Richard Pochinko

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Pochinko 1980
Richard Pochinko 1980

Richard Pochinko (1946–1989) was a notable Canadian clown trainer who developed a new style of mask/clown performance training, known as the "Pochinko technique". Originally from Selkirk, Manitoba,[1] he was based primarily in Toronto, Ontario and founded the city's Theater Resource Centre.[2]

The "Pochinko technique" for which he is known combined both European and First Nations traditions of masked and clown performance.[2] Notable figures who studied under Pochinko included Karen Hines, Cheryl Cashman, Nion, Tantoo Cardinal, Sue Morrison, and the duo Mump and Smoot.

Pochinko was gay, and was the partner of Gabriel Manseau.[3] He died in 1989 of AIDS-related causes.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Clowning technique expert dead at 42". Toronto Star, June 8, 1989.
  2. ^ a b c "Richard Pochinko: Talented artist developed Canadian form of clowning". The Globe and Mail, June 9, 1989.
  3. ^ "On and Off Stage". Toronto Sports and Cultural Centre Magazine, June 21, 1989.
  • "Timeless Circus in Times of Change: A Canadian Perspective" by Paul Bouissac, University of Toronto, University of Wollongong Centre for Canadian-Australian Studies.
  • Study guide by Jamieson Findlay for the National Arts Centre "In Canada, a whole generation of physical actors was influenced by Richard Pochinko (1946–1989), a clown who trained at the Lecoq school but who sought to incorporate other traditions into his teaching and performing. Pochinko was friends with the Native American clown Jonsmith, who taught him much about the “trickster fool” tradition in Native culture. In this tradition, the clown is more than an entertainer: he is something of a shaman, in touch with spiritual forces."
  • Art News (Canada) "A special course, open to all performers, during the London International Mime Fest will convey the work of renowned Canadian clown trainer Richard Pochinko. The intensive week introduces Pochinko's pioneering Clown Through Mask Work, a blend of Native North American and European clowning traditions"
  • Tribute at Institute of Canadian Clowning by Ian Wallace
  • personal tributes at Institute of Canadian Clowning
  • The Clown Farm Summer program: This 16-day workshop is the foundation course of the Pochinko technique of clown training."
  • Jan Henderson, University of Alberta
  • Richard Pochinko False Face Society Registry

External links[edit]