Somatic Clowning Playshop
Clowning is a transformative tool for every performer. The clown lives in a state of play. She is open, vulnerable, naive and always ready to jump, fall, and fail repeatedly with pure delight and resiliency. In so doing, the clown reveals our humanity, creates space for us to laugh at what is unlaughable and to embrace what seems unlovable. She incites us to play from our deepest truth.
In this playshop we will dive into our inner clowns and embrace our uniquely sublime stupidities. We will deepen our vulnerability and presence on stage, move with greater specificity, make bold physical and vocal choices, and develop playful responsiveness as a tool for connecting with audiences and with our scene partners. Through an exploration of the very personal and specific way in which each of our physical bodies move, trip, dance, and play through the world - our somatic idiosyncrasies - students will discover their deepest delight and the heart of their personal funny. Join us as we play in our failure together!
Workshop led by Joan Howard and Hannah Gaff
Hannah Gaff is a movement theatre creator, acrobatic clown, and teaching artist based in San Francisco and a core member of UpLift Physical Theatre. She received a MFA in ensemble-based physical theatre from Dell’Arte International in 2015. Compelled by the transformative power of performance, Hannah seeks to disarm the world through joyful play, physical engagement, and authentic connection. In San Francisco, Hannah works as a hospital clown with the Medical Clown Project, teaches at the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco, manages the youth circus performance program at AcroSports, and performs with Clowns Without Borders, providing entertainment in crisis situations as a means of psychological support to communities who have suffered trauma.
Joan is a physical theater maker, teaching artist and clown, and she is co-creator of Idiot String, an ensemble theater company devoted to inciting delight and activating meaningful human connection through play. Joan teaches the next generation of professional clowns at San Francisco Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory, where she is also co-director of ClownCorps, a social clowning program serving local and international communities through laughter relief. Joan feels deeply grateful to visit hospitals with the Medical Clown Project and to have the opportunity to teach clown to children and adults of all ages locally and internationally. Joan is a graduate of Flying Actor Studio’s Physical Theatre Conservatory.
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