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Theatre Clown

Start date:
Mar 20, 2011
Ability Level:
Beginner, Students

Registration Closed

Lee Delong will be in Doha to teach a theatre class for the Doha Film Institute. This is an acting class like you’ve never seen before.
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Time: 2:00PM – 8:00PM
Location: Katara, Doha Building 16
Language: English

Lee Delong will be in Doha to teach a theatre class for the Doha Film Institute. This is an acting class like you’ve never seen before. Using a unique clown technique, Lee works with students to develop self-confidence and presence. This workshop requires a great deal of physical and emotional commitment, so be ready to work hard!

Clown is the most authentic of all the theatre styles. Since your clown is really you, there are no masks to hide behind and no lies can be told. Clown is the search for what is human. To search for your own clown is to search for the artist’s SELF, the very material that the artist uses as an actor—even though when clowning, there is no acting.

Getting in touch with this naivety, this basic honesty is essential to all actors. Losing the fear of being ridiculous is a great step for an actor to take and his work is enriched by that step forever afterwards. The clown has no past and no future so he exists only in THE MOMENT which is an essential principle for all good acting skills.

Through a series of specific, progressive exercises, the actor is challenged to dig more and more deeply into himself to construct his clown. The exercise work is solo in the beginning, and then as skills are acquired, duos, trios and even more become possible. The workshop is finalized by a public presentation which allows the new clown to put his techniques to use, immediately after having learned them, before a live public. This presentation is in fact a part of the learning process since the clown only exists when he is before the public.

The public laughs at the clown because, in him, they recognize themselves. The clown’s red nose, the tiniest mask in the world, allows a distancing to take place. For the actor, the nose protects against any psychological attachments and for the public, the mask allows the individual to look at oneself with harmless derision.

There are many great actors who are not clowns but there are no great clowns who are not great actors.

Lee Delong

After four years of theatrical studies at West Virginia University, Lee continued to study acting and voice privately in New York City with the late Clyde Vinson. Arriving in Paris in 1985, Lee rounded off her studies with two years at Jacques Lecoq’s l’ Ecole Internationale du Theatre. Lee subsequently returned to study in Lecoq’s Laboratoire des Etudes de Mouvement. Other studies include Clown and Writing for Clown with Alain Gautre, Commedia dell’ Arte with Carlo Bosso, Meetings at Bouffes du Nord with Peter Brook and Jean-Claude Carriere.

Before moving to France, Lee played in over thirty different performances in West Virginia, Illinois and New York City, two of which were her own creations, The Moon and A Woman and Another Woman. In Paris with the Company Espeho, of which she was a founding member, Lee created The Snow Queen, which toured all over France and the former Yugoslavia. Lee worked for five years with the Company ACT, touring eight different performances for young public, and creating for them her fourth creation, Sailing With Kipling. In 1990, Lee returned to Mostar, Bosnia to create the musical performance, Ne, with Darko Rudek, Sanda Hrzic, Sonia Savic and the Mostar Youth Theatre.

For the Company Quarks, of which Lee was artistic director, she created her fifth piece, Frieda’s Flight which played in the Avignon Festival, in Stuttgart and in Atlanta during the Olympic Games (1996). From 1994 – 1996, with the Company Quarks, Lee directed a project at the Academy of Dramatic and Cinematic Arts, Bosnia’s National Academy in Sarajevo, where she taught movement (movement to music, hero and chorus, the great emotions) and theatrical clown. At the end of the war, with the graduating students of the Academy in 1996, Lee created Macblettes, which also played in Atlanta during the Olympic Games at the 7 Stages Theatre, as well as in Sarajevo.

Lee has also conducted workshops in Charleville-Mezieres and Paris, France. With her students in Charleville-Mezieres, Lee created Myrmepolis, using giant puppets, stilt walkers, clowns and a 30-piece salsa band. This performance was played at the closing ceremonies of the Charleville-Mezieres International Puppetry Festival, 1997.

In Sligo, Ireland, Lee conducted clown workshops with youth from difficult neighborhoods, joining them finally with the Sligo Youth Theatre to perform at Sligo’s Factory Theatre. Lee also gave Master Classes in Theatrical Clown at Trinity College, Dublin, during the Fringe Festival where she was performing a new Irish piece, directed by Bob Meyer, The Three-Legged Fool at Andrew’s Lane Theatre.

Also in Ireland, Lee wrote and directed Strange Glove, a comic duo loosely inspired from The Maids, which toured 21 cities in Ireland. Lee has been seen on-stage in Dublin, Cork, Galway, and other Irish cities performing with the Gare St. Lazare Players: Marie and Bruce by Wallace Shawn under the direction of Bob Meyer, and Worstword Ho by Samuel Beckett under the direction of Judy Hegarty-Lovett. Worstward Ho also performed at Bard College in New York State and in Paris at the Irish Cultural Center.

Lee has also worked with the Dorianne Moretus Company, Paris, on two different creations: Butterfly Blues and Bubble Bee Bzz, both of which toured Belgium and France extensively. These performances were a particular type of dance/theatre/creation fusion, invented by Dorianne Moretus.

With the Bathyscaphe Theatre Company, Paris, Lee has performed two of Marius Von Meyenburg’s pieces, Visage de Feu (Fireface) and l’Enfant Froid (Cold Child) which played in French National Theatres as well as at the Theatre de la Bastille, under the direction of Michael Serre.

Lee has recently been giving many of her clown workshops: for students from the various Academies in Bosnia; for professional actors organized by Jasmila Zbanic (Grbavica – winner of the Golden Bear, Berlin 2007); for students organized by Studenski Center and Circusanti in Zagreb; for Terra na Boca in Porto; for Doha Film Institute in Qatar. Lee was also acting coach on Jamila Zbanic’s new movie, On the Path and will coach Jasmila’s new film, Love Island.

For her one-woman show, A Woman Alone, by Dario Fo and Franca Rame, Lee was awarded the ‘best actress’ and the ‘public choice’ awards at MESS International Theatre Festival, 2007, in Sarajevo. A Woman Alone was also awarded the Mravac award in Mostar, Bosnia in 2009 for mastery in acting. This performance was originally created at the Theatre du Chaudron, la Cartoucherie, Paris, in 2003 under the direction of Bob Meyer.

On the silver screen, Lee has been directed by the late Phillip de Broca, by Patrice Lecomte, Christian Vincent, James Ivory, James Cahill, Luc Beraud, Chantal Hebert, Fabrice Cazaneuve, Julie Delpy and Luc Besson. For Besson, Lee played Mrs. Kerman in Arthur and the Invisibles and Arthur and the Revenge of Malthazard, where she had the honor to share the screen with Mia Farrow.

Extracts of Lee’s work can be viewed at; and

On YouTube, see a short film (parts 1 & 2) of Lee’s clown workshops in Sarajevo organized by Deblokada…go to YouTube, Lee Delong, Sarajevo.

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