Gardi Hutter was born and raised in Altstätten. She completed secondary school at the Stella Maris in Rorschach and high school at the Kantonschule in St. Gallen.
After a social internship in Paris, she trained as an actress and theater teacher at the Schauspiel Akademie in Zurich (today ZHdK, Hochschule der Künste). After a year as a freelancer, engaged in various theaters, Swiss television and Zurich high school, she emigrated to Italy to become a clown. After three “journeyman years” at the CRT (Centro di Ricerca per il Teatro) Milano, with the “maestros” Mario Gonzales and Nani Colombaioni, she developed her own clown style together with Ferruccio Cainero.
Since 1981 she has produced 9 clown plays and since performed them 3700 times in 34 countries. During the 2000 season she toured as clown with the Swiss National Circus Knie. In addition, she has sung in three musicals, which she also co-wrote.
In 1985 the Rheintaler “Panorama Verlag” published the rather professional biography: “Gardi Hutter – die CLOWNerin” by Moser-Ehinger, and in 2021 the “Hier und Jetzt Verlag” published the rather private biography “Trotz allem” (“in spite of it all”) by Denise Schmid. Her workbook about “How a piece is created” you can download here: gardihutter.werkbuch.com. And Gardi Hutter has written the texts for three children’s books by “Nord Süd Verlag”.
Hutter is also a lecturer for clown and physical theater at theater colleges in Zurich, Leipzig and Berlin.
She has received 19 art awards, both in Switzerland and abroad. Among others, the “Goldiga Törgga” in 2020, the Swiss Cabaret Prize in 2005, the St. Gallen Culture Prize in 1996 and the Hans Reinhart Ring in 1990. As a highlight, she appeared in 1992, on the occasion of the 700 year celebration, as a cleaning “court jester” in the Swiss Parliament.
Sie ist Dozentin für Clown- und Körpertheater an Hochschulen für Theater in Zürich, Leipzig und Berlin.
Sie hat, in der Schweiz und im Ausland, 19 Kunstpreise erhalten. Unter anderem 2020 den «Goldiga Törgga», 2005 den Schweizer Kleinkunstpreis, 1996 den St. Galler Kulturpreis und 1990 den Hans Reinhart Ring und. Als Höhepunkt trat sie 1992, anlässlich der 700 Jahr Feier, als putzende «Hofnärrin» im Schweizer Parlament auf.
Her clown persona is called Hanna. She is an existential player. Her stories – without words, but full of bravado – are tragic-comic metaphors on our hopeless pedaling for bliss. Although Hanna is spared no adversity, she never becomes a victim – to the audience’s amusement. She gives it her all: she’s clumsy and angry, twisted and crazy, touching and poetic. In each play, Hanna creates an absurd universe in which she fights new windmills as a kind of Donna Quixote. She always fails – but she does it so magnificently.
In all the turmoil there is only one certainty: Hanna isn’t fat… it’s just the mirror that is too tiny.