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Theatre Clown in Focus at the Doha Film Institute

Mar 08, 2011 — Education

Week long workshop dedicated to the poetic figure of the clown

Doha, Qatar, March 7, 2011- The Doha Film Institute is organizing a week long Theatre Clown workshop with world renowned acting coach Lee Delong to address, expose and explore some of the most basic components of the clown. The workshop will help empower participants and develop self-confidence to take greater risks on stage.

An acting class with a difference, the workshop commences March 20-26 and targets students that have elementary experience on stage or in film in any capacity including amateur dramatic groups and school performances. An intimate group size of roughly 15 students will be trained in aesthetics and nuances associated with the art form from 9 am till 6 pm every day at Katara, Building 16.

Using a unique clown technique, Lee works with the students to develop self-confidence and presence. Clown is the most authentic of all the theatre styles. Through a series of specific, progressive exercises, the actor is challenged to dig more and more deeply into them to construct their clown. The exercise work is solo in the beginning, and then as skills are acquired, duos, trios and even more become possible. The workshop is finalized by a public presentation, part of the learning process, which allows the new clown to put techniques to use before a live public.

“Getting in touch with this naivety, this basic honesty is essential to all actors. Losing the fear of being ridiculous is a great step for an actor to take and his work is enriched by that step forever afterwards. The clown has no past and no future so he exists only in the moment which is an essential principle for all good acting skills. There are many great actors who are not clowns but there are no great clowns who are not great actors.” commented Lee Delong.

Candidates can apply to the workshop through online submissions at Deadline for applications is March 16 2011. The workshop includes detailed sessions on costume research, isolation exercises, solo clown exercises, duo acts and musical numbers amongst various other specially designed elements.

Scandar Copti, Head of DFI Education, said “participants should prepare to get bigger, more beautiful, stupid and simpler than they already are and open themselves to the great theatrical possibilities that stem from their deepest fears, tragedies and celebrations. This workshop gives the performer greater access to his dreams, impulses, and humor, thereby freeing possibilities for poetic, highly theatrical and potentially bizarre worlds to emerge.”

After four years of theatrical studies at West Virginia University, Lee Delong continued to study acting and voice privately in New York City with the late Clyde Vinson. She rounded off her studies with two years at Jacques Lecoq’s l’Ecole Internationale du Theatre. Other studies include Clown and Writing for Clown with Alain Gautre, Commedia dell’ Arte with Carlo Bosso, Meetings at Bouffes du Nord with Peter Brook and Jean-Claude Carriere.

Lee played in over thirty different performances in West Virginia, Illinois and New York City, two of which were her own creations, The Moon and A Woman and Another Woman. Some of her creations include The Snow Queen, Frieda’s Flight, Macblettes and Myrmepolis amongst many others. She has been awarded with the Best Actress and Public Choice Award 2007 at the MESS International Theatre Festival in Sarajevo and the Mravac for her ‘Mastery in Acting’ at the Mostar Poetic Author’s Festival in 2009.