Within the U of M Theatre Arts BA program, there exist two main acting tracks: the Margolis method and the Lecoq method. The Ecole Lecoq (Lecoq school) in Paris, originated by Jacques Lecoq, focuses on physically training the actor through a vigorous two year program culminating in the study of clown. It is said that comedy is the most difficult form for an actor to play and that clowning is an art form. Most classic comedians-Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Monty Python, Mr.. Bean-they are all examples of clowns with more modern examples being Jim Carry, Mike Meyers, Stephen Colbert, and Steve Carell.
Why then are clowns so stigmatized in our culture? And why is comedy so difficult? I decided to take this question up and enter the laboratory of the theatre arts-the rehearsal studio. I applied for both a slot in the Xperimental Theatre’s 2009-2010 season and a UROP grant to fund my research as co-director and Dramaturg. The show created in the X was the result of much research and research, and ultimately led me to find an immensely greater understanding and appreciation of the form.
Additional contributor: Lisa Channer (faculty mentor).
Everybody Loves a Clown: An Examination of the Style and Performance of Clown.
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