"There's magic in Donlon's vision."
- Los Angeles Times
"An extraordinary blend of skill and lunacy."
- New York Times
"James Donlon's masterworks are full of hope and heart. They are not to be missed."
- Oscar winner Kathy Bates
"The overall impact of his craftsmanship and unique teaching style continue to influence my work in nearly every acting job I do."
- Film and television star Benjamin Bratt
The FLYING ACTOR STUDIO is an international center that celebrates the imagination and invites a profound journey into the heart of life.
In Spring 2008 after a 40 year international teaching and performing career, JAMES DONLON was inspired to create a physical theater school in San Francisco building on the rich history of clowning, mime, and circus that had thrived in the city for decades. Donlon invited fellow master teacher Leonard Pitt to share this vision, and together in 2009 they founded the FLYING ACTOR STUDIO, one of the few centers in North America devoted to movement theater. In the '70's Donlon and Pitt had operated nationally known studios in The Bay Area as part of a vanguard of iconic artists that included Robert Shields, Geoff Hoyle, Bill Irwin, and The Pickle Family Circus.
The FLYING ACTOR STUDIO flourished in San Francisco as an artistic heartbeat for several years. Donlon now continues in Ashland, Oregon with it's gateways to nature, world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and rich tradition as a center for the arts.
"James Donlon's performance is a fantastic example of creative, image-driven theatre. His work is poetic, wildly funny, and deeply engaging. The clown pieces are some of the most expertly performed pieces of theatre that I have ever seen. James truly has a gift with the kind of participatory theatre he creates, and the way he connects with audiences is revelatory of what is lost in most theatre experiences."
- John Blondell, Artist Director, Lit Moon World Theater Festival
"James Donlon is a consummate artist, whose work inspires a source of wonder, joy, and inspiration. He is without question a master of his craft. His creative genius propels physical theatre to new heights of discovery. James' work possesses a gentle wistful quality reminiscent of the great classic clowns."
- Robert Francesconi, Assistant Dean, School of Drama, North Carolina School of the Arts
"His technique is impeccable, Donlon is like a one-man Cirque du Soleil".
- Robert Shields of CBS' The Shields & Yarnell Show
FLYING ACTOR STUDIO students work with world-class master teachers who pass on secrets gained through a life in the theater.
FLYING ACTOR STUDIO students learn the great world theater traditions of physical expression, mask, Neo-classic clown and mime, all sparked by a restless imagination. Students learn how to perform rare skills, tell wonderful stories, and evoke the truth.
FLYING ACTOR STUDIO is a safe place where students explore dramatic structure, and how to discover characters that can thrive on any stage and in any film. Students learn the elements of time, space, energy, and discipline to create transcending theater.
The FLYING ACTOR STUDIO gives students a sense of their hearts, their passions, and what they can bring to the work. The artists who are remembered through the generations are the innovators, expressing their personal voice with courage and skill.