Photo credit: Bossi

Photo credit: Bossi


“’The Elephant In The Room’ adds a healthy scoop of dark philosophy to the typically light fare of clowning."

 - D.C. Theatre Scene

“Gwirtz and Baumann have great energy, a quirky sense of humor, and are powerful physical comedians.”

 - D.C. Metro Theater Arts

Thursday Evening classes starting Jan 2018!

About Us

RBP began in 1998 in San Francisco as an experimental collaboration between dancer Jennifer Gwirtz and solo artist John Baumann. Described by Nicole Gluckstern of the SF Bay Guardian as creating a “quirkily cerebral brand of performance art,” Gwirtz and Baumann assembled like-minded artists to create full length works for the stage, site specific and alternative venues that speak fluent performance art in the style of circus, with the occasional ballet reference and enthusiastic nods towards traditional western theater forms. Now a culturally risk-taking ensemble of dancers, theater artists and musicians, they blend their disciplines to explore humanity and existence by way of metaphor.

In their two decades of making strange and wonderful things, Right Brain Performancelab performed at many venues in the Bay Area, including ODC Theater, CounterPULSE, NOHspace, Dance Mission, The Jewish Theater, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, in private homes and site-specific locations.  

Gwirtz and Baumann moved to Portland, OR in 2016, which put RBP on an indefinite hiatus. The two of them are still making work. Stay tuned for new developments. 

Active Repertoire

Past Works:

  • 2015, 2016 - "The Elephant In The Room"
  • 2014, 2013 - "What Stays"
  • 2012 - "Gravity (and other large things.)"
  • 2010 - "The Elephant In The Room" (work-in-progress)
  • 2006 – “Objects In Mirror Are Stranger Than Fiction”
  • 2005 – “State Of The Union/Anonymous Sources”
  • 2002 – “Tempest In A Teapot", "The Bank Tour"
  • 2001 – “Drifter”
  • 1999 – “First Story,” “CAN”

Small Scale/Alternative Site

  • 2011 – “Spies”
  • 2003 – “The New World Ergonomy”
  • 2002 – “The Bank Tour”

Marvelous people

without whom none of this would be possible...

Deborah Stearns & Eryq
Sarah Davies
Jo Gray
Bob and Sarah Freedman
Loren R. Robertson
Todd Claybaugh
Lisa Claybaugh
Akiva Potok
Stephen Snyder
Dave Rodgers
Jennifer A. Minore
John Hayes
Ken Paul Rosenthal
David McKay
Lois and Richard E. Gwirtz
David Hirata
Lisa Phipps
Jerre Dye
Deb Walker
Ronnie Oliver
Melinda Baumann
Jordan Otis
Gloria BoehmYu
Edward & Tomoko Schocker

Many thanks to Coastal Repertory Theater for their assistance with our 2016 video shoot. 





The Elephant In The Room

A transcendent and exuberant romp wherein a large pachyderm-like entity invisibly inhabits the stage, intriguing and confounding a cast of clowns who dance, cavort and sing their efforts to define it, themselves and their world. This full length piece features silliness and sadness in equal measure, dance, musical numbers and physical theater with original music by composer Dave Rodgers and lighting design by Allen Willner. 

This energetic high-spirited evening is fully involving for adults and also excellent for family audiences. 

A bit about our past productions:

"The Elephant In The Room" (2010, 2015, 2016)

EITR has become RBP's signature work, first created as a vehicle for four performer-collaborators, then re-explored as a co-production with San Francisco International Arts Festival, and finally as a film with Loren Robertson of Loren Robertson Productions. In 2016, Jennifer Gwirtz and John Baumann toured a version for two performers to Capital Fringe in Washington, DC. 


"What Stays" (2013, 2014)

An epic, multiseason poetic exploration of "home." 
The first three shows took place in homes throughout the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland and Half Moon Bay, featuring ten collaborating artists. The final event took over the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center as a co-production with SADC. 


"Gravity (and other large things.)" (2012)

A full-length evening movement-theater event about the force that holds everything together.

"The Elephant In The Room"

A film in three parts.

"Showtime In America"

A traveling performer ruminates about alienation and disorientation.



More coming soon!



More coming soon!

Current Offerings

Weekly Practice Lab at The Tiny Theater PDX

WHEN: Thursdays 7-9:00 pm starting 1/4

Maximum Participants: 7
Suggested Donation: $10-$20 sliding scale
To Register and for more info:
Drop in OK - please notify by e-mail that you are planning to attend due to limited space.

WHERE: The Tiny Theater PDX
(If you have not attended a class at The Tiny Theater PDX, please contact the instructor for the exact address.)
TO WEAR: Comfortable clothes in which to move
TO BRING: Water, sketchbook, drawing materials
FOR WHOM?: All levels of experience in dance or art

A weekly practice to train the body and mind as a pathway into creativity and performance. With each class we start with the idea that it’s not the “what,” it’s the “how.” We will start with a simple warm-up in which we play with gravity and build resilience, and then students will explore a question that lead into somatic explorations, visualizations, scoring and improvisations. Each session includes the option to perform and to witness the daily score. We will also take time when possible to end each session with an expressive drawing.

Payment in the form a sliding scale donation, can be made via cash, or through the PayPal links below, NOTAFLOF. 

Sliding Scale Donation - Drop-In
Full Price Donation For Drop-In
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This method is an enjoyable, beautifully low-impact, but fully four-dimensional practice, a daily movement session for all ages. The class begins seated, then moves to the floor, progressing through all possible spinal motions: arch, curl, lateral bends, undulations and spirals to relax and massage the organs, create space in the joints, shape and strength in the muscles, ending with a full-body sense of length, resilience and calm. Originally created by Juliu Horvath, there are sixty and ninety-minute formats to this class. -Taught by Jennifer Gwirtz

Fieldwork Work Groups

The Field is a peer-to-peer forum for artists to share developing works and exchange feedback. The Fieldwork method reveals how each piece is perceived by others and fosters a detailed information exchange. Incisive and stimulating critiques are guided by an experienced facilitator. Fieldwork work groups meet for between four and ten weeks, ending with an informal showing.