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Clown Play in Winnipeg!

What is a Therapeutic Clown?

Therapeutic Clowns Canada is a network of professional therapeutic clown practitioners working in healthcare facilities and communities across Canada. They define a professional therapeutic clown as one who:

·        is specifically trained to work in the health care field

·        abides by a code of ethics

·        is committed to be a regular presence in the health care setting

·        collaborates routinely with other members of the health care team

·        engages in on-going training and development

·        receives appropriate remuneration for the work

"With their focus on the imaginative and the creative, therapeutic clowns offer new opportunities for play and laughter, for self-expression and self-acceptance, for mastery and empowerment, and for moments of tenderness and comfort. We believe that these interactions have an impact on everyone's experiences and perceptions, and thus help to humanize the health care setting.We honour and respect those we serve (patient, resident, family and staff), and offer ourselves as resources they may freely choose to access. We believe that we are co-creators with them, and that the joy, creativity, tenderness, and wealth of benefits arising from our exchanges are a collective creation of all involved. As therapeutic clowns, we see our role as being supportive and inspirational in nature, facilitating and encouraging emotional well-being. The patient, resident, family or staff member is the one whose imagination and creativity we wish to foster, celebrate and set free."

(from the statement of Principles of CATC/ACCT* Therapeutic Clowns Canada was formerly a professional association called the “Canadian Association of Therapeutic Clowns/ L’Association Canadienne des Clowns Therapeutiques” (CATC-ACCT))

Clown Play featuring David Langdon
Hubert and Onri (credit: David Langdon)

Clowning in Winnipeg

We are excited to be working with Therapeutic Clown, and Child Life Specialist at the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital, David Langdon to introduce clowning to the Winnipeg community! David is considered an elder in the Canadian therapeutic clown community. He is a founding member of CATC/ACCT and has been featured in various media and presented and led workshops at numerous conferences and events. In 2006 he received the Robo Award for excellence in therapeutic clowning by the Ontario Hospital Association.

Onri with the Robo Award (credit:David Langdon)
Onri with the Robo Award (credit: David Langdon)

This winter/spring David will be offering a Clown and Clown Play: An Introduction class, open to adults with an interest in artistic clown. Theatre experience or previous training is not a requirement. The intention is to introduce, promote and generate clown excitement in Winnipeg!

The course will focus on the art of clown and the formation of clown persona. It will be in workshop form with some video. This workshop format will comprise of clown training exercises, games and play scenarios to facilitate the student’s exploration of an emerging clown character.  Students will engage in “clown play”, and explore the relationship between clown, the pleasure of play, and sharing this pleasure with an audience.

Through clown play and theatre exercises the student will explore and use:

•           The principles of "finding the game", "the pleasure of play", "sharing one's pleasure" and "advancing the game"

•           The clown play dialogue

•           The principle of complicity and "the wink"

•           A personal clown persona

•           The red nose as mask

•           "Tics", “fixed point”, and modulation of tempos to physically support one’s inner clown

•           Costume and make-up as a means to accentuate and support the inner clown persona

•           Improvisational skills in clowning

•           The roles of clown as both balance bringer and order breaker

•           High and low status in clown and how status can be modulated  

•           Classic clown “lazzi”

Hubert (credit: David Langdon). Clown Play and WHEAT
Hubert (credit: David Langdon)

Clown and Clown Play: An Introduction is tentatively scheduled for 10 Saturdays between mid-January – end of May. Please email if you are interested in having your name added to the list of interested students! We will email more information once finalized.

And we are working towards launching a new Therapeutic Clowning Diploma program next summer! This training will be intended for adults with theatre and previous clown experience. More details to come.

November 2, 2018


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