Jan Henderson is one of Canada’s leading clown and mask teachers. For over 30 years she has helped people to get in touch with their most authentic, playful and creative aspect - their inner Wise Fool - and use it to enrich their personal and professional lives. Participants have included artists, business people, health care professionals, consultants and individuals of all disciplines in the private and public sectors.
She studied and performed extensively with master Clown and Mask teacher, Richard Pochinko, and in 1975 co-founded with him what is now the Theatre Resource Centre, Toronto. As co-artistic director and performer with internationally acclaimed Small Change Theatre, she literally clowned her way around the world and discovered first hand that laughter is the universal language.
Jan is currently co-artistic director of Small Matters Productions, whose shows have toured nationally and internationally, including the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, the Toronto Festival of Clowns, and the New York International Clown Theater Festival. She also directs for Edmonton’s Fool Spectrum Theatre. Jan teaches Neutral Mask at Grant McEwan University, and Clown and Mask in the drama department at the University of Alberta, where she has received four awards for excellence in teaching.
As creative consultant for Heroic Hearts Inc, Toronto, Jan facilitated Breakthrough Thinking and Innovation seminars for corporations such as Bayer Pharmaceutical and Kodak Film, and since 2003 she has been on the faculty for the Lougheed Leadership Development program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. She facilitates workshops through her company, Fool Moon Productions, and her work is featured in the NFB documentaries, Phyllis’s Miracle and To Be A Clown, and the University of Alberta films, The Art of Clowning, and Clown and Mask. Jan is a recipient of Global Television’s Woman of Vision Award, and in 2014 she was nominated for an Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award for the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts, Edmonton.