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From Newsweek, July 1983.

Wavy Gravy: Still Clowning Around

As an emcee at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, Wavy Gravy enjoyed putting the reporters on. Asked what he planned to use for crowd control, he answered: "Cream pies and seltzer bottles. " His puckish wit also once led him to organize a "Pigasus for President" campaign, which tried to put a pig in the White House. Now Wavy, 47, has taken his clowning around a step further – as the director of a traveling circus camp for kids.

Wavy and a friend started their camp for what he calls "the circus and theater arts" five years ago. Wavy provides the instruction in clowning and improvisation, while other teachers handle juggling, tightrope-walking, trapeze performing and the martial arts. "What we are essentially dealing with is imagination," says Wavy, who lives in Berkeley, Calif. "Living in this kind of world, it's good to be able to move creatively from one moment to the next. "His circus – called Camp Winnarainbow – will offer two-week courses this summer in cities in California, New Mexico and New York.

Wavy is also active in the antinuclear movement–where clowning, he insists, might come in handy. "You don't hear a bunch of rednecks get together and say "Hey, let's go kill a few clowns'," says Wavy. "I've finally found a safe identity."

EILEEN KEERDOJA with bureau reports

 

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