Serious Play: Modern Clown Performance

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Intellect Books, 2009 - Performing Arts - 183 pages
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Slapstick comedy is the primary mode of performance for clowns, and in Serious Play, drama scholar Louise Peacock explores the evolution  over the past fifty years of this unique brand of physical comedy. Though an analysis of clowning in a range of settings—theaters, circuses, hospitals, refugee camps, and churches—Peacock offers a framework for the evaluation of clowning, and she examines the therapeutic potential of the comedic performance. This is the first book to consider clowning venues and styles in light of play theory, including comparisons of traditional clown comedy and contemporary circuses like Cirque du Soleil. A distinctive study, Serious Play also provides authoritative definitions of clowns and clown performance styles that establishes a critical vocabulary for clowning performance.

 

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Contents

Acknowledgements
7
Serious and Frivolous
9
Chapter 1 Clowns and Clown Play
19
Frame and Content
41
Chapter 3 Clowns on Stage
65
Actors who Clown
87
Clowns in Religion and Politics
107
Chapter 6 Clown Healers
127
The Centrality of Play in Clowning
153
Clown Index
161
References
169
Index
177
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Louise Peacock is a lecturer in drama at the University of Hull.

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