Padova, September 14th to 18th, 2021


A Devising Intensive
for Clowns, Bouffons and other Stage Creatures






This training is specifically devised to support participants to work on their own material.

What comic dynamic am I working with in my performance?

Why the audience laughs? And why it doesn't?

Why a piece works and how can I fix it if it doesn't?

How can I develop and act into a longer piece?

What is my comic persona based in?

What is REALLY funny for me?

These are some of the questions addressed by this residency.
 In order to create and write for one’s own comic characters, one needs to understand what is its comic core. Which are the “mechanisms” .

Is the comedy based on actions, or emotions? On accidents or jokes? Clowns or Bouffons? Gags or stories? Satire, stupidity, absurd, slapstick, mocking…?

Every comic character, or comic writing, works specifically. 
And in order to work with comic writings and dynamics, the actor-player needs a sharp understanding of their nature.

There are many ways of being funny: they can all make the audience laugh but they are not in the same comic world.
 They are rooted in a variety of writing and performing principles. Knowing them means to be able to create with them.







Participants will bring their clowns or comic stage creatures, and one existing act, routine or project, solo or not, finished or unfinished, funny or ...not yet. They will present their work on their first day (max. 15 minutes), and this will be the basis for a series of coaching sessions that will focus on the three different hats that the creator needs to wear:



The comic persona, the comic core, the contact with the audience, amplification and articulation of movement, emotional awareness and presence.


Playing with space; Rhythm: pace and variations; the structure of a number: entrance, presentation, development and variations, crescendo, climax, finale, exit.


Understanding a character’s potential and weakness, the choice of themes and their development, the mask and counter-mask, the use of the actor’s skills (music, singing, acrobatics, juggling, dance and unusual or unique skills). 







The aim of this residency is to give participants professional theatre tools, in order to create within their own poetic world. It addresses theatre artists with experience in the world of physical comedy. Participants need to bring an existing project, something they have already worked with and that can be performed on the very first day.

The residency will unfold with different types of sessions:

- Individual coaching with Giovanni

- Autonomous rehearsal time

- Presentation of the work to the group and collective work on the feedback, to understand basic principles of playing, writing and directing.

- Collective exercises on core principles emerging from the work

- The week will culminate with a final presentation of the scenes, open to a small invited audience. (If the anti Covid regulations will allow it).






Two modes of participation are possible:

Maximum 5 projects.
Their performing material will be presented in the coaching sessions.
It is possible to participate with a SOLO project or as a DUO. 

A Project can also involve
 a director/author, who can participate as assistant.

Maximum 5 people.
It is also possible to attend this week without any material to present, and assist at all the coaching sessions and presentations, as well as participating to the collective classes and observe the creative process. This role includes supporting the creative process through feedbacks and questions, as well as learning about the different kinds of posture involved in supporting a devising process: director, author, movement coach, pedagogue, "outside eye"... These roles have a different perspective and give different focus and feedback. They are often confused or entangled in ways that make the devising process less effective.


Please write a letter of intent describing the project you want to work at.
The application must include
- some pictures from the project;
- a link to some video material;
- a vision for the development of the project.
Please note that the material you want to work on needs to have been already performed to an audience.



The coronavirus crisis has provoked a significant loss of income to all theatre practitioners, so the tuition is following a sliding scale approach. The sliding scale wants to acknowledge the difficult moment we are facing and the vital urgency we all feel to practice our art and to support each others and the Poetic Field. Different countries have put into place different systems of public support of artists, if any, so different participants might find themselves in different financial situations. 

Please indicate in your application the amount that you choose to pay.

Tuition for individual projects: € 450-650

Tuition for duos: € 550-700

Tuition for assisting participants: € 150-250

To confirm the enrollment, a deposit is due.
Please note that the deposit is non-refundable unless in case of cancellation due to force majeure.



The remaining part of the tuition will be paid by September 10th

Please note that the tuition does not include accommodation and that participants will be responsible for organizing their staying in Padova. After the enrolment, we will provide a list of useful information and contacts on how to organize your staying in Padova.

 APPLICATION SITUATION as of September 6th, 2021
There are still some spots available as ASSISTING PARTICIPANTS.

The PERFORMING PARTICIPANTS spots are all booked.

During these times of pandemics it is very difficult to plan ahead. This is the reason why both the info about this workshop and the deadline to enrol, come to you with very short notice.
Carpe diem, Seize the day.

Once the workshop will be confirmed, participants will receive a message containing further practical details about the workshop, as well as the details of the safety anti-coved regulations that the group will have to comply with.


The workshop will be taught in ENGLISH and ITALIAN, depending on the needs of each project and a basic understanding of ENGLISH  is required.

HELIKOS STUDIO, Via Monte Solarolo 16, 35141 PADOVA, ITALY

From Tuesday September 14th to Saturday September 18th.
9:30 to 18:00, each day.
The Helikos studio will be available for individual rehersal time also from 18:00 to 22:00.
The Studio will also be available, at no extra cost,  for rehearsing on the day before the beginning of the workshop, Monday 13th.

 For further information about the content of the workshop
and for application and practical enquiries
please contact

Tel: +39-349-7130121



The training will happen in the rigorous respect of the anti-Covid regulations of Regione Veneto (social distancing, face masks indoor if the safety distance cannot be maintained, frequent hand sanitizing, sanitizing of surfaces in the studio).
All participants will have to agree in engaging with these rules.

On the first day of the class, all participnats will have to present a COVID negative test, taken in the 48hours before, or a valid Vaccination Passport.

Given the extraordinary circumstances of the
coronavirus global crisis,, the training will be confirmed ONLY if the Italian scenario will allow the safety necessary to travel and to practice in compliance with the health regulations.
As of now, SEPTEMBER 6th, the worksjop is CONFIRMED.
In case of cancellation of the workhsop due to changes in the anti-covid regualations, all paid deposits and tuition will be refunded.

We are aware that there are some travel restrictions in place for visitors wishing to come to Italy. You can find the most up to date information on
this websitse of the Italian Ministery of Health.

Also, some countries have established travel restrictions towards Italy. You can check your own foreign office to verify what are the travel advices and requirements.

We are aware that these restrictions will make impossible for many to join the training.
We are sad abouut this and we will organise these workshops again in the future.


(1) Helikos Pedagogic Training, Padova, 2019

(2) Helikos, Florence, 2014, Stefano Borghi

(3) Red Nose Training, Melbourne, 2018

(4) Bouffons Workshop, Melbourne, Australia, 2017

(5) Red Nose Training, Melbourne, 2018

Design & programming :