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A clownesque escapade 

collaboratively devised and performed by the ensemble.


Gwen Grastorf, Mark Jaster, Sabrina Mandell, Sarah Olmsted Thomas and Alex Vernon.


Costume Design

Sabrina Mandell




We all know we will die, but most of the time we don’t think about it. This troupe of eccentrics, acutely aware of their imminent demise, cannot help but PLAY. BrouHaHa takes a comic look at mortality: the fragility of humanity and its resilience. Besides, what could be more funny than clowns at the end of the world?

-  Mark Jaster & Sabrina Mandell

This show is dedicated to all those who have survived and, somehow, manage to keep going.




The Seventh Seal  Ingmar Bergman

La Strada  Federico Fellini

Pina Wim Wenders

Waiting for Godot & Act Without Words I & II Samuel Beckett

Pandora’s Box  Greek Myth



Immigrants fleeing European cities in WWII, lines at Ellis Island, refugees fleeing Syria in 2014 and more recent images of Afghans, Haitians, etc., portraits of working class Edwardians, butterflies and moths collected under glass.



Dido & Aeneas  Henry Purcell

Other songs created by ensemble with  Karen Hansen



Gwen Grastorf  (Edith) ihas been collaborating with Happenstance Theater since 2007, and has been a company member since 2012. She is also the Social Media Maven for Happenstance. Gwen has also worked locally with Constellation Theatre, Taffety Punk, We Happy Few, Rorschach Theatre, Faction of Fools, the Tarot Reading, and Washington Revels. Gwen was raised in Frederick, Maryland, and got her degree at the University of MD, College Park.


Mark Jaster (Ralph) Artistic Co-Director of Happenstance Theater, studied with Etienne Decroux and served as teaching assistant to Marcel Marceau.  He has appeared in all Happenstance Theater productions since its founding, providing “structure & ground,” and winning the Helen Hayes/Robert Prosky Award for his performance in Impossible! A Happenstance Circus.


Sabrina Mandell  (Rose) is the Artistic co-Director, General Manager and Visionary Tornado of Happenstance Theater. She a visual and performing artist, deviser and poet who thrives on collecting imagery, studying Art and Costume History, honoring nature, dismantling fascism through everyday compassion, celebrating the beauty of roses, birds and serendipity and embraces the inevitability of death. She has received 2 Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Costume Design as well as nominations for Choreography and Acting. She cultivates hope through art.


Sarah Olmsted Thomas (Pandora) has been a company member with Happenstance Theater since 2012. She is also half of the award-winning puppet theater company Alex & Olmsted which has toured festivals around the world. Sarah trained with the Pig Iron Theatre Company in Philadelphia and Le Samovar, École de Clowns, in Paris. B.A., Sarah Lawrence College.

Alex Vernon (Rowland) has been a company member with Happenstance Theater since 2012. He is a performer, puppeteer, maker, and visual artist originally from Franklin, TN. He received a BS in Theater and English from Middle Tennessee State University before moving to the DC area to explore the greater theater community there. He is also the “Alex” half of the puppet theater company “Alex and Olmsted,” with which he’s created and performed original shows around the world.

SPECIAL THANK YOU to the SHARE FUND, the MORGAN FUND, NORA ROBERTS FOUNDATION, BALTIMORE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION (Marilyn Meyerhoff and Sam Feldman), Charles Hazlehurst Moura Family Foundation and to all those who have donated to Happenstance Theater through Fractured Atlas. Thank you also to The Waterfront Museum, Joel Blau and Sandra Baron, Emmanuelle Delpech, April and Jerry Blum, Nancy Rodrigues, Sharon Crissinger, Nancy Mendez, and Eric Shimelonis.

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