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Playspace clown training has a physical and emotional focus, and encourages a theatrical and irreverent approach to the art form. Graduating students are now working professionally in many places in the world.

We tend to think of clown as the painted faced character which has come down to us from the circus tradition of the last two hundred years. However clown is possibly the oldest art form, occurring in every society throughout the ages, and it is an art form which has been undergoing a renaissance and a rejuvenation over the past few years and spawning physical theatre.

Modern clown is less character based and more interactive than traditional clown, it is less about hiding behind make-up and more about revealing our true selves, and less about routine based entertainment and more about spontaneous artistic expression.

'Modern Clown' Summer School    (3 weeks) 10am - 4pm each day

Reconnect with the playful, inquisitive, cheeky, clown spirit in a centrally heated studio space with adjoining dormitory accommodation, overlooking the mouth of the Wanganui river. This workshop led by Alan Clay (pictured right with students from the 2011 Clown Retreat) is proving very popular at his retreat centre in New Zealand.

Each day will start with a yoga warm up and participants will work physically to free themselves from patterns and to connect with their emotions. Street theatre has informed and assisted the development of modern clown, and participants will take exercises from the studio and work at street-cafe's to develop interactive audience skills. It's easy and fun.

"Alan's workshops are consistently described as challenging but fun. Alan keeps you on the edge of the unknown in his teaching work, so you are always comfortable, but always discovering new things. As the work progresses, this process leads to a sense of freedom which produces better and better performing work."
Playspace Studio, directed by Alan Clay, was first established in Auckland, New Zealand in 1983, and re-established in Sydney, Australia, in 1998, where for the next 7 years he taught year long clown courses. Following this, for several years Alan toured a 5 day workshop throughout Australia and North America and for the past 4 years he has been teaching 5 day residential clown retreats in Wanganui, New Zealand. 

Angels Can Fly, a Modern Clown User Guide

Alan Clay's book, Angel's Can Fly, a Modern Clown User Guide, has been released as an eBook for the Apple iPad, which can be purchased through the iBooks app at iTunes.

The eBook can also be purchased for the Kobo reader in New Zealand through Whitcoulls or in Australia through Borders or Angus & Robertson. (eBook ISBN: 9780957884489)

Angels Can Fly is also available in paperback which can be purchased from Amazon.

While you are here, check out the Playspace links pages for a growing range of links to physical theatre performers and resources worldwide. We have links to Circus and Clowns, to Physical Theatre, Dance and Mime, Street performers, Musical theatre, Image theatre, Aerial theatre, Puppet theatre, Youth theatre and Acrobalance, Fire, Stilts, Tightrope, Standup, Magicians, Cycling shows, Characters, Children's entertainment, Contortion and Rigging and Safety, Training and Fellowships, Resources and Festivals

Add your e-mail address to our mailing list below, to receive monthly information on the classes at Playspace, and the growing physical theatre community worldwide. Check out an archive of issues from 2002 - 2010 on our Physical News page.

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