recent press 2017
'I met Kelly Nesbitt when she attended a Neutral Mask week-end workshop that I taught in Portland, Oregon last Winter and then she also attended my three and a half week intensive clown training in Boulder, Colorado in the summer 2015. I have greatly appreciated her presence and work in my classes, as an artist, as a student and as a human being. The clown she developed during my class, Regyna, was a very funny excentric character with great improvising skills, both in physical play and with words. In the devising of our final performance Regyna jumped in the role of the MC with very little preparation and she was right on, delighting everyone with her comic virtuosities in being the ringmaster of our show: a strong sense of rhythm, swift and smart audience interaction, great sensitivity to the ensemble. Kelly is a great performer and a very caring human being. During the training, she gave great support to the work and to the group. I was touched by how deeply Kelly “feels” for the work: with her sensitivity and awareness of the emotional nature of clown, she brings her deep humanity into the work, both on stage and off stage. Kelly is an “heartist”, a rare rare find'. Giovanni Fusetti Artist, Natural Scientist, Pedagogue, and Multi-Disciplinary Fool, January 2016
'As Artistic and Executive Director of Celebration Barn, I've had the pleasure of collaborating with Kelly Nesbitt on multiple projects since 2007. In addition to co-creating and touring original work with The Celebration Barn Ensemble, we have shared numerous stages from The Cassandra Festival to Kelly's one-of-a-kind backyard 'Story Nights'. Time and time again, I've been impressed by how Kelly surrounds herself with creative community and instinctively nurtures the work of others.
Kelly is a gusty and passionate performer with a wild imagination. She brings an adventurous spirit, open heart, and generous humor to her work both on and off stage. With boundless creativity, in addition to clowning, Kelly's talents powerfully expressed through music, poetry, and visual arts. Regardless of the medium, her work is deeply infused with curiosity, vulnerability, and joy.' Amanda Huotari Executive Director of Celebration Barn Theater, January 2016
'I've had the delight of knowing Kelly since the early 2000's when our paths crossed on stage at the Philly Fringe Festival. From the start she impressed me with her quick humor, warm heart and authentic playful spirit. I knew I wanted to make work with this weirdo! We became fast friends and frequent collaborators. She often brought shows down to perform at the Puppet UpRising Cabaret that I co-curated in Philly and I brought mine up to the Casco Bay Cabaret that she organized. Often we'd use these opportunities to make a new piece together to perform in addition to our own acts. She is a rare bird who is game to make new work fast and loose and in relationship to the moment/ audience/ space at hand. We busked together around France, Spain, and Italy- developing our clown show on street corners and in coffee shops. Our 3 month gelato-fueled journey culminated in a bi-lingual performance at the Andorra International Festival of Women Clowns in the Pyrenees Mountains. What an adventure! Kelly was an easy, fun, and flexible travel companion even as we negotiated tight budgets, sketchy accommodations, multiple languages, and the death of the Pope. I've learned a lot from my friendship and work with Kelly. She is generous with her many skills and huge imagination. She is a miraculous combination of brave and vulnerability, strong and open, deep and playful. A human being/ clown who does the dirty work of finding love, light and laughter in an often rotten world.' Beth Nixon of Ramshackle Enterprises MFA Interdisciplinary Art at Goddard College & current candidate in writing for performance at Brown University, January 2016
'I have known Kelly for quite a few years. We were both at Celebration Barn working with my director Robert Post. Kelly was part of Celebration Theater Ensemble at that time, working in a four person movement theater group. Her involvement with CBE demonstrated her collaborative abilities, along with her wide range of talents as a creator/performer. I have also worked with her as a community organizer and promoter. Kelly produces an occasional local event called Story Night in her back yard here in Portland, ME. I had heard of it before, and this past fall, I was available and offered to perform. On a chilly October night, Kelly managed to pull together a great line-up of performers, organize and promote the event, and have a capacity crowd turn out for the event. I had a great time and enjoyed the experience, especially the feeling of community in the crowd. Most had been to a previous Story Night, and all were obviously enjoying themselves. Kelly was also responsible for structuring the order of the show, and did an excellent job of understanding the wide variety of artists and their work, the audience, and how all of that fit together to make a successful and enjoyable event. She also performed some of her clown that evening. I believe that Kelly has a true love of the clown as performer, and understanding of the clown as artist and commentator that it takes to be a wonderful performing artist'. Michael Trautman International Variety Artist, January 2016
'I have known Kelly since 2003 when she took her first clowning workshop with the Celebration Barn Theater in Maine, and have followed her development with interest and admiration. Kelly brings a wacky humor, keen social perspective, and love of humanity to her work. In the Portland, Maine area she has consistently been a center point for community based events such as the Sacred and Profane Festival and local cabaret productions. She is one of the most effective collaborators with whom I have had the pleasure to work. And as you know she was one of the few chosen to present her work at the International Women’s Clown Festival in Andorra.' Avner Eisenberg 'Avner the Eccentric' Hailed as one of the greatest clowns of all time! January 2016
'I’ve had the pleasure of working with Kelly Nesbitt, an amazing and incredible woman, under dire conditions in the rural mountains of the Dominican Republic, working with those who are in need. I’ve traveled on 13 occasions to the Dominican Republic, helping to lead undergraduate nursing and athletic training students with Partners for Rural Health in The Dominican Republic. Kelly was the first (and to date ONLY) Occupational Therapist who has worked with us, and she was invaluable! Her friendly demeanor and easy going personality, combined with her obvious therapeutic skills made everyone love her! She was the ultimate team player, working closely with students (even writing reference letters for them post-trip), serving as a Spanish translator as needed for our team, and providing her therapeutic expertise to patients and the group as well. In addition, she also kept the group thoroughly entertained with her zany and witty performances! Her presence had a very positive and relaxing effect on us all. She’ll forever hold a place in my heart as an amazing professional, unique personality and even better person. She is amazing!' Ben Towne MA, ATC Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, University of New Hampshire, January 2016