SUMMER CLOWN SCHOOL

3rd June – 21st June 2024  |  London – UK

Enrolments now open !

To request an application form for the workshops please email: whynotinstitute@aol.com

Course information below

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Course information is below.

How To Be A Stupid
Led by Angela de Castro                                                                                                                                                      Monday 3rd to Friday 14th June 2024 (days off Sat 8th and Sun 9th) / 9am- 6pm / £900
To request an application form, email:  whynotinstitute@aol.com

‘Clowning offers to the theatre practitioner an immense spectrum of new possibilities,

a freedom that we can’t find in any other art form.’

Clowning is an art of courage and discipline; not a technique but a state that needs to be explored fully. This course offers 10 days of serious and enjoyable aimed at developing the clown’s intelligence, and the confidence to use and apply this unlimited power of imagination in any creative or performance context.

Come prepared for challenges and change. It is a rare opportunity to work with a theatre practitioner who for over 30 years has been seriously dedicated to research into, and use of, clowning, in all aspects of performance. This is a safe space to work, with expert guidance through de Castro’s methodology for each participant’s individual journey of development as a performer. It creates a supportive world in which participants can joyfully make mistakes – with a great deal of laughter and play along the way.

Suitable for clowns (beginners and experienced), actors, directors, dancers, writers, artists in any field, as well as the playful and the curious from all walks of life.

 ‘De Castro’s gift is in bringing to the fore the sometimes very quiet voice at the centre of the artist’s being and expressing that. In an atmosphere as serious as it is playful, laughter and discipline lead to a connecting with inner truth and the principles at the heart of acting and of communicating with an audience. Experience the invigorating presence of an experienced performer who lives to share the joy and simplicity of the clown form and how it can so usefully relate to the art of acting.’

STEPHEN WISKER (ACTOR / DIRECTOR / STORYTELLER / UKULELE-IST)


The Power Of Connection - an introduction to Therapeutic and Social Clowning
Led by Suzie Ferguson
Mon 17th, Tues 18th & Wed 19th June 2024 | 9am to 6pm | £300
For clowns, actors, dancers and performers interested in making playful and meaningful connections in health and social care settings.
This 3 day workshop will be a wonderful journey into the therapeutic clown world, where freedom, play and compassion form the cornerstones of good practice.
We will explore how the 5 principles of therapeutic clowning – simplicity, generosity, lightness, honesty and joy – can be harnessed to create meaningful and reciprocal connections that can transform experiences of adversity into ones filled with laughter and joy.

We will work as a group, in duos and individually, using practical games and exercises that can be easily applied to healthcare settings as a frame for our learning.

WORKSHOP THEMES:

Five elements of clowning
Power of attention
Presence and sensitivity
Emotional honesty and embodiment
The Game

Suzie Fergunson has 13 years experience of clowning in paediatric hospitals, hospices and SEN schools as well as in Dementia Care settings. She was a co-creator and performer in Curious Shoes, a theatre performance for people living with dementia and their carers, and MESS, a clown musical for young people with complex needs. Suzie is the former Artistic Director of Hearts and Minds, Scotland’s therapeutic clown charity, and she has taught her own workshop in Scotland, Denmark, Latvia, Bangalore and most recently Ukraine.
She is a Board member of Red Noses International.
Suzie is also a Why Not Institute alumni. A real WhyNotter!

                            

 

The Pleasure of Playing

Led by Angela de Castro                                                            

Saturday 8th June 2024 / 2pm-5pm / £35

To request an application form, email whynotinstitute@aol.com

In the beginning there was Play
… and Play is everything !

 

Playfulness is at the heart of clowning. 

For performers, actors, clowns, creative minds…  it is important to keep the state of playfulness fresh and alive, to feed the soul and keep it light.  It is fundamental for clowns and all artists to exercise the mind, the body and the spirit. The spirit is often overtaken by the physical and intellectual demands of the job. Very often, it is the techniques that get the focus. However, what is a clown / artists without a soul? Without a spirit?  Let’s not forget that our souls need as much training and feeding as our bodies and minds.

Using simple games and light exercises, ‘The Pleasure of Playing’ will liberate the imagination and brings participants a new burst of energy, focus and awareness. Based on collective non-competitive games, this structured and surprisingly thought-provoking workshop became a must for clowns, artists and creative minds of all disciplines.

The Clown's Intelligence - The Inner Monologue
When we allow the clown to think, it is amazing what they come up with!

For silent and speaking clowns looking to develop their practise, this workshop focuses on maintaining the state of clown by training the mechanism of the clown’s thoughts.
Through games and exercises, this workshop gives you techniques to maintain the clown’s inner monologue, giving the clown space to think.

Audiences love to follow clowns’ thoughts; to see clowns thinking and finding amazing solutions and answers to everyday life. But how often do our own thoughts come faster than the clown’s? Our thoughts intrude and interrupt the clown’s voice.
Workshop participants will be challenged not to let their own thoughts interrupt or come before the clown’s thoughts. In a series of games and exercises participants will deconstruct the mechanism of thoughts, create space for their clown to think, and fill their mind with the clown’s loud voice, leaving no space for other thoughts.

Often harder than anticipated, maintaining the clown’s inner monologue allows us to develop a true clown’s intelligence!

This workshop isolates the mechanism of the clown’s thoughts:
A training in how to maintain the state of clown
It is harder than we think
Participants need to be clowns
Our own intelligence to problem solving is faster that the clown’s own intelligence. Very difficult not to let our own thought to come first that the clown’s thoughts.
How useful this kind of workshop can be for those who wants to explore silent clowning as well as for those who perform with text.
How beautiful is to allow your clown to think
Audiences like to follow clown thoughts, to see clowns thinking and find solutions
The text of silent clown shows is the line of thoughts. That allows you not to ‘drop’ from the clown state.

 

What we Offer

Contact Us
To hear about future dates, please sign up to our newsletter of email us at whynotinstitute@aol.com

 

 

 

 

How To Be A Stupid
Led by Angela de Castro – in person only                                                                                                                                                  To hear about future dates please sign up to our newsletter here.

 

 

Mon 8th January to Friday 19th January 2024 (days off Sat 13th and Sun 14th) / 9am- 6pm / £900

‘Clowning offers to the theatre practitioner an immense spectrum of new possibilities,

a freedom that we can’t find in any other art form.’

 

Clowning is an art of courage and discipline; not a technique but a state that needs to be explored fully. This course offers 10 days of serious and enjoyable aimed at developing the clown’s intelligence, and the confidence to use and apply this unlimited power of imagination in any creative or performance context.

Come prepared for challenges and change. It is a rare opportunity to work with a theatre practitioner who for over 30 years has been seriously dedicated to research into, and use of, clowning, in all aspects of performance. This is a safe space to work, with expert guidance through de Castro’s methodology for each participant’s individual journey of development as a performer. It creates a supportive world in which participants can joyfully make mistakes – with a great deal of laughter and play along the way.

Suitable for clowns (beginners and experienced), actors, directors, dancers, writers, artists in any field, as well as the playful and the curious from all walks of life.

 ‘De Castro’s gift is in bringing to the fore the sometimes very quiet voice at the centre of the artist’s being and expressing that. In an atmosphere as serious as it is playful, laughter and discipline lead to a connecting with inner truth and the principles at the heart of acting and of communicating with an audience. Experience the invigorating presence of an experienced performer who lives to share the joy and simplicity of the clown form and how it can so usefully relate to the art of acting.’

STEPHEN WISKER (ACTOR / DIRECTOR / STORYTELLER / UKULELE-IST)


The Clown's Intelligence - The Inner Monologue

To hear about future dates please sign up to our newsletter here.


When we allow the clown to think, it is amazing what they come up with!

 

 

 

For silent and speaking clowns looking to develop their practise, this workshop focuses on maintaining the state of clown by training the mechanism of the clown’s thoughts.
Through games and exercises, this workshop gives you techniques to maintain the clown’s inner monologue, giving the clown space to think.

Audiences love to follow clowns’ thoughts; to see clowns thinking and finding amazing solutions and answers to everyday life. But how often do our own thoughts come faster than the clown’s? Our thoughts intrude and interrupt the clown’s voice.
Workshop participants will be challenged not to let their own thoughts interrupt or come before the clown’s thoughts. In a series of games and exercises participants will deconstruct the mechanism of thoughts, create space for their clown to think, and fill their mind with the clown’s loud voice, leaving no space for other thoughts.

Often harder than anticipated, maintaining the clown’s inner monologue allows us to develop a true clown’s intelligence!

This workshop isolates the mechanism of the clown’s thoughts:
A training in how to maintain the state of clown
It is harder than we think
Participants need to be clowns
Our own intelligence to problem solving is faster that the clown’s own intelligence. Very difficult not to let our own thought to come first that the clown’s thoughts.
How useful this kind of workshop can be for those who wants to explore silent clowning as well as for those who perform with text.
How beautiful is to allow your clown to think
Audiences like to follow clown thoughts, to see clowns thinking and find solutions
The text of silent clown shows is the line of thoughts. That allows you not to ‘drop’ from the clown state.

How To Be Even More Of A Stupid
**Advanced exercises for experienced clowns** Led by Angela de Castro 

 

 Mon 22nd January to Friday 26th January 2024 / 9am- 6pm / £500
To register your interest and/or request an application form, email whynotinstitute@aol.com

To hear about future dates please sign up to our newsletter here.

By popular demand: Angela de Castro’s 5 day advanced clowning workshop! This workshop does what says on the tin! Now featuring Covid-Safe Fun!

The state of clown is like a muscle that needs to be exercised; the more practice and training a performer has, the stronger the results. Through the advanced exercises at this course, experienced clowns and actors who use clowning on their work, can stretch themselves to improve their ‘clown-fitness’ and make them better prepared to deal with even more challenging clown scenarios.

This unique workshop is specifically for experienced performers who take fun, play and stupidity very, very seriously. Attendees will be able to work alongside performers of the same level while exploring a range of advanced techniques and improvisation scenarios.

De Castro’s structured approach focuses specifically on the areas that are most challenging for the professional performer. By focusing on imagination, playfulness and the pleasure to be present, every section of the workshop has real practical lessons that can be applied to the clown’s existing performances and help structure the development of new ones. Filled with a mix of exercises, advanced techniques and improvisation scenarios, it’s an opportunity to train and play with performers of the same level.

It is a challenging, enjoyable and rewarding week of work for those who put their all into being seriously silly.

‘A teacher, a Master Clown, who is very delicate – who respects the performer in front of her and takes care to take you on the best path, so you do not expose yourself unnecessarily… A director who helps performers build and deliver their scenes with confidence.’ 

MICHELLE SILVEIRA (CLOWN / EDITOR ‘WOMEN CLOWNS’ MAGAZINE)

 

From Imagination to Reality - Devising Material for Clowns & Physical Performers
Mon 29th January to Saturday 3rd February 2024 / 9am- 6pm / £600

 

 

 

To register your interest and/or request an application form, email whynotinstitute@aol.com

So, you’ve done some clowning!  You’ve learnt to play with an audience, stay optimistic and look for games…. but how do you make a show?

In this week long intensive workshop we will playfully explore the principles of devising with clown and comedy in a safe but challenging environment. Whether a solo show, double act or larger cast, this workshop will give any performer or director, the tools to make a very stupid piece of theatre.

Through exercises and games, theatre maker and director, Stephen Sobal, will reinforce the foundations of clowning whilst working with each participant to create something from nothing.

The best way to see if something works it to put it in front of an audience. Therefore the workshop will conclude with a sharing with an invited audience.

de Castro will be collaborating alongside Stephen Sobal in directing, editing and refining material for the end of week presentation.

The Pleasure of Playing
Saturday 13th January 2024 / 2pm-5pm / £35
To register your interest and/or request an application form, email whynotinstitute@aol.com

 

 

In the beginning there was Play
… and Play is everything!

Play is at the heart of clowning. For performers, actors and clowns it is important to keep the state of playfulness fresh and alive, to feed the soul and keep it light.

It is fundamental for clowns to exercise the mind, the body and the spirit. The spirit is often overtaken by the physical and intellectual demands of the job. Very often, it is the clown techniques that get the focus. However, what is a clown without a soul? Without a spirit?  How important it is not to forget that our souls need as much training and feeding as our bodies and minds?

Using simple games and light exercises, ‘The Pleasure of Playing’ will liberate the imagination and brings participants a new burst of energy, focus and awareness. Based on collective non-competitive games, this structured and surprisingly thought-provoking workshop became a must for clowns of all disciplines.

 

Laughing Matters
Led by Angela de Castro – in person and online
To hear about future dates please sign up to our
newsletter here.

 

 

 

WHO LAUGHS . . . LAST  ! 

 

Based on the laughing yoga method, Laughing Matters is not a workshop. It is a laughing session.
When we laugh we release endorphins – your body’s natural well-being hormone.
The session is safe, fun, easy to do, stress free and you will leave feeling great! Just come along.

Inspired by breathing techniques, developed in Yoga to assist in relaxation, the mental and physical benefits of laughter are immediate and easy to achieve, regardless of age, fitness levels or ability.

Laughter is an essential tool in building confidence, removing cynicism and increasing enthusiasm. Not only that, it is also very good for your health and dramatically reduces stress by naturally releasing endorphins.

 

To hear about future dates please sign up to our newsletter here.

 

The Power Of Connection - An Introduction to Therapeutic And Social Clowning
Led by Suzie Ferguson

For clowns, actors, dancers and performers interested in making playful and meaningful connections in health and social care settings.

This 3 day workshop will be a wonderful journey into the therapeutic clown world, where freedom, play and compassion form the cornerstones of good practice.
We will explore how the 5 principles of therapeutic clowning – simplicity, generosity, lightness, honesty and joy – can be harnessed to create meaningful and reciprocal connections that can transform experiences of adversity into ones filled with laughter and joy.

We will work as a group, in duos and individually, using practical games and exercises that can be easily applied to healthcare settings as a frame for our learning.

WORKSHOP THEMES:

Five elements of clowning
Power of attention
Presence and sensitivity
Emotional honesty and embodiment
The Game

Suzie Fergunson has 13 years experience of clowning in paediatric hospitals, hospices and SEN schools as well as in Dementia Care settings. She was a co-creator and performer in Curious Shoes, a theatre performance for people living with dementia and their carers, and MESS, a clown musical for young people with complex needs. Suzie is the former Artistic Director of Hearts and Minds, Scotland’s therapeutic clown charity, and she has taught her own workshop in Scotland, Denmark, Latvia, Bangalore and most recently Ukraine.
She is a Board member of Red Noses International.
Suzie is also a Why Not Institute alumni. A real WhyNotter!

                 

The Outside Eye
In person and online.

Custom sessions in clown, clowning, performance craft, acting, presenting and mentoring consultancy. 

A de Castro is offering mentoring and creative consultancy to individuals or groups.
If you are working on an idea for a show, a performance or to develop your clown persona and want to take the chance for some one-to-one input, then the Outside Eye is available online.

The concept of Outside Eyes is to bring professional support to the artists’ creative process. Such a process can be quite lonely. How many times do we need an outside eye to have a look at our work? Someone who is not the director of the piece. Or we want an opinion on the text or act we are creating, or on the concept of a show that we are directing. And particularly for clowns, sometimes it is very hard to find someone that understands the universe that the state of clown is. Sometimes we want a different eye on our ideas.

Whatever your speciality is, acting, physical theatre, devise work, writing, composer, directors, whether you have previous experience of clowning or not, The Outside Eyes, the Surgery can help you make work that is stronger and unique to you. Those interested in exploring advanced clowning techniques or concepts can do so under De Castro’s supervision, while those looking for a different take on their work will profit from de Castro’s over 40 years’ experience as a performer, actor, clown, director and mentor.

A de Castro has sharp eyes and can see through the material and or difficulty presented with clarity. Her approach is to focus on what the artist wants to say and suggest alternatives and sometimes solutions. Techniques mixed with playfulness, lightness and joy the state of clowning brings a fresh approach to ideas, acts and performances.

Similarly, if you’re looking to develop your Clown persona you can draw on de Castro’s years of experience and work to help give substance to and find that nuance and spark.

Artists can book between 2 to 4 hours’ sessions a day to show, discuss and/or just talk about their ideas. The Outside Eyes (The Surgery) can be 121 or in small groups and can be booked as a one-off session between 2 to 4hs or for a number of days.

‘I had a chance to participate in ’The Outside Eyes’ with De Castro this year, 2016. I spent with her really nice time. She helped me in the moment I really needed it as a clown and as an artist. De Castro showed me her method to find new characters, structure myself and helped me to „remember”. She shared with me also her knowledge about how to build up a show. Together we spent amazing time on deep, intensive and unforgettable conversations about world of clowning.’
Violeta Garcia (Spain, Germany) – clown, performer, devisor

For more information, please email whynotinstitute@aol.com 

The Why Not Cafe / Bingo / Quiz / Gameshow
To hear about future dates please sign up to our newsletter here.

The Why Not Cafe is a free get-together that takes place over Zoom, first we have some fun, and then we have some time to chat.        It’s open to WhyNotters, old and new, and anyone interested in joining in on the fun!
Each time we have a different offering, from The Why Not Bingo, The Why Not Quiz, A Zoom Clown Gameshow or sometimes premieres of our videos such our production HUGS and the opportunity to share what we’ve all been up to and videos we’ve made.

The Why Not Institute In Conversation With...
 

The Why Not Café is excited to present it’s new series, In Conversations With… where Angela de Castro – Founder and Director of The Why Not Institute will be talking with artists, clowns and friends
Our inaugural chat in June 2021, de Castro  talked with Holly Stoppit and Franki Anderson.
The event was Live streamed via The Why Not Institute Facebook page.

Thr full chat can be  found on The Why Not Institute You Tube Page –