Deborah Kaufmann spent her childhood in dance and acting classes. She earned a degree in Visual Art from Bennington College. After brief careers as a production potter, a sign language interpreter, a props mistress, a typesetter and an aluminum can inspector, Deborah stumbled into her life as a clown.  By seeking out master teachers such as Richard Pochinko, Tony Montanaro, Bob Berky, Avner Eisenberg, Dominique Jando, and John Towsen, she has studied the art of clowning in its many facets.

Since its inception in 1986, Deborah has performed with Big Apple Circus Clown Care (sm). “Dr. Dibble” brings her own brand of buffoonery to hospitalized children and their caregivers.  As the Associate Creative Director of Community Programs, she auditions and trains new performers for Clown Care and Vaudeville Caravan, and oversees the ongoing artistic development of 70 unique “clown doctors.”

She is the Artistic Director of The Betes Organization, which uses the modality of theater to address emotional and mental health in diabetes care in order to help people form a healthy relationship with their chronic illness. Through unique and playful theatrical performances, group exercises, and facilitated discussions, our boldly creative work becomes therapeutic in its ability to bring to light often difficult to discuss experiences. Theater artists work in partnership with psychologists to develop and deliver The Betes’ work.

She directed three clown shows at the 2010 NY Festival of Clown Theatre, two of which were developed in her Character Mask-to-Clown class.

She has taught clowning across the U.S., in Brazil, France, Finland, The Netherlands and Australia.

As the tuba player for The Baltic Street Blowhards, an eccentric band, she played NYC Parks,  and NYC’s premier music venues -- Symphony Space and Avery Fisher Hall.

Deborah has performed her original works in the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America and Australia. Of her performance at the 2006 New York Clown Theater Festival, said, “this performance gleams most brightly, with true mischief and solid will operating unfettered at maximum strength.”

She directed three short pieces at the New York Festival of Clown Theatre at the Brick Theatre, Brooklyn, NY in September 2010, and premiered her new show, “Leave Nothing But Footprints “ at the 2012 New York Festival of Clown Theatre.

Her new show, “BURIED ALIVE! a matchbox theatre had its debut in August 2011 at the Dream Up Festival, Theater for the New City, Crystal Field, artistic director. The Village Voice said, “the way each box reveals its tiny inhabitants is entrancing and Deborah sweetly enchanting.”  It has been seen at Lalka tez Czeloviek adult puppet festival in Poland, the 2013 National Puppetry Festival, and was featured at St. Ann’s Warehouse in the 2013 Toy Theater Festival.