The 13th Annual Portland Clowns Without Borders Benefit Show, raising funds for relief work in Haiti, is this Friday, March 12, 7:30 p.m. at Da Vinci Middle School, 2508 NE Everett.
Founded in 1995, Clowns Without Borders-USA strives to relieve trauma through laughter in areas of crisis around the world. Since its beginning, Portland has for a long time been the most active hub of CWB volunteers and supporters in the United States.
Currently Portland clowns David "Leapin' Louie" Lichtenstein and Dave Clay of the Handsome Little Devils, and San Francisco-based performer Leah Abel are touring giant orphan camps and tent hospitals in and around Port Au Prince. They are due to return March 20.
"Two full shows and many mini shows at the Carrefour and Dikini hospitals today, both hard hit areas of Port Au Prince," Lichtenstein wrote on Facebook Thursday afternoon. "Going from tent to tent with the mobile people following us and watching over and over. Many amputees, many compound fractures, many everything. Some hospitals are only marginally cleaner then the rest of Port Au Prince."
Money raised at Friday's benefit will raise money for sending theatrical teaching and performing groups to Haiti over the next year to work with thousands of children living in tent camps.
Lichtenstein and solo clown/teacher Sarah Liane Foster each led trips to Haiti in 2009 before the earthquake and are active organizing the Clowns Without Borders response now. CWB-USA plans to send at least four groups of clowns to Haiti this year in collaboration with Clowns Without Borders groups from Spain, France, and Canada.
The March 12 show features comedy juggling by Rhys Thomas and Charlie Brown, hilarious movement and music by Sarah Liane Foster, clown tricks by Angel Occasio, acrobatics with fire by Flamebuoyant Productions, contortionist stylings by Brittany Walsh and live music by the Shoehorn Hat Band. Wanderlust Circus impresario William Batty hosts.
Tickets are on a sliding scale: $10-25 for adults, $5-10 for kids 12 and under. Advance purchases can be made at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/98168 , but they are also available at the door (advance ticket holders get reserved front-section seats)
For more information go to www.clownswithoutborders.org