• Clown College

    by  • February 24, 2022 • Student Life, Undergraduate Physical Theatre, Undergraduate Programs • 0 Comments

    Recently, all of our semester physical theatre students took a clowning class taught by the amazing Andrè Casaca and Federica Mafucci. Adrianos, Emma and Katie show us what made their experiences in clowning so special, read on to hear all about it!

    Adrianos Karachalios, Muhlenberg College

    Semester Physical Theatre Program

    So to start this week I got laryngitis, which sucked because of the classes where I need to use my voice, however it coincided nicely with our clowning classes that started this week and thus I have been practicing on my mute clown! Silver linings hahahahaha 😀

    Thankfully I was able to regain my voice and finish clowning week with a bang, we had a show that we put on with a fun variety of performances and costumes! 

    Also, the weather has been getting warmer and the skies brighter and more colorful at each sunset! Chilling at the Teatrino’s terrace with a cup of tea and watching the sun go down is one of my favorite parts about being here, so make sure you enjoy this view when you’re here! 

    Katie McRae, Boston University

    Semester Physical Theatre Program

    Emma Bidic, Muhlenberg College

    Semester Physical Theatre Program

    For the past two weeks, I have spent most of my class days in one room with two new instructors learning about a new form of entertainment that I never thought I’d be saying I had training in: clowning. Yes, go ahead and say it, clown college. Emma is going to clown college. Andrè and Federica were our instructors, and they are professional clowns that put on shows for Teatro C’art in Italy. Spending nearly 50 hours morphing into a clown and learning what it takes to become one on stage accurately was far more challenging than I expected. It was also extremely rewarding to gain a more well-rounded understanding of the clowning process. 

    When I saw on our schedule that we would be mainly clowning for two weeks, I got a little sad. I didn’t think it would amount to much. Overthinking everything is my specialty, and I was worried everyone would see that I wasn’t actually that funny. 

    To quote my sister, “I’m not laughing because you’re funny. I’m laughing because your jokes are so bad, and you think they’re good.”  

    I realized afterward that clowning, for me, applies a lot more to everyday life and acting in general than expected. By leading with their hearts, no thought is put into anything they do throughout the entire scene. Andrè drilled into our work that the clown’s mind is its heart. Clowning follows the phrase ‘stop and smell the roses’ to the T. Being a human that is not concerned by the world around them and loves everything it has to offer them. It is about being; living with whatever comes your way, accepting what is happening, and moving past it onto another thing. 

    Andrè said something along the lines about clowns needing to accept all of the issues that come their way because we, as people, need to do that. We shouldn’t ignore our problems; instead, work through them – however funny that may be for the clown – and become a more well-rounded person out of the experience. That is a great trait to live by as a person, and I learned it in clown college. 

    In a similar vein, clowns are really like children in an adult’s body. It is important to note that clowns are stupid, not ridiculous. This comparison was described to us with the example of a child. We do many stupid things at a young age because we simply don’t know any better, i.e., putting anything into our mouths that we can get our hands on, walking into walls, pouring an entire meal down our shirts, etc. We simply don’t realize that whatever we do is stupid at the moment. Ridiculousness comes from a place of thought; it is to do something intentionally to encourage a reaction. Clowns don’t think with their brains; therefore, ridiculousness cannot be possible. 


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