"A clown extraordinaire and one of the most
graceful performers you will ever see on a stage.” - Washington Post
Audiences of all ages and backgrounds have enjoyed his kinetic humor, playful interaction, musical wit and inventive imagination. His skills in mime were developed in training with 20th-century masters Marcel Marceau and his teacher, Etienne Decroux, along with careful observation of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harpo Marx. More recent studies in the LeCoq pedagogy of Theatrical Clown have been with Dody DiSanto, Ami Hattab, and Emanuelle Delpeche.
Jaster served as teaching assistant to Mr. Marceau in a series of seminars in Michigan. He now frequently teaches (American Academy of Ballet, Shakespeare Theatre, Maryland Opera Studio, University of North Carolina School of the Arts), consults on issues of mime and movement (Centre Stage, Round House Theatre, Adventure Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, No Rules Theatre, Constellation Theatre) and regularly conducts artist residencies with Elementary Schools.
In his solo performances, Piccolo’s Trunk, A Fool Named ‘O’, and The Maestro, Mark combines live music on unusual instruments and non-instruments, (like the pipe and tabor and the bowed saw), outrageous acrobatics, (like a dive through an impossibly small wooden hoop), and hyper-advanced communication skills with an honest, gentle humor that has obliterated many a skeptic’s hesitations over Mime.
Since 2006, he has co-directed Happenstance Theater with his wife and partner, Sabrina Mandell, devising and appearing in critically acclaimed collaborative, original works of "Visual, Poetic Theater." In January, ’07, they created and performed The Seven Ages of Mime for an extended, sold-out run at the Round House Theatre in Silver Spring. The Washington Post’s review said, “Jaster’s sturdy body, like Chaplin’s and like Marcel Marceau’s…is a jeweler’s tool, adroit and precise…each athletic movement is exquisitely controlled…”
In addition to many appearances as Herr Drosselmeyer in the Maryland Youth Ballet’s Nutcracker, frequent performances with the Washington Revels, the Cambridge Christmas Revels, and many years as a featured stage act at The Maryland Renaissance Festival, he has also collaborated with world-class musicians like Piffaro, Celtic Harper Sue Richards, Hesperus, and the late, great jazz bassist, Keter Betts as well as twice opening for Leon Redbone.
Mark has been a proud member of The Big Apple Circus’ Clown Care Unit since 1996, performing at the Children’s National Medical Center as Dr Baldy.