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500 Clown Frankenstein

First produced in 2003 at the PAC/edge Festival at the Athenaeum in Chicago

In 500 Clown Frankenstein, three clowns embark on a madcap journey to construct Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. Bound in elaborate Edwardian costumes, they struggle through acrobatic feats in an extended battle with an unruly table. The Clowns stitch together the tale of the Doctor and the Monster from scraps of the classic novel and various Hollywood versions, inviting audience involvement throughout. Comic mayhem takes a sharp turn towards a devastating climax when one clown, forced into the tragic role of Shelley’s Creature, suffers abuse and abandonment.

After years of touring, 500 Clown Frankenstein remounted in Chicago in 2012 with a rotating cast of 5 clowns taking turns in each of the three roles.


A montage of the "Keaton" moment from 500 Clown Frankenstein in various productions.

A montage of the scientist talking to the landlady in 500 Clown Frankenstein over many productions.

500 Clown Frankenstein in the Loop Theater in 2004

500 Clown Frankenstein at Steppenwolf Theater Company in 2007

Related Artists

Paul Kalina - Ensemble

Paul Kalina is a founding member of 500 Clown, has worked with The House Theatre Company, Steppenwolf Theatre, Court Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre.

View Artist Details