Work samples

  • Pompo
    Pompo and Pipo - Solo show created with Jenni Kallo of the Kallo Collective. La Grave, France 2014 (adult audiences)
  • Pepito The Clown
    Pepito The Clown
    Baltimore 2012. Performing three solo acts as Pepito, part of Mobtown Ballroom's Aerial Circus Burlesque Show (adult audience) Pepito is the primary character I have performed throughout my career.
  • Pepito's Puppet Act "Emily"
    June 2019. Emily Shubert and I hosting a Puppet Slamwich at Baltimore's Black Cherry Puppet Theater (adult audiences)
  • Clowns Without Borders
    Puerto Rico 2018 - A Clowns Without Borders tour in the aftermath of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. (family audiences) As a direct result of this experience, my clown partner Molly Shannon and I shifted our focus from creating "The Molly and Z Show" to the more family oriented street show "Pepito Y Carmelita." After a fortuitous meeting in a small town square, cinematographer Karla Mi Lugo decided, impromptu, to follow the CWB Show and generously share the footage (above).

About Z

Baltimore City

Z is a stage performer and compulsive visual creator whose body of work is primarily devising, directing, and performing clown.  A collaborator and solo artist,  Z creates original productions each of which include improvisation and playfulness hung on a well-rehearsed framework of story and character.  Utilizing music, dance, visual arts and puppetry, Z makes comedic visions come to life.   

Born and raised in Baltimore,  Z returned in 2019 after spending most of her adult years… more

2011 to 2020 - Christmas for Kids (Kids)

For each of the last 8 years I have created an original production as part of the Baltimore Choral Arts' Christmas for Kids program.  The goal of the collaboration is introducing children to choral music in a fun and interesting way.

2020 - COVID Pepito and the Snowy Christmas the FILM 
2019 - Baltimore Scrooge
2018 - Pepito and the Snowy Christmas 
2016/17 - Pepito and the Mystery Menace
2015 - Pepito and the Christmas Doll
2014 - Pepito and the Perfect Christmas Tree
2013 - Christmas Cousins
2012 - Pepito's Hidden Talent
2011 - Pepito met the Baltimore Choral Arts doing "walk around" in the lobby

I love classical music, and dream of making a show one day in a similar vein where Pepito performs a full length show with a live symphony.
  • Post Show
    Post Show
    Before and after every show Pepito always has some fun and gets into some trouble ;)
  • Balancing
    Pepito balances a hoola hoop
  • Pre-show Fun
    Pre-show Fun
    Pepito playing with the audience in the Kraushaar Auditorium.
  • Pepito and the Magic Christmas Tree
    Pepito and the Magic Christmas Tree
    Z Smith, Sophie Hinderberger, and a Muse360 Arts dancer performing in Pepito and the Magic Chrismtas Tree Written by Miranda Hall and Z Smith
  • 2015 Pepito and the Christmas Doll
    Clips from Pepito and the Christmas Doll perfomed with Sophie Hinderberger, Molly Shannon, and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Written by Z Smith, Molly Shanon, and Miranda Rose Hall
  • 2020 Snowy Christmas
    The is the clown portion only of the Baltimore Choral Art's Christmas for Kids program 2020. We normally create a live stage show mixing clown and choral music, but due to COVID19 we tried our hand at making a movie. You can see the full version with the chorus on their YouTube:
  • Idea sketch
    Idea sketch
    All the work I create starts with some sort of sketched out storyboard. This sketch started the entire Christmas Doll plot. I jotted it on paper, texted it to Molly 3,000 miles away and we went from there.
  • Post show posing
    Post show posing
    Molly Shannon (the Doll) and I, having some fun taking pictures with folks after the show.
  • The Baltimore Scrooge
    The Baltimore Scrooge
    Pepito and Tilly (Molly Shannon) posing with a well dressed fan after performing The Baltimore Scrooge
  • 2012 Pepito's Hidden Talent
    Baltimore Choral Arts Society's Christmas for kids, Pepito's Hidden talent written by Bob Wilke

2018 to 2020 - "Pepito Y Carmelita"(Kids)

This was my primary artistic focus for 2018 and 2019.  It's divergent from my other work in that it is designed to be performed without any need for a stage or wings.  It also relies heavily on a recorded sound track which is something I have avoided in the past.

Fast paced and zany, Pepito y Carmelita (working title) features acts of original physical comedy, classic clown routines, wacky gags, and silly surprises.  

It’s an interactive piece of clown theater that is being  designed to play for the streets and festivals of the world; a visual, physical comedy journey that can be understood by  anyone, anywhere.

The audience themselves are part of the show, and acts are specifically crafted with the goal of participants experiencing  success and being celebrated.

Pepito y Carmelita is a creation of Z Smith and Molly Shannon.  The two met as students at the San Francisco Clown Conservatory in 2004, and were founding members of Circus Finelli, an ensemble of four female clowns based in the Bay Area. They worked together for years in San Francisco, and then for years lived on separate coasts.  Now, carbon footprints be damned, they are working together again!  They utilize theater, circus, music, and  dance to create original works of clown comedy.

Molly and Z began a residency on Vashon Island to finish The Molly & Z Show (working title) in January of 2018. But, they were almost immediately offered the opportunity to perform with Clowns Without Borders in Puerto Rico.  On their return, they decided to put The Molly & Z Show on the back burner and focus on making a street show with the characters they had used in Puerto Rico: Pepito Y Carmelita.

In October 2018 they were offered another chance to perform with Circo National de Puerto Rico, again through Clowns Without  Borders.  On this tour, they were able to try out elements of the show they were creating.  They performed 30  shows for more than 5,000 people.

Inspired by the Clowns  Without Borders mission of bringing laughter where it’s needed most, they continue developing a show that can be performed anywhere and will be used as a platform to spread joy and collaborate with other artists: clowns, circus folk, musicians etc. 

Special thanks to: Arturo Gaskins, Mark Jaster, and Dan Griffiths for helping to shape the show
  • Bienvenidos!
    Trying out new material in Puerto Rico thanks to Clowns Without Borders and Circo National de Puerto Rico. Arturo Gaskins/Z Smith/Becca Bernard/Molly Shannon
  • Pepito in Baltimore
    Pepito in Baltimore
    Donating a performance to a block party in the Harwood neighborhood
  • Kids Thank You Card
    Kids Thank You Card
    We LOVE all the thank you cards we get :)
  • Opera Diva
    Opera Diva
    The show has three audience participation numbers. Though the chances seem slim, somehow we meet a new and devine Opera Diva every time!
  • Pepito Y Carmelita
    Pepito Y Carmelita
    Photo by Phil Clapham
  •  Audiencia
    School Audience in Puerto Rico
  • Pepito Y Carmelita
    Pepito Y Carmelita
    Pepito Y Carmelita, Chihuahua, Chihuahua MX
  • Safe Space
    Safe Space
    We believe in always holding a safe and supportive environment
  • Poster
  • Umbrella Act
    Umbrella Act
    Audience participation umbrella dance at a school with Circo National De Puerto Rico

2019 - Hosting the June 1st Puppet Slam (Adults)

This was my first time working with Emily Schubert as a clown and it was so lovely!
  • Black Cherry clips
    Montage of Z Smith and Emily Shubert hosting the Black Cherry Puppet Slamwich June 1st 2019
  • Pepito Jumbalaya with band

2017 - "The Molly and Z Show"(Adults)

The characters being developed in this piece are not the "red nose" clowns that holds such a loaded stereotype.  Molly Shannon and I are designing this evening length piece to be performed as a whole, or broken into several stand alone acts.  We are creating something to appeal to adult audiences in a European Variety Show setting. 

Working in NYC in the fall of 2017, with direction from Joel Jeske, we hashed out the bare bones. We had gotten as far as three 20 minute rehearsal shows (one of which was adapted for a children's audience) and were starting a residency in 2018 to complete the project, when it got pushed to the back burner by our other collaborative project "Pepito y Carmelita."  

We would like to find residencies and funding to further develop this project.
  • Handstand choreography
    Handstand choreography
  • Dancin'
  • Molly & Z Rehearsal Show (adapeted for kids)
    Our friends let us try out some material at their kiddo's party
  • Molly & Z Rehearsal Show NYC
    First ever public rehearsal of some fun ideas
  • Shoe bit
    Shoe bit
    Clown bit where my character looses her shoe, but her clothes are too constricting to pick it up.
  • Na koníčka vyskočím
    Na koníčka vyskočím
    First rehearsal show of new material created with Directory Joel Jeske
  • Rehearsal Show NYC
    Rehearsal Show NYC
    We invited a small audience of friends to try out the material we had been cooking up. As clowns, we can never tell if we are on the right track with something unless we get it in front of an audience!
  • The Hair
    The Hair

2009 to 2020 - The Wiley Sisters (Adults)

The Wiley Sisters Family Roadshow is an ever evolving framework to play on and meet new characters.  Doorleen has performed solo and with many new friends, relations, and lovers. The concept of the Wiley Sisters (Doorleen and Larva lee) and their tumultuous relationship was created with Luz Gaxiola and Molly Shannon.

The Wiley Sisters have performed together and apart in many configurations including an edu-tainment piece at the Seattle Science Fair teaching folks about the workings of the theremin, and making a music video of Brendan Bob Bowers original song "Chicken Bread" which can be watched on YouTube with this link:
  • Looking for a MAN...
    Looking for a MAN...
    Doorleen Hosts a Black Cherry Puppet Slam Solo 2011
  • Found a MAN!
    Found a MAN!
    When performing Doorleen Wiley as a solo number (without my sister, Larva Lee) I usually use some sort of partici-tainment approach, like creating a band with people I find in the audience.
  • Doorleen Wiley
    2011 Doorleen performs solo at the DC clown cabaret
  • Chicken Bread (Music Video)
    Chicken Bread (Music Video)
    A screen shot from our music video "Chicken Bread" filmed in Tacate, Mexico and the nearby California desert. YouTube links don't appear on my Baker Artist page, but if you would like to watch it you can go to
  • Whiley Sisters Traveling Family Road Show
    Baltimore Creative Alliance 2011. The second half of CLOWNdemonium Revue was a musical variety show by the Wiley Sisters Doorleen Wiley (Z Smith) Larva Lee Wiley (Luz Gaxiola) Arleeta Mae Wiley (Molly Shannon) and special puppet guests by Anna Fitzgerald.
  • Udder Butter
    Udder Butter
    Doorleen presents her own Udder Butter as first prize in the game show "Who wants to be a Dairy-Queen?" as part of The Black Cherry Puppet Slamwich, early 2020.
  • Slow Motion Fight Sequence
    Slow Motion Fight Sequence
    While hosting a Black Cherry Puppet Slamwich in early 2020, Carl Karl Jr. (Emily Shubert) and Doorleen Wiley (Z Smith) get into a scuffle when Doorleen finds out that Carl Karl, a life long proponant of the dairy industry, has been drinking Oat Milk.
  • Swamp Bottom Jamboree
    Swamp Bottom Jamboree
    Doorleen performs with her sister Larva Lee (Luz Gaxiola) and cousin Arleeta Mae (Molly Shannon) at the Swamp Bottom Jamboree on Vashon Island, WA 2013
  • Doorleen goes off script
    Doorleen goes off script
    Performing at the Hinge Gallery on Vashon Island, WA 2018. Orchestrated by her Meemaw, Doorleen is married to an audience member before the show is over.
  • Martiqua The Cow
    Martiqua The Cow
    Martiqua is a two person cow puppet that I made. She has performed with Circus Finelli as well as the Wiley Sisters.

2014 - Popo and Pipo (Adults)

This show was devised in France with Finish Director, Jenni Kallo of the Kallo Collective.  Created not long after my mother passed away, and colored by Jenni's darker take on clowning, Pompo and Pipo follows a clown who has lost someone in a tragic accident and is living in a junkyard.  A Clown/Theater piece, the 4th wall is lifted and lowered throughout the show as Pompo swings between a rich imaginary life and the harsh realities of the present situation.

The first (and only) version of this show was performed in 2014 as part of the New York Clown Theater Festival.  I am currently looking for funding and residencies to further develop it.  I'm particularly interested in exploring surprising set designs and further developing the shadow puppetry and object manipulation aspects.

"The more you make the audience laugh, the more you open them up to experience deeper emotions"
- Jenni Kallo, Director
  • Pompo plays the bottles
    Pompo plays the bottles
    Photo of Pompo by Eric Micheal Pearson
  • Pompo traveling
    Pompo traveling
    photo by Eric Micheal Pearson
  • Pipo
  • Pipo
  • Pompo and Pipo Montage
    This montage is from the 2014 New York Clown Theater Festival, hosted by the Brick Theater.

2011 - CLOWNdemonium Revue (Adults)

Directed and performed in this one night, cabaret style, performance at the Baltimore Creative Alliance.  Collaborated with partners from Circus Finelli (Molly Shannon / Luz Gaxiola) and The Canary Theater (Anna Fitzgerald / Sophie Hinderberger)
  • Flier
    CLOWNdemonium Revue at the Baltimore Creative Alliance.
  • Madam DeSoleil
    Madam DeSoleil
    Ringmaster of the show played by Sophie Hinderberger
  • Meemaw
    Doorleen's Grandma making a cameo
  • Blue Cheese
    "Blue Cheese"
    The puppet Paul (Anna Fitzgerald) posing with his beloved, song worthy, blue cheese.
  • Chicken Bread
    Chicken Bread
  • Pepito's Clowndemonium Revue Clips (5min)
    A selection of clips from the first half of the show in which Pepito (Z Smith) assists the emcee (Sophie Hinderberger) and covers scene changes with the puppet Paul (Anna Fitzgerald)
  • Whiley Sisters Traveling Family Road Show
    Baltimore Creative Alliance 2011. The second half of CLOWNdemonium Revue was a musical variety show by the Wiley Sisters Doorleen Wiley (Z Smith) Larva Lee Wiley (Luz Gaxiola) Arleeta Mae Wiley (Molly Shannon) and special puppet guests by Anna Fitzgerald.
  • Beef Stroganoff
    Pepito has invited the boss to dinner but.... they have no food. Pepito and Paul make a plan.

2010 - Pepito's Big Date FILM (Adults)

This was a project my friend and I worked on to keep my mind off the fact that my mom was battling cancer.  We were on vacation at a rental beach house.  The clown nose is a tangerine, my make-up is her sisters, the costume came from the local thrift store.
  • Pepito's Big Date

2008 to 2010 - Vegetable Party (Kids)

This show combines two of my loves: clowing, and urban vegetable gardening.  I made the props, costumes and set for this traveling show (except the marionette Blinky Winky, created by Tania Esmeralda Padilla)

Luz Gaxiola and I were commissioned by a California non profit, Arts Change, to create and tour a show educating East Bay preschoolers about healthy eating choices.  When I moved to the east coast,  Anna Fitzgerald and I created a new version of Vegetable Party but we never got any traction in Baltimore City. 

When the right opportunity arises, I would love to pull this show out, dust it off, and give it another life in Baltimore.  

I now run a community garden in my neighborhood of Waverly, so maybe someday when COVID is over it will play there!  IG @old_york_farm

2005 to 2011 - Circus Finelli (multiple shows: Kids/Adults)

Four clowns from different parts of the nation... and the world, converged at the San Francisco Clown Conservatory in 2005 to form Circus Finelli. They named themselves after beloved teacher and
new Circus Pioneer Judy Finelli, and set off across the Atlantic to debut at Czech clown Bolek Polivka’s theatre in Brno, CZ.

Since then they have been performing, traveling, and aspiring to new heights of the stupid and sublime through music and mischief. They perform at theatres, festivals, and variety shows in Mexico, Europe, and throughout the United States.

It is with Circus Finelli that I developed the character Pepito which I still perform today. I left Circus Finelli in 2011 when my mom got sick with cancer and I moved east to help care for her.  I still delight anytime I am able to work with these past partners.

All Circus Finelli shows were collaboratively devised, though the last two I was involved with were directed by the fabulous Micheal Gene Sullian of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. 

  • Circus Finelli
    Circus Finelli
    Although I ended up mostly perforing as Pepito with Circus Finelli, at the begging of our time together I played the high status Madam Desoleil, as seen in this photo.
  • Slapstick Slavik Cabaret
    Slapstick Slavik Cabaret
  • are you in voice?
    "are you in voice?"
    Pepito finds the perfect note
  • Shake Your Rump to the Funk
    Shake Your Rump to the Funk
    Pepito and Martiqua the cow do some illicit dancing while the boss is away
  • Good Ballerina
    Good Ballerina
    Luz Gaxiola and Z Smith
  • Excuse me..
    "Excuse me.."
  • Samba
    Pepito tries to join the Samba. Molly Shannon and Z Smith
  • Ochi Chernye
    Ochi Chernye
    Juggling number is derailed by the emotions of the song. Z Smith and Verka Zaskodna
  • Pepito holding Madam Vinaigrette
    Pepito holding Madam Vinaigrette
    Verka Zaskodna and Z Smith