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THE SUBLIME STUPIDITY: The actor in search of the clown

17 January, 2015  → 18 January, 2015 - Portland, Oregon



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 workshop proposes an introduction to the "Clown State". 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 first 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.


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.

Giovanni Fusetti





- Play, action/reaction and fun
- 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
- The relationship among clowns: hierarchy, leaders and servants, levels of stupidity
- The Circus Clown Archetypes: Augustus, White Clown, Monsieur Loyal




Saturday January 17th, 10am  to 5pm
Sunday January 18th, 10am  to 5pm

Be Space
, 211 SE 11th Avenue
Portland, Oregon  97214

Tuition: $200

Please note that tuition does not include accommodation and that participants will be responsible for organizing their staying Portland.

Please note that the number of participants is limited to 12.


For enrollment please contact:

wendygingin @ gmail.com


For further information about the content of the workshop please contact:


Photo Credits
Picture n.1 by Helikos Students. The second year clowns, 2013
Picture n.2 by Stefano Borghi. Clown Performance at Helikos School, 2012
Picture n.3 by Stefano Borghi. Clown Performance at Helikos School, 2013

Design & programming : DomRadisson.net