3 NY Clown Festival Workshops during September

The annual NY Clown Theatre Festival at the Brick is coming up soon, and they’ve got all kinds of great things lined up.  They are on the slow road to announcing the performers (although I have it on very good authority they’ve made their decisions, and are just finalizing schedules)  In the meantime, they’ve announced the workshops that will be taught this year, and they are great!   Workshops by Aitor Basauri of Spymonkey, Denni Dennis, and the festival’s own Audrey Crabtree, teaching a workshop in Bouffon.

Read below to find out more  or visit the Brick’s Clown Theatre Festival Site.

I hope to see you at the festival!  (And I hope you see me too!)

Spymonkey Clown Masterclass

Aitor Basauri

Aitor Basauri, Spymonkey Instructor

September 5 – 9, 2012
Spymonkey website

Led by: Aitor Basauri, Spain

September 5th–9th, 2012

Public Showing: Sunday, September 9th

$500, Max 24 students


In the SPYMONKEY CLOWN MASTERCLASS, you will learn to further discover what makes you funny, hone your skills and practice making an audience belly laugh! This workshop will culminate in a public showing at the NY Clown Theatre Festival. Through clear and specific instruction, Aitor will support you to develop and hone your comedic skills in a safe and fun environment. This positive group dynamic will allow you focus on following your impulse, being adventurous and taking risks. You will learn how to shine as an individual and improve on every spontaneous opportunity.

In this highly enjoyable workshop you will play games, do exercises developing trust and complicity with the group. In this atmosphere of discovery and revelation, you will be developing and showing new material. The best of this work will be shared with an audience the final evening of the workshop, followed by group discussion and feedback from Aitor. Be prepared to find the pleasure in your own ridiculousness, stay optimistic and discover the golden moment to make an audience belly laugh.

AITOR BASAURI was born in Bilbao, Spain. For the past 20 years he has been teaching and performing clown all over the world. He is one of the most sought-after clown teachers in the world, regularly holding sold-out master classes in London and New York. Aitor has been staff tutor at École Philippe Gaulier Paris; taught for Cirque du Soleil, and at universities, institutes, and festivals to students, professionals and clown doctors all over the world including Madrid, Berlin, Damascus, and Taipei. He is also a co-founder and performer in the internationally renowned clown company, SPYMONKEY. His teachers include Philippe Gaulier, Cal McCrystal and Pierre Byland.

Aitor talks about clown:
“I do theatre because it is fun because it makes me live life twice and I love life! The clown lives in a fantastic theatrical world. For an actor the clown stimulates a fresh immediacy full of pleasure and mischief.

“It is this brimming pleasure that fills the performer and touches an audience. The audience in turn feel they are watching something very special and unique because the clown is generous, sharing with them their most intimate vulnerability, fun and unique personality.

“The performer who dares to stand before a crowd, unafraid to make mistakes and find pleasure in being wonderfully silly will reap fruitful rewards. In Spymonkey we strongly believe that it is in this moment that the seed for the best performances can begin.”


Clown Intuition

Denni Dennis

September 15 – 16, 2012

Led by Denni Dennis

September 15–16, 2012

$200, Max 18 students


This workshop is a guided journey to discover and further develop your unique and personal way of bringing your intuitive clown to life. For Denni, the world of clown is not only a profession, but a lifestyle. In this workshop he will combine his background of the European style of Jacques Lecoq, Russian character clown and the Pochinko method, with his personal experience working in clown and as a clown director. Throughout this workshop, you will explore the clown’s world-what makes us laugh and why, with an emphasis on having fun and searching for the beauty and poetry of each clown. This workshop will allow you space and opportunity to explore plastic training, status play, improvisation, parody, and your personal creativity, working individually and within groups. Denni will share his process of building and maintaining contact with the audience. Come for 2-days to practice trusting and playing using your spiritual intuition!

DENNI DENNIS was born in Denmark. Originally trained as a dancer, and then an actor at The Commedia School in Copenhagen DK, he performed at The Royal Theatre, DK. Later training in the UK and Russia for clown he been performing and directing clown internationally. Today, he is based in Wales, UK with his company The Denni Dennis’ Company Clowns.

Denni Dennis has extensive training in the Jacques Lecoq style, the Russian character clown and the Pochinko method (Native American spiritual clown) which he has been studying with Sue Morrison in Canada. His work has taken him around Europe, USA, Canada and Russia both as a professional clown, workshop leader and director. He combines clown, mask, dance, acting, and improvisation to create unique and dynamic characters. His clown work has been featured in theatre, circus, dance performance and art installation.

His company Denni Dennis Company Clowns’ performed his original piece Titanic on a beach at night, this spring, and are currently developing PORNo which will be performed in a local sex shop in Wales, premiering in May 2013. Currently he is directing Gameshow premiering this September at the 2012 NY Clown Theatre Festival. For more information about Denni, Gameshow, or his company, go to: www.dennidennis.com

One of Us! A Bouffon Emersion

Audrey Crabtree

Audrey Crabtree

September 22 – 23, 2012

Led by Audrey Crabtree

September 22nd–23rd, 2012

$200, Max 20 students


Spend two days embedded in the world of the bouffon! Learn to translate your observations and frustration with society, systems, and stereotypes into playful dynamic theater work. Through pre-table work and physical play you will develop a unique core character from the inside out. Working in packs you will practice the skills, tools and tactics of bouffon and begin to find your endless voice. Come to birth a new character or deepen and existing bouffon. Be prepared to move, play hard, and become ONE OF US!

Your bouffon mythology from Audrey:
Cursed with the misfortune of a grotesque appearance, and compulsion to push the limits of decency and morality, you are deemed less than human. You are beaten and driven from your home. Outside of the village, you band together with other bouffon creating your own bizarre community. Forever tormented by the rejection, you are obsessed with the society from which you were unjustly cast, and spend your time observing the villagers, their hypocrisy, and personal private vices.

Once a year, foolishly, the villagers invite you and your friends back to the village for a festival, so they can secretly mock and ridicule your physical imperfections. Seeing the perfect opportunity to enact your revenge, you all offer to bring a show. Reveling in the perverse attention and using wit, parody and charm the you devise the most clever ways of slipping seeds of doubt, guilt and truth under the skin of the villagers, in hopes it will resurface later to destroy their precious society.

AUDREY CRABTREE is a master teacher and award winning creator, performer and producer of original work. Since 1992 Audrey has been teaching professional theater practitioners in universities, theatres and studios. Her original collaborative work has won a Drama Desk Award, a NY Innovative Theater Award, Best Comedy in San Francisco Fringe Festival, and the Spanish language HOLA and ATI Awards.

She is a director/founder of the NY Clown Theatre Festival, Co-artistic director of Ten Directions along with Lynn Berg, creating over 13 original productions including the acclaimed Bouffon Glass Menajoree. Her bouffon, Graspy McTakeItAll, was originally commissioned for the International Globesity Festival and now performs variety programs in NYC and the plays Detritus and Robert Honeywell’s Lord Oxford.

She has written and performed parody with NPR, Minnesota Public Radio, political and social humor Brave New Workshop and was featured in ComedyCentral’s satirical Lets Bowl! Audrey studied bouffon with Sue Morrison and Giovanni Fuscetti, and has continued working and training in the form leading the year long weekly Bouffon Workout. Currently, she is in development on projects working in bouffon with young adults in the foster system and physically and mentally handicapped adults.




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