Mime and Movement Specialist...
Clown, Mask, Puppetry Design and Creation...
but... Dot's Not All!
Karen Hoyer performs, teaches, and creates work in the genres of mime, clown, puppetry, masks, and movement theatre. Since 1999 she has performed in area hospitals as Dr. Dot, currently as the Chicago Supervisor of Healthy Humor and formerly as a part of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit. She also creates and performs a variety of ecentric characters for Vaudeville Chicago in area nursing homes. In the spring of 2018, she formed KFC Puppet Partners with Freddie Levin and Carol Trobe to explore all things puppet.
As a founding member of the quarterly variety show "Vaudeville at Six Corners" she's become a quick study at improvising, writing, and performing comic schtick. In a more theatrical vein, the Lyric Opera of Chicago featured her as one three lip-synching bungee flying Rhinemaidens in Richard Wagner's Das Rhinegold in 1995 and again in 2004, and her work with the puppet symbolist company Theatre Zarko culminated in a spot at Steppenwolf's Garage Rep season in 2012.
Her original work has been featured in the Chicago Humanities Festival's PuppetOlio, The Chi-Town Clown Revue, The Nasty, Brutish & Short Puppet Cabaret, and the Chicago International Puppet Festival. In 2013, the Festival Strongylus brought her to Chihuahua, Mexico to teach a week long intensive and, with fellow mime Pam Chermansky, to perform their original show Paquetes in schools and the festival theatre, and to tour area hospitals as Dr. Dot and Nurse Cookie.
Her company Partners in Mime, Inc. toured the mid-west for twelve years beginning in 1983 with a repertoire of four ensemble mime shows created for children pre-school to high school. Her solo show Apparent Appearances toured seven cities in Mexico for the IX Encuentro Nacional y Festival Internacional de Pantomima in 1994.
In addition to mime and movement workshops at colleges such as Roosevelt University, Columbia College and UIC, Karen was a faculty member of Ringling Clown College from 1991-94 and more recently conducted their Clown College Auditions and Clown Alley workshops across the country.
In 2011, she was the Special Guest Star for Mooseburger Clown Arts Camp and then joined the faculty in 2014 to teach the Caring Clown Course. She runs The Chicago Senior Clown Troupe for the City of Chicago's Department of Aging, an ensemble open to those who are "60 or better" that tours area senior centers with original clown shows. For the 2014 Chicago Physical Festival, she created and performed Circo de tu Corazon with her college mime teacher, James Donlon, along with his wife Alina Cenal. The show was subsequently featured at the inaugural Lunacy Festival in Oregon.
She's created costumes and masks for numerous productions and designed clown and character wardrobes for individual artists. She creates art and crafts traditional and untraditional items in her spare time.
She lives with her husband Richard Gage and her children Jackson and Geneva in the city of Chicago, IL.