The "Hand and Heart Work of the Clown"

Educational Concept of the "Schule fuer Clowns"
There are as many clown characters as the persons behind these.
In order to guarantee that all students can create their individual clown character and stage sequence in the course of the training period, we have conceived an educational concept which includes individual artistic development as well as professional teaching of drama techniques. The columns of our work are clowning, slapstick, clown theatre, drama, dance, clown artistry, music, and pantomime. The methods, techniques, and forms of improvisation generated by these media have been combined to form a precise practice of stage production and presentation, giving room to fun and wit, grotesqueness, a queer sense of humour, and hearty irritation.

The first step on the way to create our individual clown character is a journey to our "inner child", our "inner animal", and our "inner village idiot". We discover our essential power of expression, our unbroken joy, our love but also our fears and inhibitions which will show us the way to understand human failure. We learn to overstep borders playfully and to develop the clown within ourselves.

This very individual process of self-investigation is accompanied by a systematic teaching of clown acting techniques. Michael Stuhlmiller has conceived the method "The 5 rooms of laughter" which combines all forms of clown acting in a unique manner. The changing levels of relation among the actors or between actors and audience are one aspect of this method; the other part involves the complex forms of drama characterizing and improving solo and group performances.

In the course of the training, form and content interact positively, and so our students and participants acquire the essential "Hand and Heart Work of the Clown". This applies to the stage artist as well as to employment in educational and therapeutic contexts.

This concept is the basis for our two-year fulltime course, ending with the state-approved diploma as "Clown/Mime Actor", and also for the eight-month course "Clown and Communication". A comprehensive programme of further training and education completes the basics, including courses for clown teachers and clown coaching.

Advanced clowning students and professionals from the fields of dance, drama or the acrobatic arts are welcome in the various master classes Clown. These intensives are based on the so-called Five Spaces of Laughter, the techniques of play and enactment which Michael Stuhlmiller devised and designed for the training of clown professionals. This unique system of training and performance covers the full range of the Clowning Arts.

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