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Workshops (Edmonton): Extreme Joey & Auguste Clown – Small Matters Productions

The Virgin Trial – Alberta Theatre Projects
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Workshops (Edmonton): Extreme Joey & Auguste Clown – Small Matters Productions

Small Matters ProductionsJan 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.


  • Instructors: Jan Henderson & Christine Lesiak
  • Dates: May 26-29, 2016
  • Hours: 10 am – 6 pm (28 hours of instruction)
  • Location: University of Alberta Fine Arts Building (FAB), room 2-43
  • Cost: $435. A $50 non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your registration. Fee includes photo documentation and some materials.
  • Maximum class size: 12 participants
  • For more information, or to register, contact:

Presented by Small Matters Productions

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.

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 four 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 theatre artist and co-artistic director of Small Matters Productions. She is co-creator/performer of their red-nose clown shows Fools for Love and Sofa So Good, physical comedy short The Heavy Sleeper, and writer/solo-performer of Ask Aggie and 900 Seconds. Christine has performed original shows at festivals throughout Western Canada, at the Toronto Festival of Clowns and the New York Clown Theater Festival. Christine has trained extensively in clown theatre with Jan Henderson (Fool Moon Productions), Michael Kennard (Mump and Smoot), and bouffon with Adam Lazarus (QuipTake). She has taught in the Dept of Drama, University of Alberta, Edmonton Digital Arts College and privately. She is currently completing her MFA Theatre Practice at the University of Alberta specializing in clowning techniques as applied to site-specific theatre.

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