No Kidding!: Clown as Protagonist in Twentieth-century Theatre
No Kidding! Clown as Protagonist in Twentieth-Century Theater examines the way clown was transformed into a serious character in twentieth-century theater. Modernist theater practitioners recognized that clown's approach to performance is profoundly different from other modes of theatrical representation. The paradox of clown, a traditionally marginal, comic character thrust into center stage as the focus of the agon, provided a stimulating new way to renovate tragedy. Experiments with clown by Jean Cocteau, Vsevolod Meyerhold, Bertolt Brecht, Samuel Beckett, Giorgio Strehler, Dario Fo, and Roberto Benigni are examined as a means of exploring how and why clown became, in contemporary theater and film, a character from whom audiences expect philosophizing, angst, or political criticism as much as physical comedy and fractured language.
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Act Without Words actor aesthetic Arlecchino artists audience audience's Auguste Beckett Bertolt Brecht Bill Irwin Biomechanics Blok Chaplin circus clown characters clown dichotomy clown logic clown technique Cocteau Columbine Columbine's Scarf comedy comic commedia dell'arte contemporary Copeau Cordelia create critics dance Dario Fo death Decroux developed Didi and Gogo director dramatic elephant Endgame Epic Theater Estragon Fairground Booth film Fo's Fool Fratellini Brothers Galy Gay Galy Gay's Giorgio Strehler giullare grotesque Harlequin Hoyle Ibid Irwin Italian Kapellmeister lazzo of suicide Lear Lear's Mann ist Mann Margueritte Meyerhold mime's mimetic conventions mimetic space minstrel minstrel show Mistero Buffo modern modernist off-stage pantomime performance Piccolo Teatro Pierrot Pierrot assassin Pisoni political popular culture Pozzo production protagonist puppet R. G. Davis role Samuel Beckett satire soldiers stage story Strehler style theatrical tradition tragedy tragic trans transformation umorismo Valentin Vladimir Waiting for Godot White Clown York