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Clowning Around with Jeffrey Gabel

 

Clowning Around with Jeffrey Gabel

Main Floor
April - August 2006

Jeffrey Gabel

There is probably no one in Adams County that doesn't recognize Jeffrey Gabel. His charming personality and wit, his dynamic stage presence, and those great bow ties make the Founding Executive Director of the newly-renovated Majestic Theater Performing Arts Center easy to spot. But what you may not know is that his first career was as "Chuckles," a professional circus clown.

 Chuckles the clown Chuckles the clown

Gabel has been in the performing arts and non-profit industry for more than 30 years. He hails from Camp Hill, PA and holds a B.A. Degree in Vocal Music from Mansfield University. He began his show business career right here in Adams County in 1971 as a clown with Circus Kirk, a student circus in East Berlin founded by Dr. Charles Boas.

Chuckles with Mr. Rogers on the set of his show, 1986.
Chuckles with Mr. Rogers on the set of his show, 1986.
 

Gabel went on to tour the highways and byways of America for six years with its biggest tented circuses, often playing 300 consecutive one night stands per season. As Chuckles the Clown, he appeared as a special guest on two episodes of the national television series "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" in 1986.

Gabel has generously offered to give us glimpse of some of the behind-the-scenes treasures in the world of a clown.

 

Gabel went on to tour the highways and byways of America for six years with its biggest tented circuses, often playing 300 consecutive one night stands per season. As Chuckles the Clown, he appeared as a special guest on two episodes of the national television series "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" in 1986.

Gabel has generously offered to give us glimpse of some of the behind-the-scenes treasures in the world of a clown.

Program 1976
Program 1974

Gabel's family lineage is deeply rooted in Adams County. His grandfather, M.K. Young, graduated from Gettysburg College in 1911, and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 1913. Rev. Young served as pastor of the Mt. Joy Lutheran Church on the Taneytown Road just southeast of Gettysburg from 1920 to 1929. Gabel also has fond Adams County memories of working as a summer counselor during college at Camp Nawakwa in Arendtsville, a place that sparked his interest in becoming a professional clown. Gabel is an active community volunteer with the Gettysburg Rotary Club, Music Gettysburg, and Main Street Gettysburg.

 

Gabel joined the historic theater preservation movement in 1998 with his appointment as Executive Director of the Portsmouth , NH Music Hall, the oldest opera house in New England, built in 1876. In 2003, he joined the administration of Gettysburg College to lead the Majestic Theater Renovation Project.

Chuckles with Puppeteer Michael Horton (Nancy Caterpillar) and Betty "Lady" Aberlin, on the set of Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood TV Show, 1986.

Chuckles with Puppeteer Michael Horton (Nancy Caterpillar) and Betty "Lady" Aberlin, on the set of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood TV Show, 1986.

 
 
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