Gladys and Babs


Gladys and Babs
2005 onward
Portland, Maine, Philly, European street performance tour, and The Andorra International Festival of Women Clowns in The Pyrenees Mountains

Kelly Nesbitt (Babs) and I (Gladys) have collaborated on many performative adventures. We developed a clown act as we busked our way though Spain, France and Italy, and performed on street corners, and at bars, restaurants, and parks. The first show we created, “Change of Heart”, performed in Spanish, French or English, depending on our location, told the story of two bumbling super heroes who stole the heart of George W. Bush, an absence which went largely unnoticed by the rest of the world. The heroes took the heart through a rigorous training program in compassion and empathy, removing calluses, greed gristle and clots of ignoramus, and then had to stealthily board the presidential yacht and return the heart to Bush’s chest without waking him. Our tour culminated with our performance at The Andorra International Festival of Women Clowns, where we also got to study for the week with Swiss clown, Gardi Hutter, and cavort with clowns from all over the world. After 3 months, we returned to the states and shared our show with hometown crowds.

We met up again to create and perform the next chapter, “Gladys and Babs: the Reunion” as part of the WorkNot exhibition at Space Gallery in Portland. The super heroes have left their glory days behind them and gone separate ways, but meet by chance after a roller-blading collision, which leads them to nurse their wounds, both physical and emotional, at a seedy bar. There, they spin yarns, enjoy the company of a gentle waiter, and each (individually) meet a string of unsavory characters who eventually help them reclaim their super hero callings…

What’s next for these leotard-clad, round-rumped, haphazard but heroic pair? Only time will tell…

Photo credit: Somira Sao