye.

"The Seven Samurai" - Moving Picture Mime Show, London, U.K. (1978)
Three actors retell in 40 minutes the whole of Kurosawa’s four hour epic film of the same name. Using mime, jump-cut storytelling, and cartoonish exaggeration, the piece is full of idiotic clowning, impossibly skilled samurai, cast-of-thousands battle scenes, and breathtaking imagery.

With college or graduate actors:

"Social Issues Projects" - UMKC Graduate Actor Training Program (1995-99)
4 short plays (1 each year) researched by talking with and shadowing high school at-risk kids, and devised to address the social issues that matter in their lives. One week research, two weeks development and rehearsal (4 hours/day) leading up to performances before the kids and their schoolmates. The schools were so happy with it they funded the program.

"Sophie's Voice" - Dell'Arte Theatre School; Blue Lake, CA (1993)
Aliens land in the back yard, befriending a retiring teen-age girl who discovers her ability to speak up for herself and others when she is caught between her bumbling clownish family and a xenophobic military bent on destroying the aliens.  In style, somewhere between “E.T”, “Invaders from Mars”, and “The Incredibles”.

"Gender Dance" - Towson University, Baltimore, MD (1991)
A short movement piece exploring gender issues, in a poignant but comedic way.

"Out of the Jam" - Berkshire Theatre Festival, MA (1991)
A performance created with teenagers on the theme of dealing with problems, challenges, and obstacles.



Head of Professional Actor Training Program
University of Missouri – Kansas City
4949 Cherry Street
Kansas City, MO 64110
(816) 235-5207

Artistic Director
Healthy Humor Inc.
17 State Street; Suite 4000
New York, New York 10004
(212) 739-0494

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