Workshop for clowning around
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.