The Why Not Institute Team

We have so many members of The Why Not Institute ‘family’, including many who have taken our courses and stayed in touch to help be a part of the Institute’s work. Here are details of some of our core team:

Clown in Charge (Artistic Director): ANGELA DE CASTRO
Clown in Office: SASCHA GOSLIN
Clown in Video: ALEX TABRIZI
Clown in Project Development: BECKY ILLSEY & FRAN GODSAL
Clown Collaborators: JACK STARK & STEPHEN SOBAL
Clown in General Support: BALT ROGERS

Angela de Castro

Clown in Charge and Artistic Director

Angela de Castro has been performing since she was 17 years old, beginning in her native Brazil where she was a well-known actress in theatre, film and television and director of her own theatre company. She was a member of the original cast of the ground-breaking show ‘Macunaima’ (1977-1980), which changed the face of Brazilian theatre and played to an audience of over half a million people in Brazil alone, as well as touring internationally for over two years.

In 1986 Angela de Castro moved to London to pursue her dream to study, perform and reclaim theatre clowning as a modern art form. She has toured the UK and internationally with the major contemporary theatre and circus companies and is well known as a teacher of her master class ‘How To Be A Stupid’ .

Angela de Castro is one of the most loved women clowns. She is a leading theatre practitioner, actor, teacher, director and speaker. Her performances and methodology have been well recognised in the UK and abroad, awarding her, among a few, a Lawrence Olivier Award (UK), the Golden Nose Award (Spain), the Nesta Dreamtime Fellowship, an Arts Foundation Fellowship and an International Fellowship by Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama for her contribution on the art of clowning.
Angela de Castro has been teaching her master classes extensively all over the world. (See CV for more details)

The blend of actress work and theatre clown work makes de Castro a bold and complete actress / clown. For her, the combination of the work of the actor and the clown is of vital importance as it creates a new way of performing.

Angela de Castro has been recently performing and could be seen in ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, (National Theatre, Olivier Theatre, London, England), ‘Under Glass’, by the Clod Ensemble ‘Laughing Matters’, work in progress, , ‘Luz Nas Trevas’ feature length film (Brazil), ‘Ionesco’s ‘The New Tenant’ for the Young Vic Theatre and is well known for her clown Rough, the green clown, in the award winning Slava’s ‘Snowshow’. She creates and tours her own shows under her own company Contemporary Clowning Projects. Her shows include ‘The Gift’ , ‘My Life Is Like A Yo Yo’, ‘only fools (no horses)’ a show about the Shakespearean Fools. ‘Laughing Matters’, ‘Foreigners’ and ‘Alone: All+ One’, are projects in development.

Theatre clowning is a life’s passion and way of life for de Castro. She doesn’t stop working. She is completely dedicated and committed to her work. She is always working on shows, directing and mentoring other companies, developing her own clowns’ personas and learning how to play the ukulele. When she has some free time, she can be seen browsing around street markets, riding her beloved motorbike and feeding the ducks in the park near her house.

Click here to download Angela de Castro’s full CV.

Sascha Goslin

Clown In Office

Sascha is a freelance producer, law graduate, training to be a clown, a puppeteer and an… accountant.

Dedicated to circus, outdoor arts and accessibility, Sascha first joined the sector in 2014, working with SeaChange Arts after graduating. She spent a year in Cardiff with NoFit State before returning to Norwich to work with Lost In Translation, as they expanded their new training space, The Oak Circus Centre, with daily community classes.

While working for Frozen Light she discovered the wonder of multi-sensory accessible performances, and fell in love with clowning and puppetry. Since then she’s been researching ways of combining these passions with outdoor performance.

Jack Stark

Clown Collaborator

Jack is a full-time Professional Idiot, who focuses mostly on clowning under his clown persona Kiki;. He works primarily on the variety circuit, and has therefore built up an extensive network of contacts around the UK and Europe. His routines draw upon his training and experience in a variety of skill-sets, including mime, physical theatre, puppetry, illusion, escapology and more.

As well as touring on the variety circuit, Kiki has spent the last few years working on and performing his 5 star clown show ‘The Weatherman’,  another solo show “Sheets” and a family show “The Man who Knows Everything”. He has recently returned from Cambodia, where he was teaching clowning to disabled artists.

Stephen Sobal

Clown Collaborator

Stephen is an multi award winning director, performer, teacher and the artistic director of All in Theatre.

As a director Stephen specialises in playful, physical and comedy theatre.  He has worked on solo shows and large ensemble pieces and whether a devised or scripted piece he always strives to make beautiful and powerful work.
Stephen teaches for many educational and performance based institutions including ALRA (acting tutor) Rose Bruford, Fourth Monkey (Acting through clown and Head of Ensemble 2018), Identity School of Acting (clown, improv and commedia), ICAT (clown and improv) RSC Open Stages, Doreen Bird College, Theatre Royal Bath, The Rose Theatre, The Actor Centre,…
In 2018 Stephen was the acting tutor for the P/T Foundation course at ALRA and was over the moon to hear that over 60% of his students were offered places at accredited drama schools.

He studied acting at ALRA and clown, bouffon and physical comedy with Philippe Gaulier, Complicite’s Jozef Houben, Aitor Basauri, John Wright and John Mowat.

Most recently directing credits include
Bon Ami – All In (Show of the Week – Vault Festival ).
Love Sick – All In (Best Comedy Award Brighton Fringe),
Hysterical – Hoax (Peoples Choice Award at Vault Festival)
and Father of Lies – Bête Noire Productions  (Highly Commended Award at Vault Festival).

“Director Stephen Sobal creates sharp lines of contrast, knitting together a piercingly modern Europe with traditional modes of storytelling to create a thoughtful and current piece of theatre” ★★★★ Broadway Baby

“Painfully funny and surreal. I was doubled up with hysterical laughter in the front row, lost for breath” Total Theatre

Alexander Tabrizi

Clown in Video

Alex is a filmmaker and clown of Iranian/celtic heritage. It’s his life’s ambition to combine the two sets of two. When he’s not filming he can likely be found baffled, gawping at the world as he wanders through awestruck and terrified.

Becky Illsey

Clown in Project Development

Becky is a performer, director, maker and clown. She has been clowning and performing street theatre since graduating from Circomedia in 2010. She has a wealth of experience in devising and producing walkabout acts and street shows, including for Glastonbury Festival and Winchester Hat Fair. Becky has had successful commissions with various projects, including her own company Jilted Pig.

She is very happy and excited to be working as part of the Why Not Institute and the development of future projects.

Fran Godsal
Clown in Project Development

Fran works as a director, dramaturg and school drama teacher and runs her Youth Theatre, Small but Mighty in Oxfordshire. She did a Masters in Applied Theatre at the Central School of Speech and Drama and has an interest in creating high quality work with different communities that speaks to a  wider audience.

She has a particular interest in puppetry and has most recently been collaborating with Wild Boor Productions on their children’s shows, and Company Three on the Coronavirus Time Capsule project.

Balthazar Roger

Clown In General Support

Balt is a clown and occasional writer (and irrelevantly an engineer and a wine-grower in Champagne). He felt in love with clowning on the very first minute of the first clown workshop he attended. His main interest is to make comedy short films. He would love to be able to do pratfalls one day. Balt enjoys reading about quantum physics and the mysteries of the Universe in his spare time.