Webpage Supplement to:
Chapter 30: Interactive Clown Practices
(with contributions by
other drama-theatre-clown practitioners)
September 30, 2006
About hospital clowning: Some of these funny procedures include their own, ‘highly technical’ clown medicine including red-nose transplants, ‘kitty-cat’ scans, chocolate milk transfusions, and plate spinning platelet tests.” As hospital clown Shobhana Schwebke notes “the most important thing in hospital clowning is spontenaity. You never know what’s aropound the corner in hospital clowning” (phone interveiw).
About Political Clowning:
Clownarchy is a loose group of professional and amateur clowns
that has formed to use clowning to participate in guerilla theatre, and
direct political actions. While started by clowns in the San Francisco
Bay Area, the group has attracted members and inspired street
performances in areas as far spread as Boston and Dallas. The
actions so far have taken the form of walk around gags done by clowns
in unexpected places, such as subway cars and buses.The political
overtones of the Clownarchy gags (online at clownarchy.org) add to the
richness of the interactions in that people are drawn into play in an
area of social life that is more usually fraught with tension and
anger. The online and anarchic basis of the group create an
improvisational, interactive dynamic as well in that anyone can join
and foster actions, as long as their work does not break with the
non-violent and light-hearted principals laid out in the Clownarchy
Related Approaches: from pg 5:
Other models for teaching circus to youth practiced by the organizational members of AYCO. Others include Circus Smirkus in Vermont, Fern Street Circus in San Diego, Circus Juventas in St. Paul, and Splash Circus Theatre in Emeryville conduct year-round classes and performances.
A typical residency teaches a number of circus skills, some theatre or dance techniques, and offers students a chance to show off new skills. Students might, for instance, balance feathers on their noses, juggle scarves or balls, learn basic acrobatics skills, learn a classic clown entrée or two, and perform in a showcase at the end of the residency. The youth circus programs that have permanent spaces often offer ongoing training in more difficult skills such as aerial arts and acrobatics.
Other Training Programs:
San Francisco Clown Conservatory, 755 Frederick St. , San Francisco CA 94117
415 759-8123 Nine-month full-time professional clown training program directed by Jeff Raz.
Dell’arte School of Physical Theatre , P.O.Box 816 , Blue Lake, CA 95525
Ph 707 668-5663 www.dellarte.com
Certificate and M.F.A. programs in physical theatre forms, summer intensive workshops.
Fools for Health, 1453 Prince Road, Windsor, ON www.foolsforhealth.ca
Hospital clowning program lead by Dr. Bernie Warren, who also teaches drama at the University of Windsor. The website has links to many resources for therapeutic clowning.
New York Goofs, 126 1st Place, #1 , Brooklyn, NY 11231 Ph 718 797-2343
Nygoofs@aol.comClown training workshops.
Celebration Barn Theater, 190 Stock Farm Rd., South Paris, ME 04281 USA(Ph: 207 743-3889 www.celebrationbarn.com
Professional mime, clown and other physical theatre workshops each summer.
Camp Winnarainbow, 1301 Henry St., Berkeley, CA 94709(Ph: 510 528-8775 )
Circus camps for children and adults.
Conservatorywww.jeffraz.com (click on Clown
March 04 email@example.com
I am active as both a performer and teacher of personal clown. This type of clowning explores the extremes of life through a series of exercises that look at intuition, physical impulses, authentic emotional play, clown logic, etc. I have worked with improvisation and clowning for twenty years. I currently teach ten week evening courses and shorter intensives that I call Clown Therapy. Although some are professional performers, most of my students come from all walks of life and take clown as a form of personal development.
I am familiar with your work because my improv travels took me into the world of drama therapy in through Playback training. Anyway, I have some extensive knowledge of personal clown process and exercises. And I have written and published a variety of articles. Let me know if my experience would suit your project. Neil Muscott 416-539-8806
Paula Patterson, Gainesville, Florida: March, 2004:
Clowning around in Hospital Corridors
The unusual is business as usual at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida. The Shands Arts in Medicine Program is known for its mission of bringing creative arts to the bedside. AIM’s drama troupe, The Reflections, includes character clowning in its repertoire along with Playback Theatre and theater improv.Troupe members are invited to develop a character clown. They are expected to know their character’s biography, personality and life mission. For example, Polly Painter’s mission is to make the world a brighter place. Dressed in her paint smudged overalls, she can be found repainting the hospital with her invisible paints. Matilda is sometimes found running the staff elevator. Accompanied by her boom box, she offers waltzing lessons as well as a ride. Unfortunately, Cookie failed the entrance exam to culinary school. However she bravely dons her apron and chef’s hat and delivers store bought cookies to the nursing staff.
Troupe members are offered the option of appearing as mimes in whiteface. Others prefer to talk in their role, and forgo the whiteface. All are expected to use sensitivity in their encounters with others. These are not bold, circus clowns. They offer to engage with others, but never insist on an encounter. The Reflections infamous “umbrella drill team and marching band” is sometimes found, snaking through hallways, performing a nonsynchronized review in the lobby or even offering escorts into the parking lot on a rainy day.
From: Bernie Warren firstname.lastname@example.org
April 04 FOOLS FOR HEALTH (www.foolsforhealth.ca)
I continue to work as "Dr. Haven't-a-clue" in the hospitals. ..I have just had a book published(co-author Caroline Simonds of LE RIRE MEDECIN) entitled THE CLOWN DOCTOR CHRONICLES pub: Rodopi (www.rodopi.nl)... in addition I have 3 chapters published on the work of clown-doctors ...2 in the RODOPI series MAKING SENSE OF HEALTH, ILLNESS AND DISEASE ( in Vol1 [now available] + Vol2 [available in Sept]) and 1 in CREATING A THEATRE IN CLASSROOM AND COMMUNITY pu: Captus University Pubs. I also have a couple of papers in the works on the history of clowns in Hospitals which hopefully will be published in major International journals. Finally on publishing I am talking with Dr. Fruit-loop ( an Australian Physician - Dr. Peter Spitzer )about a second volume of the clown doctor chronicles... I already have a publisher interested...
In addition to the clown-doctor work I have just finished a book DRAMA AND THE ARTS WITH DOWN SYNDROME ADULTS to be published by the DOWN SYNDROME TRUST in UK .....
Bernie Warren PhD Professor, Drama in Education and Community School of Dramatic Art
Fools for Health, and the clown-doctor approach it uses, is based on cutting edge academic research being conducted here and abroad. Here is a sample of some of the published materials that support our work and informs our current practice and research.
Manic, J. (2000). /Clownsprechstunde Lachen Ist Leben/. Verlag Hans Huber, Bern.
Oppenheim, D., Simonds, C., & Hartmann, O. (1997). Clowning on Children’s Wards. Lancet, 350, 1838 - 1840.
Simonds, C. & Warren, B. (2001) Le Rire Medecin: Journal du Docteur Girafe. Albin Michel, Paris.
Simonds, C. & Warren, B (2004). The Clown-doctor Chronicles/. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi.(expected March 2004) Check.
Spitzer, P. (2001) The Clown Doctors. Australian Family Physician, 30 (1), 12-16.
Van Blerkom, L.M. (1995). _Clown Doctors: Shaman Healers of Western
Medicine_. /MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY QUARTERLY/, 9 462-475.
Warren, B. (2003). _Fools for Health: Introducing Clown-Doctors to
Windsor Hospitals_. In B. Warren (Ed.) /CREATING A THEATRE IN YOUR
CLASSROOM & COMMUNITY/, Captus University Publications, North York, (p.
Warren, B. (2004). Treating wellness: How clown-doctors help to humanise healthcare and promote good health. In Twohig, P. & Kalitzkus, V. (Eds.). (2004). Making Sense of Health, Illness & Disease Vol.1, / Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, (pp1-15).
Warren, B. (2004). Bring me Sunshine: the effects of clown-doctors on the mood and attitudes of health care staff._ In Twohig, P. , (Ed,) /Making Sense of Health, Illness & Disease Vol.2/ Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi.(expected May 2004)
BENEFITS OF HUMOUR
Berk, L.S. &Tan, S.A.(1989). Eustress of Mirthful Laughter modifies Natural Killer Cell Activity. Clinical Research, 37, 115.
Dowling, J.S.(2002) Humor: A Coping Strategy for Pediatric Patients. Pediatric Nursing, 28 (2), 123-131.
Fry, W.F. (1992) _The Physiologic Effects of Humor, Mirth and Laughter. Journal of The American Medical Association, 267(13), 1857-1858.
Hudak, D.A., Dale, A., Hudak, M.A. & DeGood, D.E. (1991). Effects of Humorous Stimuli and Sense of Humor on Discomfort Psychological Reports, 69, 779-786.
Mahony, D.L., Burroughs, W.J., & Hieatt, A.C. (2001). The Effects of Laughter on Discomfort Thresholds: Does Expectation Become Reality? The Journal of General Psychology/, 128, 217-226.
Martin, R.A (2001). Humor, Laughter, and Physical Health: Methodological Issues and Research Findings. Psychological Bulletin/,
For more readings on humour and its beneficial effects, check out:
The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor
Litherland, Janet (1990). The Clown Ministry Handbook. Colorado Springs: Meriwether.
A primer on Christian clown ministry.
"christina lewis" <dottymoppet@YAHOO.COM>
Clown character development intensive May 04
offers a two day Clown character development intensive, which offers the opportunity to create a personal clown character based on your natural inclination of movement, voice, gestural habits and inner feelings. This unique approach externalizes the inner psychological processes of each person. By expressing your stories, hopes, fears and hidden "idiosyncrazies" you add depth to your clown. The richness of your unique life experiences give spirit to your character. Explore through improvisation, theater games, and physical comedy techniques. Pay special attention to
playfulness and sponeity. Inside of everyone lies a ridiculous character just "dying" to get out!
Please call Christina at (415) 206-1765 if you are interested and want more information.