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Boulder International Clown School 2011: THE RED NOSE

15 August, 2011  → 7 September, 2011 - Boulder, COLORADO

Welcome to the 8th edition of  THE RED NOSE workshop:
a unique opportunity to study and practice the essence of Theatre Clown
and the roots of Physical Comedy.

Join us to explore the Sublime Stupidity of Clown,

with the gentle and powerful support of the Rocky Mountains.


Clown is about comic poetry: funny and touching, essential and rigorous. It's a dive into the mystery of laughter.

Deeply rooted in movement-based theatre, this course proposes an intensive training in Clown – a specific theater genre. The pedagogy focuses in particular on the analysis of the physical and emotional world of each actor, as revealed by her or his natural body. This will lead to the discovery of a unique individual clown, with a specific body, tempo, voice, costume, attitudes, emotions, and poetic world.

The journey begins with the exploration and analysis of the body within the theatrical space. In terms of movement, no body is neutral – every body carries profoundly expressive themes, embodied in everyday movement. There is a web of "non-neutral attitudes" and physical and emotional “background noises" within each person’s movement and physical presence. If an actor is observed with an eye to movement, using the reference point of the Neutral State, this web appears like painting/markings on a white sheet. They are “dramatic” in the etymological sense: they contain a drama – an action.
The use of the smallest mask in the world, the Red Nose, and the amplification and articulation of these very personal themes allows the actor to enter the Clown state. The clown is not a character – it’s a state of playing where everyone has access to the key question: what is so funny about me?
To discover one’s own clown is to reveal one’s own unique comic persona and turn it into a universal comic form.

For a performer, there is something fundamental about the discovery of her or his personal Clown: it's raw, pure, personal, unique, challenging, empowering, revealing, and extremely rewarding... It’s the exquisite pleasure of touching the empty space of complete comedy.
As a theatre genre, Clown has a unique poetic potential because it allows the performer to explore and play with the naiveté and the vulnerability of the child, and with the rigor and the technique of the adult, thus revealing the poetry of the ridiculous, and a unique personal poetic power.

The sublime stupidity of the clown is his enduring trust in life, despite her or his radical imperfection.




There are as many clowns as there are human beings.
There is one way to stand while there are infinite ways to fall.
Intelligence is limited. Stupidity is infinite.






- Play, action/reaction and fun
- From the neutral state to the comic state
- The Red Nose as a mask: amplification and articulation of movement
- The clown as a state of being on stage
- The empty space
- Emotional awareness and contact with the emotional body of the actor
- Contact with the audience
- Playing with space and with objects

Second Week: THE PLAY (le jeu)

- The relationship among clowns: hierarchy, leaders and servants, levels of stupidity
- The Circus Clown Archetypes: Augustus, White Clown, Monsieur Loyal
- The Clown's Voice
- Clown numbers and le bide (fiasco)
- The Rhythmical space: entrance, crescendo, development of themes
- The actor’s skills in service to the clown
- Playing with music, singing, acrobatics, juggling, dance and unusual or unique skills


- The writing of a Clown Number based on the work of the previous weeks' work
- Accidents and comic routines
- Devising a clown variety show
- Writing and directing clowns: each clown will work and rework on some numbers/routines to be presented in 2 public performances
- Rehearsing the Clown Variety Show


- Public presentation of a Clown Variety Show, devised by the participants under the direction of Giovanni Fusetti
- Feedback on the performance and re-work for a second and third performance





August 15th to September 7th, 2011

Monday 15th – 1pm: Registration & Presentation day, with public introductory lecture/open class  by Giovanni Fusetti at 7:30 pm.
General Schedule: five hours per day of master classes
Monday and Thursday: 1pm to 6pm
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday: 5pm to 10pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm

Days off:
Sunday August 21st & 28th, Saturday September 3rd

Schedule for final section:
Sunday September 4th: 12 to 8pm
Performances: September 5th, 6th & 7th. Rehersals 10 to 4pm. Perfomance at 7:pm

The location of the workshop is the Boulder Circus Center






The aim of this course is to give participants professional theatre tools, in order to play and create within their own clown world. It is addressed to people with previous performance experience (theatre, circus, dance, music, etc.) It is a training based on generosity and commitment to turning one’s own genuine humanity into play.

To apply, email a CV (Resume) and a letter of motivation. The letter must include these themes:
    -how did you come to know about this work?
    -what is your experience with movement-based theatre?
    -what is your previous experience with clown?
    -for what purpose do you apply for this program?

Giovanni will  choose students from the applications received, forming the group.
If the student's application is accepted, s/he will be given a spot in the class, in the order the application was received.

Once Giovanni has selected 12 students, the workshop is full, and a waiting list will be created.  Please note that this workshop tends to fill up fairly quickly so if you intend to participate, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

To confirm the enrollment, a deposit of US$500.00 is due.
Please note: the deposit is non-refundable.


US $1,500.00

A discounted total tuition fee is available for participants who enroll in both workshops: THE JOURNEY OF MASKS + THE RED NOSE





The workshop will be taught in ENGLISH
and requires a basic understanding of this language.






For any questions regarding the pedagogical content please contact:

 Giovanni Fusetti 


If you are interested in attending the workshop, please contact

Elizabeth Baron 






All pictures in this page were taken during the rehearsals
and the final performances of THE RED NOSE 2010.
 Photo credits: Jen Hyde







Design & programming : DomRadisson.net