DAVID TABATSKY was born in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, a
    hardscrabble town in the heart of America’s forlorn industrial
    sector. He began running and speaking in Warren, Ohio, and
    spent most of his formative years in New England. As a child,
    David developed a passion for impersonating Zorro and
    Superman. In spite of these manly aspirations, he played the
    role of Hansel in a first grade production of Hansel and
    Gretel, thus whetting his appetite for the theatre. In the
    summer of 1964, he portrayed Jonathan Banks in a full-scale
    production of Mary Poppins, and the following year he played
    the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. Both productions were
    performed entirely in Hebrew under the direction of some of
    Israel’s best theatre artists.

At the age of 13, David voluntarily celebrated his Bar
Mitzvah,  a rite of passage in the Jewish tradition and
his introduction to the wild and wonderful world of the
buffet lunch.  His own father,  a  Cantor  and  spiritual
leader of the community,  taught  him as only a father
can. It was,  perhaps,  the  peak  of  David’s  religious
upbringing.    Growing   up   in   the   60's  against   a
backdrop of war  (Vietnam  and  Israel,  to  name  just
two),   assassinations   and  a  shifting  moral  climate
challenged the foundation of most teenagers’ cultural
connections and David  was  no  exception.  However,
seizing the opportunity to  leave  home  on  weekends
and summers,  David remained active in Jewish youth
groups  (USY,  LTF,  Camp Ramah) on local, regional
and   national   levels.    He   organized   conventions,
demonstrations and theatre productions. Somehow, David graduated from Manchester
Connecticut) High School in 1972, firmly ensconced in the middle of his class.

    David  attended  Adelphi University in
    Garden  City,   New York,   completing
    his  Bachelor’s  Degree,    cum  laude,
    with  major  studies  in  film,  television
    and   radio—as  well  as  theatre  and
    dance—with intensive training in class-
    ical,  modern  and  radical  techniques.
    During this time he  complimented  his
    studies with work in a number  of  local
    professional theatres  on  Long  Island.
    He performed in a wide variety of plays
    for adults and children, exhibiting a flair
    for eccentric  character  roles and high-
energy fantasy figures.  He  played  roles  such  as Rosencrantz in Hamlet, the Tutor in
Medea,  the  Hobo  in  Winterset,  Walter Mitty in Thurber  Carnival,  Brer Rabbit in The
Tales of Brer Rabbit
, Owl in Winnie the Pooh and Injun Joe in Tom Sawyer.

    At the relatively late age of 21, David learned to juggle
    three balls and began to study mime. This opened up
    many new doors for him into the world of circus arts (as
    well as women’s hearts), and he pursued both paths
    with a passion. Pantomime and clowning became a
    more flexible means of expression, and through
    ensemble work, street performing and original solo
    performances, David found more and more avenues
    for work in New England and New York.

    After graduating college, David moved to Hartford,
    Connecticut, and worked throughout the northeast,
    acting, performing solo, directing and teaching. He
    received a number of local, state and national grants to
    perform and teach acting, mime, clowning and general
    circus arts at institutions such as the University of
    Connecticut, the Hartford Conservatory, the City of
    Hartford Public Schools, Wesleyan University and the
    Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. While working under
    a federal C.E.T.A. grant for performing arts, David
    was invited to create and perform the title role in
    Till Eulenspiegel, the tone poem by Richard Strauss,
    on a custom-built stage with the Manchester Symphony
    Orchestra. David performed and produced a series of
    shows at The Hartford Stage Company and The
    Protean Theatre, including Catch the Comic Dancing,
    A Throbbing Heart & Other Love Muscles, Is the World
    All F!?!ed Up?, Sex, Clowns & Politics, and Why is the
    Sky Blue & Other Major Mysteries.

In 1981, David ran a strangely successful campaign for Mayor of Hartford. Although he
technically lost the election, his political efforts—and satirical entertainment along the
campaign trail—helped produce Hartford’s largest voter turnout in history. Despite
losing the election by dubious means, David departed Hartford with no discernible
wounds or hard feelings and headed for the concrete pastures of New York City.

    David attended the Actor’s Institute on Fifth Avenue at
    19th Street to work with the renowned Dan Fauci and
    studied movement with the legendary Bill Irwin. Just
    two months after arriving in town he performed solo at
    The Newfoundland Theatre. David subsequently
    became very busy in the New Vaudeville scene and
    participated in the first New York Clown Theatre
    Festival, hosting an evening of shorts. He performed
    with ensembles such as The Bond Street Theatre
    Coalition and The No Elephant Circus and toured
    extensively with a partner, Bette LaRusso, as
    Vaudeville Heaven. David also appeared solo at the
    Beacon Theatre, Radio City Music Hall and Lincoln
    Center. He teamed with Will Shaw to become a familiar
    sight for New Yorkers and tourists alike, street
    performing in Central Park, Demo Square in the West
    Village and The South Street Seaport, as well as on
    cruise ships in Panama and in the Caribbean.
    Eventually, David returned to acting and played the
    horse thief, Osip, in an Off-Broadway production of
    Chekhov’s Platonov.

By 1986—after  chasing  a  chicken  (literally) in a Burger
King commercial (to pay the rent) and enduring a few too
many  Bar  Mitzvah gigs—it was time for a change.  David
traveled  to  Tokyo  and,  out  of  the  blue,  established a
career there as a variety artist,  performing on the streets,
in  theatres,  hotels,   department   stores,   festivals  and
amusement parks––as a soloist, with his partner,
Zip, and
as part of the traveling  Noge  Festival.   He feels lucky  to  
have experienced much of Japan, performing  throughout  
the country and establishing lasting friendships.

The following year,  David  also lived in Paris, working with
the famed Fratellini Circus;  and  in  southern Holland and
Amsterdam,   performing  in   cabaret   theatres.   He  also
returned to New York to perform his solo show at NADA.

David returned to America and Adelphi University, graduating in 1989 with a Masters
Degree in Educational Theatre, 4.0 G.P.A. (not to brag, but this is a self- promoting
website). He directed an all-female cast in a production of
Waiting for Godot and
debuted his autobiographical solo play,
Running in Place. During this period, David
taught Circus Arts at Bloomfield College in New Jersey and was the juggling and
clowning Instructor for the New York School for Circus Arts of the Big Apple Circus at
P.S. 109 in East Harlem. The following year, David taught Theatre and Circus Arts
and directed two productions for The Governors Magnet School in Norfolk, Virginia,
the first performing arts magnet school in the United States.

    In 1991, David went back to
    Germany, where he had previously
    performed in theatre festivals,
    variete houses and on German
    television—with astonishing results.
    The Berliner Morgenpost called
    David “a skilled juggler and an
    effervescent comedian," adding,
    "Tabatsky doesn’t joke. He tells
    stories, like the ‘wild and crazy guy’
    Steve Martin, with a deeper
meaning, like George Carlin and, a dry Jewish humor like Woody Allen.” In a glowing
front-page review,
The Berliner Zeitung described his program as “an Oedipus drama
Woody Allen himself could not have directed any better.”

David made his home in Berlin, and began teaching
variety artists at  die  Etage, a professional  training  
school.  He co-wrote, choreographed  and  directed
a family circus theatre piece,
Taborka,  which is still
running at the iconic Tempodrom.  He also began a
run of solo shows at the Scheinbar,  a  landmark  of
Berlin’s fringe theatre scene; the Bar Jeder Vernunft
and  at  the Chamaleon, the first commercial  variety
house in the former East Berlin.  He appeared there
in a duet  with  the  celebrated  clown,  
Hacki  Ginda,
and  in  the  long-running   production,   
The   Hotel
Show.   David   hosted  numerous  Mitternachtshows  
at the
Schmidt Theater in Hamburg,  located  on  the
famed   Reeperbahn,   and   worked  there  with  two
ensembles.  After his show at the  Cologne  Comedy  
Festival,  the  
Cologne  Stadtanzeiger  called  David
"an  extremely  sharp  satirist,  a clown  satirizing  an
entertainer who would  like  to be an acrobat  who  is
really a reborn dadaist.”

Over the next few years, David completed a trilogy of solo productions (The Man with
Three Balls
, How I Survived My Jewish Mother and Help! I Married a German) and
created
Meschugge in Paradise, a multi-media piece inspired by mythology from the























Bible and how it intersects with modern television. He was fortunate to perform
these shows in the historic theatres of the UFA Fabrik in Berlin. He also wrote two
editions of
What’s Cool Berlin, a comic travel guide and renegade dissertation on life in
Germany’s capital beyond
The Wall. Both books sold out.

Somehow, in the middle of 1994—to the surprise of many, including himself—David got
married. He and singer Ute Lemper had a son named Max, and moved to Paris where
their daughter, Stella, was born in 1996. In between changing diapers and driving Max
around in circles until he fell asleep, David performed in Paris at the legendary Follies
Pigalle, as well as the Theatre du Lucernaire, Theatre de la Potiniere and Les Bleu
Monteaux. (It is important to note that David performed in all of these venues without
the benefit of speaking anything one could safely call French. Yet, still, he succeeded,
which only goes to prove that the French know much more English than they let on; or
they are way more polite than their reputation suggests; or they were merely drunk and
nodding off and David didn't notice that they were using a laugh track.)

After crossing the English Channel in 1997, David thoroughly enjoyed frolicking
through London with two very young children and was fortunate to perform there in
theatres such as The New End, The Gatehouse, Southwark Playhouse, and the Canal
Café Theatre. He performed his original solo show,
True Stories & Other Bullsh!t, to
critical acclaim at the
Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Stage described David as “a
supremely skillful performer and a fine actor...he reaches levels which no other comics
have matched at this Fringe.” Ironically, immediately after reading that review, David
moved back to New York with his family. After performing at
The Producers Club, David
decided to take a break from performing and devote himself primarily to parenting.

    For the next five years, David stayed home to raise his
    kids while continuing to write and teach. He taught
    theatre and circus arts at the United Nations
    International School, Bard College, The Gene Frankel
    Theatre, and for various public and private schools in
    the metropolitan area through arts organizations such
    as The Henry Street Settlement, Oasis Children’s
    Services and Hospital Audiences, among others. He
    became a guest faculty member in the Performing Arts
    Department of Adelphi University, where he still
    teaches clowning and circus arts and occasionally
    directs black box productions.

David has wrote and directed a one-woman show,
A Whole Lotte Lenya, starring
opera singer and orchestral soloist Linn Maxwell as the legendary Austrian icon, which
debuted in 2004 at The Gene Frankel Theatre in New York, and has since been
performed at Cornell University, Georgetown University and Yale University, to name a
few. In 2007, David wrote
Standing in the Fuhrer’s Slippers, which will debut in 2010.

As a journalist, David has contributed articles and columns to the Sesame Street
Workshop,
Parenting magazine and The Forward. Some of his editorials appear online
at
Associated Content.

He was honored to be the Consulting Editor for Marlo Thomas' bestselling book,
The
Right Words at the Right Time, Volume 2: Your Turn! (Atria Books, 2006). He is also
completing a memoir on Japan, writing a children's theatre textbook, and creating a
new performance piece on parenthood, based in part upon his research with The
Fatherhood Project.

In 2009,  David co-authored  
Chicken Soup
for the Soul: The Cancer Book (101 Stories
of Courage, Support & Love);  and with his
one-of-a-kind  colleague,  Bruce Kluger,  he
created the landmark book,  
Dear President
Obama:   Letters   of   Hope  From  Children
Across America,  which  includes  nearly 200
letters  and  drawings  to   President  Barack
Obama  from  children in every  region in the
nation. The collection  was  published during
Obama's first 100 days in office.

David is a member of the National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981/AFL-CIO), Actors
Equity Association and The Screen Actors Guild. He was listed in the 2005 edition of
Who’s Who in America. That, and a bottle of codeine, will get him to the corner of his
street, where he can currently be seen hailing a taxi to destinations unknown. David
lives in Manhattan with his children, Max and Stella.

    For more information, please take a moment to visit David's
    website. Wait a minute. This is his website.

    For  more  information,  please take a moment to actually
    navigate your way through it. And, congratulations on making
    it to the end of David's biography.

    It was the best of times.

    It was the worst of times.

    And, then he lost his watch.

    To be continued.


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