Meet Clown! | February 26 - March 9, 2024 | Berlin
Discover your unique poetic comedy.
Time & Location
26 Feb 2024, 10:00 CET – 09 Mar 2024, 18:00 CET
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
A clown workshop, open to artists and non-artists of all levels.
Registration is open!
APPLY HERE: https://forms.gle/wSf8Df7CBMkbHnjx5
When: 26. February - 9. March, 2024
10:00h - 18:00h Daily with Sunday off
Sliding scale: 675* - 1150 Euros
*In order to make this workshop accessible to people with a range of ecomonic means I am offering a low entry price for those who need it.
In this 2 week workshop you will learn the fundamentals of theatrical clowning and explore what it is about you that moves people to laughter. Through games and collective play we will enter a naive state of discovery. You will practice sharing your honest, spontaneous reactions with the audience through the theatrical form of your individual clown. 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.
Peter Sweet’s pedagogy brings us to clowning through a somatic approach. Each of us has an individual way of moving that expresses something essential about who we are. Through close observation of the body moving in space, we can learn to recognise our individual 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, with its own physicality, voice, rhythm, and comedic timing. The actor accesses the comedy that comes not just from what they do or say, but from a core part of who they are. By embracing, amplifying and sharing the parts of themselves that shine through their personal, often unconscious way of moving, they discover a universal comic form that touches the audience and moves them to laughter.
During the first week of the course we will discover and develop each person’s clown through play, movement, and observation of ourselves and each other in the grips of our deepest, stupidest impulses. 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 the process of developing numbers based on the unique comedy of each 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
- 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
- Roles in a variety show: the clown as host, stagehand, assistant to the diva etc
- Dramaturgical principles of clowning: how to identify and develop themes, create suspense, build rhythm.
- Comedy writing for clowns: How to make what’s not funny funny and what’s already funny much much funnier!
- Fundamentals of slapstick
- Going pro: how to repeat your successes.
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 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.
The workshop will be primarily in English, but the teacher also speaks German and French. Translation will be available.
If you have questions please send an email to Peter Sweet: email@example.com