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Boulder International Clown School 2012: THE RED NOSE

20 August, 2012  → 12 September, 2012 - Boulder, Colorado

Welcome to the 9th 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 theater, 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 individual 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 teh vulnerability of the child and with the rigor and teh 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 20th to September 12th, 2012

Monday August 20th: Registration at 12pm. Classes 1 to 6. Public lecture-demonstration by Giovanni from 7:30 to 9:30
Tuesday  21st: 12 to 5pm
Wednesdays  22nd: 10 to 3 pm
Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th: 11 to 4 pm
Saturday 25: 10 to 4 pm
Sunday August 26th DAY OFF

Monday 27th: 5 to 10 pm
Tuesday  28th: 12 to 5pm
Wednesdays  29th: 10 to 3 pm
Thursday 30th and Friday 31st: 11 to 4 pm
Saturday September 1st: 10 to 4 pm
Sunday 2nd  DAY OFF

Monday 3rd: 5 to 10 pm
Tuesday  4th: 11 to 4pm
Wednesdays  5th: 10 to 3 pm
Thursday 6th and Friday 7th: 10 to 4 pm
Saturday 8th: DAY OFF
Sunday 9th: 12 to 7pm
Monday 10th, Tuesday 11th, Wednesday 12th: at the Nomad Theatre, 10am to 10 pm with three Public Performances at 7:30 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.

Enrollment situation on June 1st: two places are still available.




Early Bird: US$ 1,600, if tuition is fully paid by July 1st 2012.
Full Price: US$ 1,750.

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





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