Mike Hirschbach is a high
octane physical funster; a clown, actor, playwright, teacher and circus
arts performer. He performed as a character clown with the Cirque du Soleil show, "Dralion", across
North America from 2001-2003. Since 2003 he has been a Master Trainer
with the Cirque du Monde, the Cirque's social outreach
program, and has taught intensive workshops in Orlando, Los Angeles, Las
Vegas, Montreal, Toronto, New York, South Africa and Burkina Faso.
Currently he is the
Director of Circus Circle, teaching circus skills to youth at
risk throughout Nova Scotia, in programs that range from Youth Detention
facilities to First Nations reserves to weekly venues for street youth.
Mike is the Director of the Cirque du Monde program opening in Halifax
But before that…
"I studied for a year in Montreal with Mime Omnibus, and Gilles Maheu of Carbone 14, and have also done intensive
circus studies in California, New York, and Montreal. My real theatrical
education, however, began with my studies at the Ecole
Internationale de Theatre (Jacques Lecoq) in Paris, from which I
graduated in 1986.
For 6 years I was the Artistic Director, and one of the performers in Fool's Paradise, a circus arts trio
specializing in complex juggling patterns, unicycling, and acrobatics
wrapped around comedy. We performed across Canada, toured in the U.S.,
and performed for 2 weeks at the '88 Calgary Olympic Games. In Nova
Scotia I founded the Circus clubs in Halifax (still going 20 years
later!) and in Wolfville, taught at Neptune Theatre
for over 12 years, at Halifax Dance, and Acadia University.
I also performed weekly improv comedy with the Theatre Sports League in
Halifax for over 7 years.
I've been interviewed on CBC by Peter
Gsowski about playing the musical saw (a skill I learned for my
first professional theater show), appeared on David
Suzuki's "The Nature of Things" in an episode
exploring laughter, been a speaker at the San
Francisco Circus Centre, and appeared in circus roles in movies
with Kelsey Grammar and, as a juggling surgeon, with Valerie Bertinelli.
Before performing with the Cirque du Soleil, I toured my solo
theatrical-circus shows for many years. These performances, which I
conceive, write and perform, have been seen across Canada, the
continental U.S., Europe, Singapore, the Yukon and Alaska. I've now
performed thousands of shows, and taught uncountable workshops on 3
Mike's home base is in Nova Scotia, where he performs, teaches, and is
the single dad of three great kids