JUN 10 - 11, 2017
Dan and the Clown Lab
Discover the Clown. Take the risk of being vulnerable for an audience. What does it mean to be funny? In this workshop students will explore various points of departure: generosity, wonder, resilience, and timing toward the generation of a playful spirit and the will to delight an audience. You will be asked to delve into specific aspects of imagination, physical comedy, character, and improvisation in order to ready yourself for a kind of fearless devotion to play.

In this workshop you will expand your awareness to include the audience and yourself in the same breath. You will strive to be responsible, able and willing to respond onstage in a state of true play and discovery. You will risk vulnerability as you discover realms of beauty and grotesquery devising original characters and new material. You will learn to confront the audience, find your breath, discover your body, and play.

How do you create humor in front of a live audience? By having an ACTUAL experience onstage. How do you create spontaneity while maintaining truth in the moment? You RISK. Play is action and the action is all for ‘them’ as it occurs to you. It is whimsical and everything is at once discovered and planned. The play is not a previously organized and envisioned set of circumstances unrelated to the audience. The play is pulled from the very desire to show them something, to combine images, emotion and situation together to tell a profound story. Don’t worry about things ‘making sense’ or ‘being correct’. Whatever occurs to the character you are living is in the moment, and therefore undeniably true and acceptable. How do your partners affect you? How does the audience affect you? How do you remain emotionally and physically receptive?

In this 2-day workshop you will explore the generation of a playful spirit and develop your impulse to delight an audience with humor and spontaneity. Our focus is on character, state of play, and the creation of new work.


Dan Griffiths is an award winning theatre maker, director, teacher, and the founder of The Clown Workshop, ClownZero, and KAPOOT Clown Theatre. He has created and performed original theatrical works in over 45 states and 25 countries since 1988. Dan has performed with the Clown troupe Die Hanswurste, with Chicago’s 500 Clown, and internationally for The Department of Defense Overseas Shows. Dan has served as faculty for the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Clown Conservatory San Francisco, The School for Mime Theater, Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University, Indiana University Northwest and Academy of Art University.

Most recently he taught Clowning at The Wu Qiao International Circus Festival in Shijiazhuang, China. He has worked as a clown doctor and trainer for The Big Apple Circus and is currently, the Director of CLOWNZERO a Medical Clowning unit in residence at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Dan has studied with Marcel Marceau, Gregg Goldston, Moni Yakim, David Shiner, and Stefan Niedzialkowski. He attended The School for Mime Theatre and The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. Dan holds an M.A. in Experimental Performance from New College of California and an M.F.A in Interdisciplinary Art from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

2 day workshop : 10 hours of study

Saturday and Sunday 12-6 pm

Cost: $250
Limit 12 students