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About Kendall Cornell

Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible. - Fortune Cookie                                                        

  • Once upon a time

  • Young days
  • Teen years

  • University Days

  • Young Artist Days

  • Creates and performs
Kendall's Bio
  • Kendall is born, wears funny outfits

  • Kendall discovers that accidentally holding sign upside down in school performance provokes laughter.   She cries.
    Ties shoes.   Learns to jump rope.   Dances to music played on suitcase-style, portable record player.   Plays the fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof after studying violin for only one year (scratchy violin playing gives unintended comic relief)
  • Walks to and from school in all weather.   Uphill both ways.
    Learns to speak French.   Another uphill journey.

    Formal dance lessons in multiple dance styles, while continuing informal, freestyle choreography exploration with record player.   Acts in school plays wearing odd wigs.
  • Quits French and tries German.  Downhill spiral.  Contemplates shifting studies to Mime.

    Does weird experimental plays with inexplicable movement sections.  Super serious about it all.  Studies Shakespeare and Modern Poetry.  Has her own assigned study carrol in the library where she can fall asleep as needed.  Extremely studious, but continues freestyle dance explorations with music in periodic group social situations.

  • Studies theatre and acting. Studies modern dance.  Continues to be super serious about it all.  Enjoys only tragedy and the very emotional roles with a lot of crying and yelling.  Acting in a lot of plays.  Shakespeare a fave.

    Cast in a live soap opera.  Approaches it very seriously, but turns out the show is comedy.  People laugh.  Writers keep writing funny stuff for her.  After some thought, she embraces it.
  • The Athlete
    Vacation Tectonics
Clown Days
Kendall  realizes her path.
  • Clown Days

  • Clown Solos

  • Kendall encounters a clown and realizes her path.   She cries because she has a big call back for Shaw’s Saint Joan the next day, but now knows she needs to be a clown.   Luckily, she is not cast.

    Kendall pursues clowning; travels to Europe to work with Philippe Gaulier; tries to learn to juggle (uphill); spends time in Switzerland with Dimitri Clown; starts creating and performing clown numbers; works as an assistant to David Shiner; spends weekends in the studio with a bunch of women clowns; continues free-form dance exploration as “boogie-therapy” and updates to modern cassette tape technology.
  • Terrible Tragedie
    The Invisible Woman

    Achilles tendon injury; on crutches for months and armpits calloused.   No dancing except on the inside. 
Quits drinking coffee.
  • Clowns with others

  • More Clown Solos

  • Teaching Clowns

  • Experimental Clown Film with experimenting clown production team

  • A Clown Troupe
  • Working Without Annette
    The Holiday Show
    I’ll Check the Tickets
    Combinat A
  • P.S. de La Resistance
    Flamenco Girl
    Teeny-Weeny Yogini
    The Wallflower
    The Maneater
    Pink Salome
  • Kendall begins teaching clown workshops for women (switches to CD’s for music and hauls bags of them to and from studio).   Travels to Tahiti and swims with sharks.  This inspires her to develop  project to introduce the women clowns to audiences. 

    Clown Pageants I, II, III

    Cirque du Soleil calls and asks, “Where are the women clowns?”  Kendall makes project for Canadian circus.  Cirque people so excited they cry.

  • The Clown Idyll (short film)

  • Creates clown women ensemble and explores.   Continues dancing (formal and informal).   Tries learning French again.

    Not Just For Shock Value: A Femmes-Clowns Assemblage
    Clowns By Dead Reckoning: a semi-sophisticated cabaret  (with guests)
    Clown Axioms (a gory, romantic tale told by clowns_
    Clown Polloi  (with guests)
    Clowns Full-Tilt: A Musing on Aesthetics

    Nominated for the Clown of the Year Golden Nose award by the New York Downtown Clown Revue. 

    Learns some flamenco.  Collaborates with flamenco artists.  Does not bother to try to learn Spanish.

    Oil of Olé (Flamenco Girl's Clown Tablao)

    Travels to Iceland to spend time with volcanoes, glaciers and elves.   She thinks she pronounces “Eyjafjallajökull” correctly.   Buys a sweater.   
I did a lot of work with Kendall. Always I was surprised by her humour, fun, pleasure. She is simply great. And I don’t care women or men clown --I care funny or not funny clown.” - Philippe Gaulier
“Kendall Cornell's insightful sensitive world, fits perfectly into any clown hat she chooses to wear.” – David Shiner
Kendall Cornell clearly has a great understanding of the world of the clown. She is an astonishing unteachable pain-in-my-ass. Her opinionated rants are truly inspirational and give me pedagogical nightmares but mostly she has a managed to carve out a fierce and playful spot for hilarious women to get together to make vital and outrageous theater. We may have to coin a new term......clo(wome)n! -Chris Bayes
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"I can't stop dancing around my apartment in my clown nose." -Jane G.

 “Kendall is a resourceful, imaginative and tactful teacher of clown. She has the means to create an open and judgment-free atmosphere where learning is fun and happens in an organic manner. ....I can promise you will laugh a lot!”  - Yvette F.
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“The mystery of women clowning – different things are funny, but it’s easier not to think so.   Man in a dress, almost always a laugh.   Woman in a tux, not as often (but sometimes).   Kendall Cornell and her clowns are waist deep in all these questions – plumbing the mystery.”  Bill Irwin
“The whole time in class, I'd secretly wished Kendall was Queen of the Gypsy Clowns, and she'd kidnapped us to tour the country side in her clown act.” – E.J.
“What is it to be a funny, touching, really good clown?  Kendall Cornell’s workshop is where to learn what it takes.  Under her skillful and patient direction, the student (whether practicing artist or otherwise) comes closer in mind and body to this fun-filled, yet serious and demanding performing art.  Enlarging and inspiriting for all.”   L.P.
"Kendall Cornell is the brilliant creator/director of Not Just for Shock Value, and her work here is splendid. Not only has she brought out the best in her ensemble in a collaborative process that probably ought to be patented, but she's built the show seamlessly, with the best transitions I think I've ever seen in a show of this kind, all fashioned around the show's only permanent set piece, which is a very long shower curtain on an even longer line."  Martin Denton (
"One of the funniest, most inspiring, gorgeous, and love-filled workshops I have ever experienced. Kendall's coaching, direction, and inquiry are an art form in themselves."  Lorraine G.
“Kendall’s clown workshop is a great way to meet your limits, feel really uncomfortable, then laugh at them and creatively stretch them further.   From seasoned performers to the non-performers, everyone has something to give and something to learn.  Kendall has a gift of keeping it real.”  Diana Lovrin
“This was such a gift of play when I took the workshop. I felt that I could just be in my 'creative mind' and did not have to switch into 'observing mind'… then I think you are closer to the pure, and often deliciously stranger stuff that can come from that place.”  Petra v. N. 
"Kendall Cornell has one of the keenest clowning eyes I have seen.  She is gentle and pushes you at the same time.  She is able to get the best from everyone and lead them through the learning process in a clear and insightful way.  Clowning with all women was a great freedom and I can only say thank you to her for realizing that and bringing it to the rest of us. Run, do not walk to one of her workshops."  Ishah J-F. 

Happy Clients
Coffe Cups
Works Done
New Friends