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Workshops (Edmonton): Extreme Joey & Auguste Clown with Jan Henderson

The Virgin Trial – Alberta Theatre Projects
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Workshops (Edmonton): Extreme Joey & Auguste Clown with Jan Henderson

Extreme Joey & Auguste Clown

February 15-17, 2014

imageJan Henderson offers her unique workshop on extreme aspects of the personal Clown. Suitable for individuals with previous clown training.

In the European tradition of clown duos, the confident leader is called the Joey and the vulnerable follower is the Auguste. The blend of these two aspects makes up the core clown.

The Extreme Joey is a character that lives well beyond the Joey end of the Joey/Auguste spectrum. It is driven by the mantra “Absolute Selfishness – Without Guilt – in really hot clothes”. An exploration of the Extreme Joey strengthens clown performers by giving them an experience of the power that comes from absolute self acceptance. They feel greater comfort in stillness and silence, greater ability to live in the moment, and an increased ability to see, hear, and manipulate the audience. The result is enormous presence.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Extreme Auguste is all heart – either blissfully happy, or on the brink of panic, heartbreak and despair. It is the eager, playful puppy to the Joey’s disdainful cat. It knows nothing, takes everything literally, has a short attention span, and lives to please its Joey. For some people, the Extreme Auguste manifests as a Wiley Servant – clever, but obsequious when necessary.

In this workshop you will use makeup and costume to explore these two archetypes, in order to deepen and expand your clown’s emotional and physical range. You will work in duos to discover material that naturally emerges from the dynamic friction of the Joey/Auguste relationship.

• Instructor: Jan Henderson, assisted by Christine Lesiak
• Dates: February 15-17, 2014
• Hours: 10 am – 6 pm (21 hours of instruction)
• Location: University of Alberta Fine Arts Building (FAB), room 3-125
• Cost: $300 if you register before January 25th, $325 after January 25th. A $50 non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your registration
• Maximum class size: 12 participants
• For more information or to register contact:

Presented by Small Matters Productions (

Jan Henderson is one of Canada’s leading clown and mask teachers. She studied and performed extensively with clown and mask teacher, Richard Pochinko, and in 1975 co-founded with him what is now the Theatre Resource Centre, Toronto. From 1982-1992, Jan was co-artistic director and performer with internationally acclaimed Small Change Theatre. She is on the Creative Faculty of the Leadership Development program at the Banff Centre, facilitates workshops through her company, Fool Moon Productions (, and is a recipient of Global Television’s Woman of Vision Award. Currently, Jan teaches clown and mask in the drama department at the University of Alberta where she has received three awards for excellence in teaching. She is also resident director of Edmonton clown company, Small Matters Productions, whose critically-acclaimed and award-winning shows have toured festivals in Western Canada, the Toronto Festival of Clowns, and the New York International Clown Theater Festival.

Christine Lesiak is an Edmonton-based clown-theatre artist and co-artistic director of Small Matters Productions. She is co-creator/performer of their red-nose clown shows Fools for Love, Sofa So Good and Why Do Fools Fall in Love? and most recently writer/solo-performer of Ask Aggie. Christine has performed her shows at festivals throughout Western Canada, at the Toronto Festival of Clowns and the New York Clown Theater Festival. She curates Edmonton’s Fool’s Gold Cabaret which incorporates a mentorship program for developing clown-theatre performers. Christine has trained extensively in clown theatre with Jan Henderson (Fool Moon Productions), Michael Kennard (Mump and Smoot), and Aitor Basauri (Spymonkey, UK) and bouffon with Adam Lazarus (QuipTake). Other key influences include improvisation (Rapid Fire Theatre, Keith Johnstone), puppetry (The Old Trout Puppet Workshop) and immersive theatre (Punchdrunk U.K).

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