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 11 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: University of North Carolina Greensboro, Iowa State University, James Madison University, Alfred University, Virginia’s Governor School for the Arts, California State Summer School of the Arts, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Teatro Libre (Bogotá), and Danske Hospitalsklovne (Denmark).

MATT CHAPMAN (Co-Artistic Director) works with physical theatre, movement, and clown. He co-founded Under the Table in 2001 and has worked on each of the company’s productions since then. Based in Oakland, CA, much of Matt’s current work is in the studio with students. 2019 will be Matt’s third year teaching at Stanford University – teaching Movement, Clown, and Commedia. Matt was on Faculty at Dell’Arte for three years and is currently Director of Admissions for the school, and has taught in several programs at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre (ACT). He 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, works with 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 living in Oakland, CA. Over the last nine years with Under the Table, Josh has co-created seven productions touring and teaching nationally and internationally. In the Bay Area he is a Clown Doctor with the Medical Clown Project and a Lead Teaching Artist for Prescott Circus Theatre. 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 he played the role of “The Mad Hatter” in Then She Fell, a New York Times Top Ten Pick of 2012, and the role of “Sam” in Ghost Light, performed at Lincoln Center. He co-wrote and directed Bad Kid, a New York Times Critic’s Pick, and the Chicago Neo-Futurists’ production of Mike Mother, a Time Out Critic’s Pick. 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 joined Under the Table in 2005, creating and performing in six company shows and co-teaching workshops at universities and theatres including Alfred University, James Madison University, and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. Apart from Under The Table, Sarah has collaborated as a performer in NYC with Hoi Polloi at the (former) Ontological, Erin Orr at HERE Arts, and Trusty Sidekick at Abrons Arts Center. She’s the comedy dance game show Dancify That’s Official Timekeeper and Grim Reaper, performing in the bi-monthly improv show at The PIT as well as teaching Dancify-inspired workshops. A member of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit and now with Healthy Humor, Sarah works as a Clown Doctor, interactively performing in pediatric wards and training new performers. She’s performed in hospitals abroad and taught workshops for Denmark’s Hospitalsklovne and Brazil’s Doutores da Alegria. Sarah is an adjunct professor at SUNY Purchase teaching courses in  Improvisation, 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!