An email I received from Toby for the caption in the upcoming edition of the Showfolks of Sarasota newsletter:Toby Ballantine, who moved to Sarasota from New Yorklast year, donated all of his father's papers to the John & Mable Ringling Museum. (ten full size file cabinets, plus equipment, trunks, and artworks).His dad, as most of you know, was Dean of Clown College from 1967 to 1979. Toby is workingwith Curator Deborah Walk to catalog Bill's papers. When the project is completed, anyone who is interested willbe able to access this treasure trove of circus and clown material at the museum archive. Bill Ballantine's "Clown Papers" will happily be preserved and should reveal greattechniques and ideas of comedy to many future clowns.Mike Naughtoncc '74
Actually Bill was dean of Clown College in 1969, after Mel Miller and Danny Chapman began the program in 1968. Bill's last year was 1977, and he had Ron and Sandy Severini listed as Assistants to the Dean.
Clown College was originally the idea of Otto Griebling, Bill Ballantine and Israel Feld. Otto was working, Bill was finishing a book. The 1968 year failed, with a full size fire truck shipped to NYC. Mel Miller and Danny were let out after that, and Bill was asked to develop his original version of Clown College. Clown College was finished on Israel's death. He was the big supporter of Clown College. Many clowns ran about claiming they were the "founders of Clown College, but the real workers,the actual "founders", the real key people in Clown College were: Otto, Israel and Bill.
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