My Team

Andrew Gaboury as “Cecil”, myself as “Dizzy” and Heather Annis as “Peachy”

In health care I work in duo with a partner who is specially selected and trained for therapeutic clown work. My current primary therapeutic clown partners are Heather Annis and  Andrew Gaboury. While Heather is on maternity leave for 2024 I am welcoming professional colleagues, Suzette Araujo, Leo Dragonieri and Hilary Wear as guest artists on my team. I have also brought Morgan Joy on board as an apprentice.

Heather Marie Annis – Therapeutic Clown Artist, “Peachy Keen”

Heather Annis-headshot1Heather Marie Annis is a local writer, actor and environmentalist with a BFA in Theatre and a MA in Environmental Studies from York University. Her work specializes in theatre for social and environmental justice and her involvement in community arts projects includes: The Longest Way Around, a play created with the community members of Shawanaga First Nations Reserve; socio-environmental show, The Way (BareBack Theatre); and facilitating youth workshops. Heather is the co-artistic director of Up Your Nose and In Your Toes Productions where she is creator/performer (Morro) of the clown-based duo Morro and Jasp . She has performed in over 100 performances since 2006 in the various Morro and Jasp shows she created including the Dora award-winning Go Bake Yourself, the 2012 Fringe hit, Of Mice and Morro and Jasp and most recently the   highly acclaimed Factory Theatre production of Morro and Jasp 9 to 5.

Heather has worked as a therapeutic clown in duo with Kathleen since 2011, and is keen to continue to bring her skills to the very specialized environment of health-care.

Andrew Gaboury – Therapeutic Clown Artist, “Cecil”

Andrew Gaboury is a performer, writer and educator based in Port Credit, Mississauga. The desire to bring a sense of wonder and joy to the everyday is central to his practice. As a performer, he employs techniques from theatrical clown, collective creation, dance, puppetry and community arts. As a writer, Andrew has explored a variety of mediums, including playscript, poetry, and most recently a video game. Andrew is a company member with site-specific dance-theatre company Frog In Hand. He was one of four co-Artistic Directors of hub14 art + performance works from 2013-2019, where he and the team supported local and international artists with residencies, affordable studio space and ongoing programming.

In 2019 Andrew graduated from North America’s first Therapeutic Clowning Certificate program led by award-winning clown Helen Donnelly at George Brown College. He now works regularly as a therapeutic clown practitioner with children, youth, adults and elders. He is Acting Executive Director and a therapeutic clown practitioner with Red Nose Remedy. In 2020, he joined Kathleen Le Roux‘s team of therapeutic clowns primarily serving elders in Long-Term Care and those living with dementia. Since March 2021, Andrew has worked with MABELLEarts and Derek Kwan to bring a practice of social clowning to their community.

Suzette Araujo – Guest Therapeutic Clown Artist

Suzette is an award-winning comedic performer who has been performing professionally in theatre, musical theatre, TV and film for over 20 years. Notable credits include her roving clown work in the North American tour of Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai, Ross Petty’s Snow White at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre, and at the Special Olympics with the Famous People Players.

In 2014 she joined the in-house team of therapeutic clowns at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (HB) where she continues to work today.  In addition to visiting her many HB clients three days a week as “Flutter,” she has also been a key driver and creator of the successful Clown TV series for Holland Bloorview’s in-circuit TV station.

In 2018 Suzette shared her expertise in therapeutic clowning with international colleagues, leading specialized workshops at the Healthcare Clowning International Meeting (HCIM) in Vienna, Austria.

Suzette is honored and privileged to be of service as the ultimate fool for others. Her therapeutic clown work is one of the most rewarding jobs she has ever had.

Leo Dragonieri – Guest Therapeutic Clown Artist

Leo Dragonieri is a Toronto-based actor, arts-educator and Therapeutic Clown Practitioner. He is a 2018 graduate of Humber Theatre’s Performance Conservatory and York University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program (2020)

In recent years he has been performing in professional theatre shows, festivals and film projects (In SITU Festival: The lost edition; ‘Bellhop’ & Supply Chain moments, Kinaxis; Jim’) He joined the in-house Therapeutic Clown Program at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in 2021 where he visits children three days a week as “Piccolo.” 

Leo has studied clown with John Beale, Magdalena Schamberger, Mike Kennard, Pedro Fabiao, Jean Saucier and Francine Coté and has developed his therapeutic clown skills alongside experienced mentors such as Suzette Araujo, Manuel Rodriguez, Kathleen Le Roux, and Andrew Gaboury.

Leo is truly grateful to be growing in this important work and to be a part of this wonderful community of clowns in service.

Hilary Wear – Guest Therapeutic Clown Artist

Hilary is a 2019 Graduate of the George Brown Certificate program in Therapeutic Clowning. She currently works as a therapeutic clown serving youth, adults and elders with Red Nose Remedy and through Look Up Theatre.
Hilary has studied theatre, bouffon and clowning with a myriad of trainers that include John Turner, Helen Donnelly, John Beale, Adam Lazarus, and Pedro Fabiao.
As a Red River Métis woman, Hilary has a special interest in the plant medicines, natural laws , culture grounded teachings and language of the territory she lives within.  From 2015 to 2020 she taught courses in Indigenous Theatre at Trent University. She is learning to speak Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway).
Hilary is an active caregiver for a parent living with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Morgan Joy – Apprentice Therapeutic Clown Artist

Morgan is an inclusive arts facilitator and has been producing and performing comedy for fourteen years.

Through her work with DramaWay, Morgan facilitates arts classes and produces music, film & theatrical productions in collaboration with, and adapted to the needs of adults with a wide range of developmental disabilities. Currently Morgan is developing a plain-language abuse prevention program that uses play and activity-based learning to make difficult subject matter engaging and safe to discuss.

Morgan is a graduate of Humber College’s Comedy Performance & Writing program. She has also studied clown and physical theatre with esteemed trainers such as John Turner, Helen Donnelly, John Beale, Pedro Fabiano and John Gilkey. She has been a regular performer at The Lunacy Cabaret and the Toronto Festival of Clowns for many years.

Morgan wrote and produced a monthly interactive show called ‘The Imagination Station’ at Sick Kids Hospital through Suitcase Theatre.

You can see Morgan Joy’s motion capture, voice acting and original song-composition work on the animated show Tiny & Tall on TVOKids (Little Engine Moving Pictures).

Morgan is grateful to have this opportunity to continue her learning as a member of Dizzy’s clown family.