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Boulder International Clown School 2008: THE RED NOSE

26 August, 2009  → 17 September, 2009 - Boulder, Colorado, USA

This is the 5th edition of this unique opportunity to study and practice the essence of the Red Nose and the roots of physical comedy. Join us to explore the Red Nose world with the gentle and powerful support of the Fall on 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, considered a specific theatre style. 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 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 allow 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 myself?
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 in 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 style, 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 his complete imperfection.


There are as many clowns, as there are human beings.
There is one way to stand, and 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 the service of 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
- 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 a public performance


- Rehearsals and public presentation of a final show
- Re-working of the numbers for three performances






AUGUST 26th to September 17th, 2008
General Schedule:
Monday to Friday, 5 – 10 pm. Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm
Sunday 31th and 7th: off.

Perfomances: Monday Sept. 15th, Tuesday Sept. 16th and Wednesday Sept. 17th
Participants: 12-14

Tuition: US$ 1.000



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, you need to send 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?

Starting from April 1st, Giovanni will start choosing students from the applications received, forming the group.
Once he has selected 14 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.

Enrolment update on July 30th: two places have become available for the Workshop.



A reduction in tuition fees is available for participants who enroll for both workshops (Red Nose + Clown's Life): US$ 1.400. A financial help is available for participants travelling from outside North America. Contact us for further details.

Both workshops will be taught in ENGLISH. The Red Nose Workshop requires a basic understanding. The Advanced Workshops, being based on writing, requires an advanced level in spoken and written English.


For any questions regarding the pedagogical content please contact:

Giovanni Fusetti

If you are interested in attending the workshop, please contact

Elizabeth Baron:


Telephone: +1 303-746-2669 (US Mountain Time, GMT-7)



Design & programming : DomRadisson.net