Small Matters Productions was founded in 2007 by Christine Lesiak and Anna Bado, fueled by their passion to create modern clown theatre for adult audiences. They were soon joined by Adam Keefe, and premiered their first full-length clown show featuring red-nosed clowns Rocket & Sheshells – Why Do Fools Fall in Love? – at the 2008 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.
In 2009, they welcomed clown-master Jan Henderson as resident director. Two more Rocket & Sheshells shows followed – Sofa So Good (2010) and Fools for Love (2012). In 2013, SMP premiered Ask Aggie – The Advice Diva, their first solo performer show. Their foray into site-specific theatre began with 900 Seconds (2015), and continued with Lesiak’s production The Object of Constellations (2016). Over Her Dead Body (2017) returned Canadian clowning legend Jan Henderson to the stage for the first time in 25 years.
Throughout this time they created and performed countless short works, most notably The Heavy Sleeper (2013), Wrap Race (2013), and For Science! (2016). They have toured their original works throughout Canada and to New York.
Small Matters collaborates frequently with Edmonton’s Catch the Keys Productions, most notably in their annual production Dead Centre of Town (2007-2017), and The Runcible Riddle (2016).
Small Matters has performed their award-winning full-length shows throughout Canada, at the Toronto Festival of Clowns, and the New York International Clown Theater Festival. They have performed their original short works in too many events to count, including: Edmonton’s Expanse Movement Arts Festival, NextFest, the Fool’s Gold Cabaret series, Glitterball (Luna Dance Fusion), Toronto’s Lunacy Cabaret, Shelley Marshall’s Full Bawdy Comedy Show, the Dr. Caligari Cabarets in Winnipeg & Vancouver, Vancouver’s In Jest Festival, and Play the Fool Festival.
Christine Lesiak – Co-Artistic Director
Christine Lesiak is an Edmonton-based theatre artist, and co-founder of Small Matters Productions. She is co-creator/performer of Small Matters’ Over Her Dead Body (2017), and three red-nosed clown shows; Fools for Love (2012), Sofa So Good (2010) and Why Do Fools Fall in Love? (2008), in which she performed as Sheshells. She is writer and performer of her one-woman shows, The Object of Constellations (2016), and Ask Aggie (2013). Christine has created and performed countless short clown works. She facilitates & co-produces The Small Matters Physical Comedy Lab (2018). She curated and co-produced the Fool’s Gold Cabaret nights (2010-12), a performance series that provided a mentorship program for emerging theatre clown performers. She is festival director in charge of programming and mentorship for Play the Fool, Edmonton’s festival of clown theatre and physical comedy.
Christine holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Drama from the University of Alberta where she researched the intersection of clown performance technique with site-specific theatre. She has trained extensively in the Canadian/Pochinko style of clown with Jan Henderson (Fool Moon Productions) and Michael Kennard (Mump and Smoot). She has studied with comedy and physical theatre specialists from around the world, including Aitor Basauri (Spymonkey); bouffon with Adam Lazarus, Eric Davis (Red Bastard); improvisation (Rapid Fire Theatre, Keith Johnstone); immersive theatre (punchdrunk, UK); and puppetry (The Old Trout Puppet Workshop). She has taught within the Drama Department at the University of Alberta, Edmonton Digital Arts College and privately. She is artistic associate and core instructor with Toy Guns Dance Theatre, and a frequent collaborated with Catch the Keys Productions (Dead Centre of Town, 900 Seconds, The Runcible Riddle).
Jan Henderson – Co-Artistic Director
Jan Henderson is an award winning teacher, humour expert, motivational speaker, and one of Canada ‘s leading specialists in clown and mask. After receiving an Honours BA in theatre from Dalhousie University, Jan studied and performed extensively with mask and clown teacher Richard Pochinko, co-founding with him what is now the Theatre Resource Centre, Toronto. As co-artistic director and performer with the internationally acclaimed company, Small Change Theatre, Jan has literally clowned her way around the world and discovered first hand that laughter is the universal language. She is currently working as resident director and co-creator with Edmonton clown company, Small Matters (Fools for Love (2012) & Sofa So Good, 2010). Her work in humour and healing with the Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, is featured in the NFB documentary, Phyllis’ Miracle. Jan teaches in the Drama Department at the University of Alberta, where she has received four awards for excellence in teaching. She also teaches in the Theatre Arts Program at Grant McEwan University, and is on the Creative Faculty of the Leadership Development Program at the Banff Centre. Jan received Global Television’s Woman of Vision Award (2005) and was nominated for the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, Edmonton (2014). www.foolmoon.org
Adam Keefe – Artistic Associate
Adam Keefe grew up in Athabasca, Alberta. In 2001, he relocated to Edmonton to complete a BA Drama at the University of Alberta. He is co-creator of Small Matters Productions’ Fools for Love (2012), Sofa So Good (2010) and Why Do Fools Fall in Love? (2008), in which he performs as Rocket. He is solo performer of his adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (2013/15). Adam has performed at the Toronto Festival of Clowns and the New York Clown Theater Festival. He has also performed in productions of Red Noses, On The Open Road, The Importance Of Being Earnest and Half a League. Adam looks to the philosophy of clowning as inspiration for all his theatrical creation, and has trained extensively in the Canadian/Pochinko style of clown with Jan Henderson (Fool Moon Productions), Michael Kennard (Mump and Smoot), clown with Aitor Basauri (Spymonkey), and bouffon with Eric Davis (Red Bastard).
Ian Walker – Artistic Associate
Ian is originally from Yorkshire, England. He is a mechanical designer who primarily creates automation for various industries. Ian was part of a small team who redesigned and maintained the automation of the chandelier used in Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages Theatre in Toronto. Since relocating to Edmonton in 2015, Ian has created theatre effects, props and art installations for Over Her Dead Body (2017, Fringe Theatre Presentation Series), Dead Centre of Town (2015-17, Catch the Keys Productions), The Object of Constellations (2016, Small Matters Productions), and The Water Project (2016 The University of Alberta).