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Meet Clown! | 7th - 25th August, 2024 | Berlin

Discover your unique poetic comedy, create a clown number and perform for a live audience.

Meet Clown! | 7th - 25th August, 2024 | Berlin
Meet Clown! | 7th - 25th August, 2024 | Berlin

Time & Location

07. Aug. 2024, 10:00 MESZ – 25. Aug. 2024, 20:00 MESZ

Berlin, May-Ayim-Ufer 4, 10997 Berlin, Germany

About

• Discover Your Clown: with their individual movement, voice & costume.

• Create a clown number: From spontaneous improvisation to a rock-solid number.

• Perform a Clown Cabaret Show: Learn to repeat your successes & perform for a live audience.

Workshop Schedule:

7th -  25th August, 2024

(Rest Days: 13th August + 18-19 August)

10:00h - 18:00h Daily*

*Note Special Performance Day Schedule for Sunday 25th August: 10:00h-20:00h

(+ After Party 20:00h - 24:00h)

Apply here: https://forms.gle/NJnBsNAxCYZAVjKa6

“The sublime stupidity of the clown is the enduring openness to life and to the present moment, despite the radical imperfection of human nature.”

-Giovanni Fusetti

Overview:

In this 3-week intensive you will learn the fundamentals of theatrical clowning and explore what it is about you that moves people to laughter. You will practice sharing your honest, spontaneous reactions with the audience through the theatrical form of your individual clown. From this state of play you will create clown numbers both solo and with your fellow clowns and weave them together into a show to present at the end of the workshop.

Skills Covered:

Week 1: Discovering Your Clown

  • Play! Entering the present moment of action and reaction.
  • Discovering your clown
  • Entering and exiting the “clown state”
  • Playing with space
  • Making actions clear through articulation
  • Techniques for sharing your clown’s experience with the audience
  • Finding your clown’s voice
  • Developing your clown’s costume

Week 2: Clown Improvisations

  • Working with objects as partners on stage
  • The ecstacy of failure (aka “the bid”)
  • Duos, trios and scenes with other clowns
  • Status: the red clown, the white clown and the ringmaster.
  • Skills: musical instruments, dance, pantomime, circus/juggling skills, odd skills and eccentric abilities

Week 3: The Clown Variety Show

  • Roles in a variety show: the clown as host, stagehand, assistant to the diva etc
  • Dramaturgy of clowning: how to identify and develop themes, create suspense, build climax etc.
  • Comedy writing for clowns: How to make what’s not funny funny and what’s already funny much much funnier!
  • Dramaturgy of a variety show: How to structure the numbers to create the dramatic arch of the show, running gags, story lines and the red thread that keeps it all together.
  • Going pro: How to repeat your successes beyond the workshop.

Peter Sweet's Pedagogy

Week 1: A somatic approach to finding your clown

Each of us has an individual way of moving that expresses something essential about who we are. By observing the body moving in space, we learn to recognise our individual movement patterns and amplify them with the help of what Jacques Lecoq called “the smallest mask in the world”: the red nose. This process reveals the unique clown of each person, a universal comic form with its own physicality, rhythm, voice, costume, and comic timing. Through your clown you access the comedy that comes not just from what you do or say, but from a core part of who you are. This is a brave act of comic poetry. It opens the door to true presence on stage and the freedom to play with everything that happens to you.

Week 2: Creating Clown Acts Through Play

In the second week we will improvise together, immersing ourselves in the hilarious poetry that arises from the clowns’ spontaneous play. We will discover many sides of each clown as they interact with each other, play with space and objects and perform technical skills like music, circus or eccentric abilities. We will look in detail at what makes an improvisation funny and begin to develop numbers based on the unique comedy of each clown.

Week 3: The Clown Variety Show

During the third week we will choose material from the first two weeks of the workshop to re-work, rehearse and present in a clown cabaret at the end of the workshop. The clowns will host the show, introducing the numbers and operating as the stage hands and clean up crew, to create the “red thread” through the show. Peter Sweet will support the creation process as the director. Finally you will perform! An audience offers fresh energy to the clowns, enlivening their play as they take this first step into the world of live performance.

About the teacher:

Peter Sweet’s approach to clown combines the madness of play with the rigor of technique. He teaches the most effective tools that he has used in his 20+ years of performing and directing clown, physical theatre, and circus. Peter first discovered clown in a workshop with Avner "The Eccentric" Eisenberg in 2003 and has developed his practice of clowning and clown pedagogy through his long mentorship with Giovanni Fusetti, founding director of the Helikos International School of Theater Creation. His unique approach has been further enriched by his experience as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, Wutao breath-work, and a wide range of somatic and martial arts.

Professionally, Peter has worked as a performer, teacher and director of physical theater and contemporary circus since 2000. His solo and duo shows: Meet Pete Sweet (Clown developed with Avner "The Eccentric" Eisenberg), Swinging High (directed by Giovanni Fusetti), and BOOM! (directed by Matteo Destro) have toured in over 20 countries. Peter served as the director of performance in the circus department at Die Etage Berlin for 4 years. He is a thesis advisor and coach at Fonty’s Netherlands masters program in choreography and has been a guest teacher at the Stockholm University of Dance and Circus, Zurich University of the Arts and the Bayerische Theaterakademie August Everding in Munich.

Peter studied physical theatre at the Helikos International School of Theatre Creation in Florence, contemporary and classical dance at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance in Salzburg and circus at Ecole du Cirque Zofy in Sion (CH). He is a certified teacher of both the Alexander Technique and Wutao, a French movement art based on breath and undulation.

Peter is currently based in Berlin (DE), where he directs professional companies, teaches workshops and creates new works of inspired madness. In his free time he reads, flies kites, dances in the kitchen, and watches Muppet show re-runs.

Workshop Logistics:

Language: English

The workshop will be taught in English. A basic understanding of this language is required for participation. The teacher also speaks German, French and Indonesian and can offer translation in moments when it is needed.

Cost: Sliding scale 950* - 1750 Euros

*In order to make this workshop accessible to people with a range of economic means, I am offering a low entry price for those who need it. It is also possible to pay in several installments.

Class Size: Max 12

You will be working in a small group of maximum 12 students. Once 12 students have been confirmed, the workshop is full and additional applicants will be added to the waiting list.

Attendance: Full Time

Because the pedagogy is progressive and because you will be relying on each other in the group, attending the full class time every day is required for participation in this workshop.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 31 May, 2024

Apply here: https://forms.gle/NJnBsNAxCYZAVjKa6

Once Peter has reviewed your application, he will contact you to let you know if there is an open spot for you in the workshop.

If you have questions please send an email to Peter Sweet: info@petersweet.com

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