Clowns in Shakespeare

Grades 11 to 12
Available Terms:
Terms 1 - 4
Book Online

The workshop designed for Shakespearean clowns delves into these unique stage characters’ fascinating and multifaceted world. Here’s what participants can expect from this specialized workshop:

  1. Exploring Shakespearean Clowns: Participants will embark on an exploration of Shakespeare’s clown or fool figures, delving into their historical context, significance, and the various forms they take in his dramas.
  2. Two Distinct Categories: The workshop will highlight the two primary categories of Shakespearean fools: the rustic or uneducated clown, whose comedic purpose is rooted in ignorance, and the courtly fool or jester, characterized by wit and satirical humor. Participants will gain insights into each category’s characteristics, traits, and roles.
  3. Comic Business and Wordplay: Participants will learn the art of weaving comic business and physical humor in and around Shakespearean text. They will discover how to enhance the mood and impact of the words through physicality, timing, and creative interpretation.
  4. Textual Analysis: The workshop emphasizes the importance of textual analysis. Participants will closely examine Shakespearean scripts to uncover hidden comedic gems, wordplay, and opportunities for physical comedy within the text.
  5. Performance Techniques: Practical exercises and activities will allow participants to hone their performance skills as Shakespearean clowns. They will explore techniques for delivering comedic lines, physical gestures, and expressive movements that align with the character’s personality.
  6. Character Development: Understanding the nuances of Shakespearean clown characters is critical. Participants will delve into character development, discovering how to bring these unique and often complex figures to life on stage.
  7. Collaborative Learning: The workshop fosters a collaborative learning environment, encouraging participants to share insights, ideas, and comedic approaches with one another. Joint exercises will enhance creativity and improvisational skills.
  8. Historical Context: A deeper understanding of the historical context in which Shakespeare’s clowns existed will provide participants with valuable context for their performances.
  9. Performance Opportunities: The workshop may offer participants the chance to showcase their newfound skills through practical performances or scene work, allowing them to apply what they’ve learned.

By the end of this specialized workshop, participants will have a comprehensive understanding of Shakespearean clowns, the ability to extract humor from the text, and the skills required to bring these iconic characters to life in a way that engages and entertains audiences. Whether they are actors, directors, or enthusiasts of Shakespearean theater, this workshop equips participants with the tools to master the art of the Shakespearean clown.

Devised by: Clint Bolster
Directed by: Clint Bolster

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All prices include GST

“It gives me great pleasure to recommend Clint Bolster to you. I have known Clint for 14 years now and have observed his work as a professional practitioner and as a tutor at QUT.

As a practioner, Clint is one of the most versatile, gifted and skilled performers in Shakespeare, Commedia, Clown, Mask and Physical Comedy. I believe his experience working and training overseas has much to do with this. Clint’s expertise is at a very high level and from the first time I saw him work and witnessed how professional his outlook was, I encouraged him to seek overseas experience. Through his theatre company Homunculus, Clint has invigorated the Australian Theatre Community with his own unique brand of comedy.

Clint has been tutoring in my Performing Skills Unit at QUT for the past 3 years and the students have found him to be one of the best tutors they have ever experienced. This is attested in his high ranked teaching evaluations and written comments. He is an extremely dedicated and professional teacher who brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the students. Not all practioners can teach: Clint is an exception to this rule! “★★★★★

Performance Skills 2, Queensland University Of Technology, QLD