Under the Table is an ensemble dedicated to making original, hilarious and thoughtful physical theatre. The company was founded in 2001 in Brooklyn, NY by Matt Chapman and Liz Turkel after attending the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. Since then, Under the Table (now based in Brooklyn AND Oakland) has made and toured 10 original shows including absurd physical comedies, works of clown theatre and immersive plays for young audiences.


“The impact Under the Table had on my students was such a gift. The work of these three great artists and teachers is continuing to resonate in deep and meaningful ways.”
Professor Matt Foss
University of Idaho

Under the Table teaches workshops in:

  • Clown
  • Physical Comedy
  • Devising New Work
  • Working in an Ensemble

Workshops are geared toward professional adults and college and high school theatre students. Workshop history includes: Iowa State University, James Madison University, Alfred University, Virginia’s Governor School for the Arts, CSSSA, Teatro Libre (Bogota) and Danske Hospitalsklovne (Denmark).

MATT CHAPMAN (Co-Artistic Director) works with physical theatre, movement, and clown. He co-founded Under the Table in 2001, having worked on each of the company’s productions since then.  Matt is currently on Faculty in various programs at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre (ACT). In 2017, Matt will also teach at Stanford and at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre.  Matt was on Faculty at Dell’Arte for three years and is currently Director of Admissions for the school.  He has taught Clown at Marymount Manhattan and Manhattanville Colleges in New York, and has taught workshops at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, NYU, Vassar, Sarah Lawrence, Towson, and many more. He works abroad regularly as well including in South Africa, Denmark, Colombia, the Netherlands, Canada, England, and Mexico. He taught three times in Mexico City at UNAM’s Festival Nacional de Teatro Universitario and has collaborated with Durban, South Africa’s African Dream Circus; Sweden’s CirkusCirkor and Denmark’s Filuren and Jomfru Ane Teatret. Matt is a Dell’Arte graduate, a founding member of East Oakland Clowns Without Borders, plays in the Oakland punk band The Big Forgive, and was a recipient of Theatre Communications Group’s New Generations Future Leaders program.

JOSH MATTHEWS (Co-Artistic Director) is a performer, director, and teacher recently relocated to Oakland, CA. Over the last nine years with Under the Table, Josh has co-created six productions, touring and teaching nationally and internationally. In the Bay Area he is a Clown Doctor with the Medical Clown Project and a social circus instructor for Prescott Circus Theatre. Previously, he has performed with San Diego REP, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, The Big Apple Circus, and Third Rail Projects. With Third Rail Projects he performed the role of “The Mad Hatter” in Then She Fell which was a New York Times Top Ten Pick of 2012. He also co-wrote and directed Bad Kid (New York Times Critics’ Pick) with acclaimed storyteller and Moth host David Crabb – a biographical solo show about growing up goth and gay in Texas – which was remounted at NYC’s Axis Theatre in Summer 2015. He is slated to direct the Chicago Neo-Futurists’ upcoming production of Mike Mother in Spring of 2016. Josh is a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre.

SARAH PETERSIEL (Co-Artistic Director) is a performer and teacher based in Brooklyn, NY. She has been a part of Under the Table since 2005, creating and performing in five company shows as well as teaching workshops at universities and theatres including at Alfred University, James Madison University and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. Apart from her work with Under The Table, Sarah has collaborated as a performer in New York City with Hoi Polloi at The Ontological, Erin Orr at HERE Arts, and Trusty Sidekick at Abrons Arts Center. A member of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit, Sarah works as a Clown Doctor, interactively performing in pediatric wards and training new performers. Awarded residencies, she also performed in hospitals abroad and taught workshops for Denmark’s Hospitalsklovne and Brazil’s Doutores da Alegria. Sarah is a Senior Teaching Artist with The New Victory Theater and a graduate of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre.

Under the Table does Residencies! Contact us about a show/workshop combo!