Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Four Days Until Clown Time by Tom Spangenberg

Four days until clown time. That is hard to believe since Susie McGee and I have been working together with the intention of creating a piece for Freehold's Studio Series for about five months and if you know Susie then you would agree that after five months I deserve a medal. That's not true of course. Susie has been great. Really.

Sometimes I think that maybe if she was difficult to work with, incredibly difficult to work with, mind-blowingly and gut wrenchingly difficult to work with, then I could spin that into its own story or cathartic solo piece and make a lot of money. Everyone knows that's where the money is. Susie would sue me and we would settle out of court and both be rich. Alas. Lucky me.

If you're not familiar with clown theater, it's easy to imagine scary white-faced clowns in big shoes and orange wigs trying to pack themselves into a VW bug. This assumption is not only misguided, but it clouds over the underlying depth of the art form. Clown theater is about commitment and vulnerability. It's about revealing your own humanity so that others can identify with it. Clown is not acting. Sure, there are performers on stage and they're in character, but a successful clown is not acting. A successful clown is living the truth of the moment – whatever that may be. Often the truth of the moment is so vulnerably human we can't help but laugh. Laughter, though, is not the mark of a successful clown. At her core, a successful clown is in touch with whatever is happening in that particular moment and is sharing that with the world. Sometimes that's funny, but sometimes it's not. Either way it doesn't matter because what you discover is that the truth, itself, is riveting.

The Studio Series is Freehold's highly anticipated yearly event that presents work created by current and former Freehold students, lab members, and faculty. 2011 will be our 16th year of presenting this very popular series. We regard the Series as an opportunity to investigate work in a "studio" setting and then to experience the evolution of the work through performance.

The Studio Series will run for three weekends from March 11 through March 26, 2011. Each project will be performed one weekend out of the three weekends with it being performed a total of four times with two performances on Friday night and two on Saturday night at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm at Freehold.
For more information on tickets and the full Studio Series Line-up, go to Freehold's Studio Series.

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