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Clown

back row: Otis Otis, Wally Otis, Lil Francis Creampuff
front row: Virginia, Spongy Possum, Margaret, Zero

The Clown is you.

It's so simple.

That's why it's so hard. And fun!

Clown
LotsofClowns.jpg

The clown has no guile, and shows everything. Plus, the clown knows a thing or two about how to have some fun and then give it away to the audience. Get you head and heart around all that and we'll love you for sure!

 

- Make room in your body for your talent: find an elastic connection between grand physical expression, emotions, and imagination.

- Find and craft game: understand what a game is (hint: it has 4 essential elements!), how to make one (or one hundred), and how to play it for the audience with complicité! It sounds fancy! It's French! (It just means complicity but it's more fun to say it the French way).

- Discover through improvisation (not Improv!!) without formulas or b.s.

- Reveal your clown. Your clown is you. At your most playful. At your most ferocious. At your most vulnerable. At your most honest. And with a colossal hunger to show - even though you got nothin' - no script, no good ideas, no fancy lighting, no flying Cadillac cars. You do not have to be cheerful (most likely you are not) but you have to care! When your care makes the stakes enormous while you pursue the ridiculous, we start cooking with gas! But what if you don't do it right? Excellent. You are wrong already! You are advanced!

- Once you've discovered your clown you can start making ​some funny (and moving) stuff to show the audience, remembering that the schtick must serve the clown, not visy versy. Make the audacious proposal that the performer is more interesting than the schtick!

- Play in groups and explore the clowns' relationships both inside the games and between the clowns as they play those games.

What you'll walk away with (eventually - depending on how long we have together!)

A newly encouraged openness and abandon you might use in whatever style you perform. 

* An inkling of which door to open to pursue your clown.

* A name suggesting something about the fundamental physical and emotional articulation of your clown (your self).

* New material and the skills to build material tethered to your clown.

* Experience playing through an audience: how to listen and show and manage the tension between having something planned and keeping it open enough to let your performance continue to have life.

* Experience building material in groups inside the world of the clown.

Lil Wet Ladle, Put That Kettle Down, Marvin &  friends

Commedia

Commedia

Put your fun in your body. 

 

Move it around.

 

Unstoppable.

Pantalona has some fun

The masks are magic! Learn to support a Commedia half-mask (they don't cover your mouth so you can talk - and boy will you!), and discover a dynamic, super-fun way to build specific, hilarious, moving characters, and discover a whole new level of game play. But maybe you’re all like, “Isn’t Commedia all hokey and from some kinda really bad Ren faire?” Yes, sometimes! But not how we’re gonna rock it.

We'll explore the world of Commedia expressed in the contemporary, through individual and group improvisational exercises.

* It's your chance to get under some of the most exquisitely crafted leather masks in the world

* Breathe life into the mask by discovering an extraordinary physical and vocal expression and playfulness

* Use the masks to create specific characters who connect to the audience.

* Investigate Commedia archetypes from Zanni to Pantalone, so that you can unlock the code of Commedia characters in works from Shakespeare and Moliere to The Simpsons and Law and Order, expanding your acting toolkit.

* Spark Laughter: develop quick thinking and spontaneity on stage. Embrace your playfulness to generate material so surprising and true they'll have to laugh and cry! Discover Commedia games and how to employ them in all types of comedy. Play quickly and discover a new nimbleness.

* Burst into song.

* Generate material and learn to play set lazzi (games), while keeping those lazzi open for the anarchy of the moment as generated by you, the audience, the other actors, or the other masks.

* Use mask technique to connect with and move the focus of the audience; and to show thought process, character relationships and your internal life.

* Become a scene-stealer: Learn the secrets to discover exciting and unique games like full pantomime hypotheticals, simple rhythmic and gesture games, verbal gymnastics and "The Cascade" where one thing makes you think of another and you get way off topic as you pursue your fun until you get back to, what's it called... your point!

* Understand status and how to use status relationships between the masks.

* Collaborate on the construction of epic games for multiple masks to play inside.

Harlequino

Harlequino says Uh-oh!

Physical Comedy

Physical Comedy
Waiting For Godot: PhotoB y_Zoë Markwalter

"We haven't seen those guys."

Learn how to design and execute an array of physical comedy events when playing characters in plays/film/video (they can tell you what to say but you have more license over your action), or building your own routines as a clown, stand up, variety performer, TIKtok star, etc.

Comedians (including physical ones) sometimes say, “you can’t teach someone to be funny.” You might detect how this statement could be just a tad self-serving. Of course if you are deeply committed to being boring there is little to be done. But that is surely not you! Truth is, design and execution of physical comedy is a skill you can learn, and then use to augment your artistic expression, and have a blast. Wanna have some fun acting again?! You make a playground for yourself and then you play upon it.

 

Over the pandemic, Virginia Scott developed at Movement Theater Studio a new physical comedy curriculum. It includes a handy dandy handbook! In this class, you'll analyze some classic physical comedy turns and then you'll build some of your own. You will have the opportunity to try out a variety of categories of physical comedy such as problems with objects; takes; distraction and flights of fancy; and trips, hits and falls. We’ll investigate how to develop these games using rhythm, repetition, sequencing successes and failures, escalation, and of course sharing with the audience. Plus we’ll look at physically comic characters and their vocal and physical gestures. Develop the necessary timing to go on this particular kind of hilarious joy ride and you'll never be boring on stage or on screen (even when the writing or directing is!). You'll leave with a shiny new routine to take home for your very own.

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