About

HOMUNCULUS:

aboutHomunculus has been delighting, educating and inspiring student audiences across Australia and New Zealand for over 15 years. The company offers a wide range of Australian curriculum-linked primary and secondary in-schools workshops, performances, artist- in-residence programs, show-doctoring and professional development for teachers. In addition Homunculus offers roving and street theatre performances and performance outcome projects for school fete’s/events and regional community projects.

We specialise in:

  • Commedia Dell’Arte
  • Physical Theatre
  • Contempoary Circus
  • Full-Face Non-Verbal Mask Theatre
  • Traditional & Contemporary Clowning
  • Non-Verbal Communication & Mime
  • Slapstick & Stage Combat
  • Absurdisum, Melodrama, Political Satire & Brecht
  • Shakespeare & Clowns In Shakespeare

Our mission is to nurture a love of, and life-long engagement with, live performance. We seek to achieve this through sharing the power, beauty, craft and humour of these theatrical forms with young people worldwide. We strongly believe access to live performing arts contributes greatly to social-emotional skills development. It builds resilience, compassion, understanding of diversity, empathy, focus, problem-solving and communication skills, a sense of community and well-being.

Vital Learning:

Homunculus believes the Arts should be central to a child’s education. Drama particularly, has a vital place in the lives of young people in the 21st Century. In an age when people are increasingly interacting and indeed living via and inside of technology, it is the subject and practice of comedy that offers what otherwise can so easily be lost from our lives.
The opportunity to play, express, be physical, relate and discover in real time and space. Our approach is underpinned by the assumption that everyone has something to offer and that comedy is a unique and powerful engager that has the capacity to inspire students who might otherwise hang back.

Comedy of life:

Comedy conceals, gives permission to play, allows expression, liberates and reveals. Our students and audiences alike are continually amazed by their own, their peers, and our performers transformations. These particular styles we specialize in have the capacity to instill a sense of joy, vulnerability, physical discipline and freedom of expression in the performer and our audiences alike.  Comedy teaches that nothing and none of us can truly be taken too seriously. Being able to laugh, to see the funny side, is in itself, a vital life skill.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS:

Drama teachers are committed to liaising with the wider community to enhance our students’ learning experiences in the classroom so when we find an industry expert of the calibre of Clint Bolster, artistic director of Homunculus Theatre Company, we want to shout it out to the world. Clint’s pedagogy is unique and inspiring and is the result of 15 years of experience. Homunculus Theatre Company can level students to an equal playing field, giving all permission to ‘play.’ This liberates all to express themselves in a safe and fun environment. In this age of technology live drama experiences are vital for our young people to encounter “joy, vulnerability, physical discipline and freedom of expression”. Comedy balances the fearful world that is the 21st century. It is important to offer these learning experiences to assist our students in developing a more positive slant on our human condition.
 
Queensland drama teachers must fight for live performance where live humans in a space speak to other live humans and it needs to be physical theatre. Physical Theatre is our savior because language heavy art is easy to access through live-streams, through computers and so on – and this misses that extraordinary atmosphere and sense of shared curiosity that theatre gives. Homunculus Theatre Company’s performances provide opportunities to see the artistic and creative form of physical theatre e.g. Masked theatre, Absurd, Clowning, Commedia dell’Arte, and these styles concentrates on comedy and non-verbal communication. There is no other Brisbane company that explores this universal language e.g. (a) nonverbal communication of attitudes and emotions and manipulation of the immediate social situation, (b) nonverbal communication as a support and complement of verbal communication, and (c) nonverbal communication as a replacement for language. In these times of government cuts, drama teachers must support those companies that exhibit the future of theatre.
 
Homunculus Theatre Company offers Primary and secondary students more than just a performance i.e. meeting the actors, workshops, tutorials, and in-school Residencies, something that a teacher is not able to deliver in the same manner. Providing role models for our students cannot be undervalued particularly when our young people are exposed mostly to female teachers. Corinda SHS has had the opportunity to see two of Homunculus’s shows, “The Spirit of the Mask” and “20 Lazzis in a Hat,” and met Clint, Nick Cilento and Allie Wilde. These performances entertained the students from years 7 to 12 and seemed to unite them; such is the power of comedy. Just as thrilling was question time when the students were exposed to the actors, their passion for performing, reasons why they are committed to it, the hard work that goes into it and when they found drama was their calling. This was extremely inspirational and prompted some very heart felt responses from the students.
 

Homunculus Theatre Company’s workshops provide our students with the opportunity to be expressive, show more of themselves, and gives them the tools to create drama that is generous, responsible and authentic. Students are inherently curious and learn much from industry artists because they represent people who are committed to creating these live 3-D experiences. It would be hard to find a company

 

 

with this kind of longevity and is testament to the company delivering curriculum relevant learning experiences that ready our drama students for the new world of live theatre.

 
Corinda SHS’s year 10 drama class participated in a day workshop with Clint and by the end of the day they celebrated how much they had developed. The workshop opened the world of non-verbal communication. They acknowledged how afraid they felt at first being spontaneous, taking risks and laughing at themselves. Their anxiousness about ‘letting go’ is part to do with age but it is also a direct result of not having had participated in the comedy exercises and games that Clint offered. These learning experiences, delivered by Clint, come from years of experience including e.g. working with mentors and fellow actors as well as abled and disabled students and international professional companies e.g. Vamos Theatre Company UK. This workshop provided amazing professional development for the teachers as well, in fact, this day workshop opened our eyes to the importance of providing these learning experiences for the emotional health of our students.
 
Homunculus Theatre Company is committed to building relationships with Queensland schools. Clint’s personal commitment to design experiences that suit the context and students of the school cannot be underestimated. Drama teachers have this resource that breaks-down so many barriers and makes our students comfortable which opens a lot of doors for communication. Corinda SHS has chosen Homunculus to be our Theatre Company in residence, firstly because Corinda values physical theatre being the life line of drama and because of the quantifiable results in student development after a workshop run by Clint. He delivers expert tuition of the important and difficult skills needed for ensemble comedy. It is not simple, but complex theatre that evokes thought.
 
Drama Practitioner Clint Bolster and Homunculus is the ‘face of’ Masked Theatre and it is a live, modern, engaging face that can connect with all grades, genders, cultures and abilities. Clint’s use of Masked Theatre, allows students to engage in a socially aware style of theatre that can be hard to access in a general classroom. Schools across the state may not always have access to resources such as masks so allowing Homunculus to demonstrate this art form would not only capture the audience but would build their appreciation for the endless opportunities to manipulate non-verbal communication in drama.
 

For drama teachers ‘building relationships with the wider community’ and ‘connecting to the world’ is our mantra and this is one company that we can access and build a relationship with. (Read Padua College’s comments on “20 Lazzis in a Hat” on Homunculus’s Website for motivation.) This is one expert who creates theatrical performances and produces a theoretical discourse that informs his practical work. Drama teachers know that theatre helps us to develop our creativity. The foundation for young Australia analysed 4.2 million job adverts for entry level jobs and found that there was a 150% increase in creative thinking and 65% increase in creativity. The link between drama and creative thinking and creativity as explored in physical theatre are endless. As our education system increasingly puts an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math, we cannot forget the importance of art. Let’s put the “STE(A)M” back in “STEM!”

 

Mau Billiau, Drama Coordinator, Corinda State High School, QLD

HUMOUR BUILDS CONFIDENCE. CONFIDENCE BUILDS STRENGTH. STRENGTH BUILDS ABILITY. ABILITY GIVES FLOW.

“At Flying Fish Point State School, we are committed to teaching our students a growth-mindset embodied within a pedagogy of Mind, Body and Spirit in both academic, personal and community mindedness.

Regional and Remote Queensland schools often provide a unique contrast to our SEQ peers in terms of remoteness, access to resources and facilities, and access to employment and further education opportunities. Many of our students live within these confines, and are often coupled with low-socioeconomic living situations and legacies of family unrest and trauma.

Homunculus Theatre Company, in particular their delivery and teaching of Commedia del Arte, transcends daily poverties and gives life to a passion for the English language, Literature, the Arts, and creation and innovation.

 


Through Humour, our Mind falls in love with the idiosyncrasies of the English language, of classical literature, of a realisation that understanding and context of the world we live in can shape our own destinies. We are encouraged to learn, to write, to create and to innovate.

Through Physicality, our Body moves in rhythm with our verse. Students are taught control and discipline while developing core strength and physical fitness. As a ‘sit-down’ nation, exercise and discipline have shown to increase brain activity and functionality which ultimately transforms to engagement in our classrooms.

Through Emotion, our Spirit grows as we battle trauma and past heartache. Laughter triggers our motor-neurons as new links are made in brain development. Positive self-esteem is promoted as we work together through an influx of positive emotions and feel-good moments. Communication, teamwork and focus rise amongst this strong spirit to develop students with positivity and hope.

Finding something that delivers this Pedagogy while integrating areas of the National Curriculum in such an engaging way is exciting for our school and all schools across Regional and Remote Queensland.

Homunculus Theatre Co. is this whole package.”

Amelia Jenkins, Principal, Flying Fish Point State School, QLD

 

WHY COMEDY?

“The history of Comedy and the purposefulness to society and community it has fulfilled and having been a focus of laughter, empowerment can be seen to embody the clear purposefulness of the Arts in the education realm.

Clint Bolster and Homunculus continue to embody this, to this day; here, now in our twenty-first century, keeping alive the laughter, empowering school students of all ages within remote communities that are just as much a part of the fabric of the whole embodiment of the greater Australian community in being able to access the Arts, just as the city counterparts are able to do. Serving the traditions away from the digital screens, bringing people together in a ‘live’ setting particularly school children need the traditions of coming together as a student body, an audience and are able to participate and create as part of the Arts – this IS Homunculus.

Involvement in the Arts and the skills and focus involved by artist like Clint creates for our students, in the twenty-first century the society that is dynamically now emerging, all around us. Participation in the Arts requires us to perceive, challenge and be a part through shifts and small emergent moments. Homunculus provides through laughter, transformation to perceive, challenge and focus in on shifts and emergent moments.

Clint creates joy where there is little, celebration and success for the otherwise- less academic and yet there is an emergence of confidence for ALL students. Students that may not otherwise have their won emotional burdens – self created or through home lives. Some have burdens of social isolation shells. Arts fosters change, edges towards joy and seeing possibility. Real practical skills of working together, purposefulness and prowess. Motivation has also been the gift that Homunculus has given us, here at Cooktown State School. From year 5 girls putting on their own routine to share with me and Homunculus, year 11 girls saying they would save up their own money to get Clint back to re-share the joys and fun of the workshops and the performance.

Further the below was shared testimony, unchanged spelling with a clear message of continuance, reward, skills gained and desire for more of this focus of education from our year 5 and 6 students –

“The performance was astonishing..i gained how to teamwork. Getting along with others. They were awesome and funny..please bring them back..I couldn’t stop laughing..i nearly wet myself”“It will good to have them back”

“I really enjoyed how they got everyone involved…they made everyone laugh..its important…my wish is to learn more about being on a stage..”

“The noses were just amazing..a lot of fun…it was pretty exciting…thank you for inviting them..it was an amazing experience for all of us”

“I learned just to get into it and have fun..it doesn’t matter what other people see (in you)..laughter is good mediciane…they were the funniest I have ever seen”

“..you are never to old to laugh..I thought the show was outstand(ing)”

“..you do not have to join the sarcis (circus) to be funny”

So from student’s testimonials the; joy, fun, laughter and student’s own recognition they are working with others, getting along iS priority in our twenty-first century age of emerging dissonance with one another, life bogged down without joy and cyclic ,mechanised routines. The escape and light spot-lighted onto the significance and importance – laughter; this changes lives through joy and skills the students recognise themselves. Education of change is the fundamental precedence all educators strive for. Here Homunculus brings the joys of theatre, performance and their workshops into the lives of students were I have seen new motivations, joy and a ‘renewal’ in themselves in their approach to schooling and within their own lives. Let the banner of the arts in all our lives fly high in the sky.

Let Homunculus continue to be supported and provide equity of the arts to all; bringing joy, laughter and skills to our students lives.”

Paul Fraser, Head Of Drama, Cooktown State School, Far North Queensland