Year 1

all classes are 3 hour sessions

Social Therapy and Participatory Art

Instructor: Sabine Choucair
covers theory and practice
(15 CLASSES)

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The course will begin with 8 sessions of social therapy followed by 7 sessions of participatory art.

The course will serve as an introduction to social therapy, a community-based psychosocial support process focusing on positive engagement with community, community networks, and self-expression.

Throughout the course, the student artists will explore Vygotsky’s social development theory about ways to empower people to help one another. They will also learn about different methods of using social therapy to promote a healthy social environment through community work, in which all members contribute what they can. 

In the participatory arts sessions, the group will explore lives, contexts, politics, and ethics. How do we work with different communities and groups? How do we lead sessions, using the personal as the basis for the creative process, and apply these ideas on the streets?


Mask Work, Chorus Work and Storytelling

Instructor: Denise Rinehart
covers practice
(20 CLASSES)

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The starting point for our journey into the world of masks and storytelling will begin with the neutral mask where students-artists will increase self-awareness as we explore what makes each person unique, learning how to release personal idiosyncrasies in order to work towards neutrality. As a result, the body experiences calmness, a state of receptivity. This expanded listening capacity awakes stage presence and is the gateway to continue our journey with the larval mask. This mask complements the neutral mask through its subtle lines, shapes and asymmetries. By completely covering the face, we are pushed to a playful non-verbal world of body, gesture and emotion. It also allows us to wake up and become aware of the space around us as these masks demand the amplification of gesture and movement, encouraging clear physical choices. The third mask of our journey is the expressive mask. These masks reveal their potential through the lines, colours, asymmetries and volumes proposed by the mask, leading us to further defined characters. The world of physical masks (Neutral, Larval, Expressive) is a magnificent tool that invites us to immerse ourselves in a poetic language, out of the ordinary, where nothing is banal. This world provides us with the tools to physically remove the mask but create a world in which it still exists in the poetic work of storytelling. Here we draw from the investigations that we have done with the masks as well as the previous worlds and works done at the school. As students jump into a unique storytelling structure they will harness the imaginative power of each individual, and discover the magic ingredient that turns a group of individuals into a chorus of devising storytellers. 


Physical theatre: Characters and Environments

Instructor: Ailin Conant
covers practice
(15 CLASSES)

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In this class, we will draw on inspiration from objects, nature, and one another to create compelling characters from physical theatre techniques. We’ll learn movement analysis, tension and dosage, improvisation techniques, and quick-change scene structuring. We’ll also use trateau techniques to begin to place these characters in rich, nuanced environments, created through ensemble physical storytelling.


Music and Storytelling

Instructor: Chantal Mailhac
covers theory and practice
(15 CLASSES)

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This course will introduce the students to the use of music as a means of self exploration and as a way to create universes that touch and speak to their diverse audience.

Through exercises that evolve at the crossroad of theater, physical theater, storytelling and therapy (music therapy) the students will be taught how to explore expression at a personal level for self-consciousness and authenticity and at a performance level for creation, presence and artistic expression.

On the personal level, the students will be listening, while observing the sensations and emotions and thoughts that the sounds and music provoke. They will be invited to experience the therapeutic side of music, in order to use it as a tool to work with vulnerable communities. They will also enlarge and enrich their personal musical libraries.

The students will later work on producing sound and music, liberating the voice and developing its expressiveness, in order to explore the full range of vocal possibilities. This will also work to break the students’ internal boundaries and establish a playful and confident relationship to their voice. 

Finally, the students-artists will explore ways of using music in their performance as a means of expression that completes and compliments their storytelling.


Puppets

Instructor: Julia Yevnine
covers practice
(15 CLASSES)

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Puppetry is an ancient and incredibly fun and powerful art that has a great potential to bring some magic in the eyes of the audience, both old and young alike.

Puppets stimulate people’s imagination, encourage creative play and discovery, and are a wonderful, interactive way to deal with difficult topics.

Puppets are both entertaining and captivating. Young children, as well as adults, can believe and relate to them.

But to be truly effective, the art of puppetry requires a lot of tecnicity. Just like a magician needs a lot of training for his magic tricks to succeed, a puppeteer, who also plays with illusion, needs to train enough to give an inert object a life of its own. 

Based on that, our 15 classes will cover:

– Discovering and playing with different types of objects as puppets and focusing on the eye-line.

– Introducing the human-scale puppets, which the students-artists will be using, focusing on movement and breathing, and how to move one puppet with 2 or 3 manipulators;

– Introducing the articulation of the mouth and making the puppet talk, as well as working on the voice, and focusing on the dissociation of the manipulators;

– Creating the characters and their individual, particular ways of moving, talking and gestures, as well as their names and backstories;

– writing scenes for the puppets, taking them to the streets to improvise and meet people;

and finally  the students-artists will write, direct and play their own scenes in groups of 3 or 4.


Clowning and Buffoon

Instructor: Giovanni Fusetti
covers practice
(15 CLASSES + 15 CLASSES)

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Clown and Bouffon are two archetypical comic techniques that provoke laughter in two fundamentally different ways.

The Clown is about individual stupidity: the sublime, universal, naïve stupidity of every human being. It is a celebration of human imperfection that reconnects us with the vulnerability of the child. In the process of discovering what is uniquely funny about themselves, the student artists will explore the poetic power of the red nose clown, which can bring humor to even the most difficult aspects of life.

The student-artists will then dive into the world of Bouffons and Grotesque. Bouffons are mocking creatures who expose the hidden and grotesque sides of humans and society. They provoke outrage. Bouffon play is about shaking the audience with representations of the collective games that humans play: politics, economics, education, and morality. The Bouffons will teach the students the essence of satire, a very, very precious tool for theatre activism. It is how we provoke and entertain at the same time, mocking the powerful and questioning authority with humor and folly.

In the words of the very, very great French master of Movement Theatre, Jacques Lecoq: “The audience laughs at the Clown, and the Bouffon laughs at the audience.”


Multimedia / Using Videos

Instructor: Joelle Abu Chabke
covers theory and practice
(10 CLASSES)

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This course aims to equip the students-artists with the technical and practical knowledge of how one can use various multimedia tools and produce videos. As part of this class, the students will be taught how to use videos to deliver performances or shows.  

Students-artists will learn: 

To create professional videos with the equipment they already have (whether with a  smartphone, a DSLR, or a professional camera) 

Cinematography basics such as exposure and lighting, how to compose good shots, how  to get good focus, and how to stabilize their shots.  

How to record better audio in different environments. 

The process of editing a video, to make what we shoot more engaging. 

This course aims to familiarize the students with the process of making their own videos, from conception and production to editing and posting online.


Preparation for Field Work and Devising

Instructors: Chantal Mailhac and Sabine Choucair
covers practice
(8 CLASSES)

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The class sums up all the courses taken previously. Students-artists will be divided into 3 main working groups to delve into the details of teaching and using the different tools they have acquired, in order to tell stories and tackle themes that the participants raise. They will also learn how to divide tasks and work on the ground.”



Workshops of the IIVVSS

Strategic thinking and planning, funding and management workshop

covers theory
(4 CLASSES)

Click here for details about the course As part of the IIVVSS, each student-artist will attend a workshop on strategic planning and thinking, funding and management. The aim is to have the students equipped with enough knowledge covering all aspects of performances, from writing proposals and raising money, to budgeting and execution, as well as post-project processes, like writing reports, gathering data and archiving materials.

Sound Design

Instructor: Raghid Jureidini
covers theory and practice
(4 CLASSES)

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As part of the IIVVSS, each student will attend a workshop on sound design. This will focus on the technical aspect of sound installation in public spaces, working with microphones, mixers, speakers, sound software (Digital Audio Workstations) how to properly choose equipment needed for a performance, as well as problem-solving when encountering technical problems.

The course will also cover the creative aspect of sound design, how to tell a story through sound and when and how to use sound design with a performance through:

  • Creative and technical use of effects (reverbs, delay…)
  • Equalization and human perception of frequencies 
  • Dynamic controls (compressing, limiting) 
  • How and when to use music in a performance 
  • Basic audio editing skills

Students’ End of Year Show

Instructors: Sabine Choucair and Chantal Mailhac
covers practice
(10 CLASSES)

Click here for details about the course At the end of each school year, the students-artists will devise a show, without the help of their teachers. It will be their “end of year” project ( in preparation for their work with communities the year after) where they put everything they have learnt into action and come up with a street performance. As part of this activity, the students-artists will be asked to develop a theme based on their own needs, decide which artistic style or direction to use, and to work on the logistics and production of the performance from A to Z.

Internship/Apprenticeship

Training with Clown Me In team or other students / internship / apprenticeship

covers practice
(at least 10 days per student)

Click here for details about the course As part of their studies, each student will join CMI staff during one of their street performances or preparations and provide assistance. The assistance provided could be in the pre-production, production or post production phase.

To preview the 2021-2022 courses, click here