Work­shop for clown­ing around

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

end in the clowns... don’t bother, they’re here’’ are the clos­ing lyrics to Stephen Sond­heim’s hit from the 1973 mu­si­cal A Lit­tle Night Mu­sic.

While the clowns in the song are metaphor­i­cal, the idea that ev­ery­body has an in­ner clown wait­ing to be dis­cov­ered is the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind a week­end clown work­shop con­ducted by Jaime Dorner.

For a num­ber of years, Jaime presided over the UCOL per­form­ing arts course be­fore head­ing for Monash Univer­sity in Mel­bourne at the be­gin­ning of this year to pursue his PhD. His part­ing pro­duc­tions in Palmer­ston North were both mem­o­rable. The 2014 To­gether All Alone col­lec­tion fea­tur­ing six of Angie Far­row’s short plays was fol­lowed by Sum­mer Shake­speare’s King Lear in the Es­planade.

While at UCOL, Jaime worked closely with Suzy Hawes whose mu­si­cal en­hance­ments have con­trib­uted to many a UCOL, Massey and Sum­mer Shake­speare pro­duc­tion. With Jaime hav­ing con­ducted the clown work­shop in Mel­bourne in Novem­ber at the Cen­tre for Aduct Ed­u­ca­tion, Suzy says hav­ing one here is a way for him to re­con­nect with the city’s the­atre com­mu­nity.

‘‘Jaime wanted to meet up with past stu­dents and col­leagues and to pass on some of the things he has learned in the last year.’’

So, what is it about clowns? ‘‘The work­shop is an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to ex­plore them­selves – to find the per­sona within they may not have re­alised was there, and bring it out into the light of day.’’

Like open­ing a Christ­mas present, there is al­ways that el­e­ment of sur­prise dur­ing the un­wrap­ping to see what, or in this case, who emerges.

‘‘Act­ing is about know­ing your­self... any role has to come from in­side of you, so act­ing is ab­so­lutely an act of dis­cov­ery. The work­shop pro­vides ei­ther an in­tro­duc­tion to that process or an ad­vanced ex­plo­ration,’’ Suzy ex­plains. ‘‘It’s about find­ing things al­ready there in­side that you can use.’’

The work­shop will also add psy­chol­ogy and sound to the phys­i­cal side of clown­ing.

‘‘Clowns make sounds, not nec­es­sar­ily us­ing words, so work­ing with sound will be part of the work­shop.’’

Reg­is­tra­tions and fur­ther in­for­ma­tion for the Satur­day and Sun­day work­shop is avail­able on 328-7801, 027-422-3442, or suzy@in­spire.net.nz

Photo: GETTY IM­AGES

An op­por­tu­nity to release or to dis­cover your in­ner clown. UCOL’s for­mer head of per­form­ing arts, Jaime Dorner is re­turn­ing from Mel­bourne to con­duct a week­end clown work­shop in the city.

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