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Walking the dog Theater


Clown Workshops

Art Work courtesy of Karen E Gersch

Clown Workshops with Laura Geilen & Benedicta Bertau

In collaboration with Nose to Nose of North America

“A clown is a poet in action. He is the story which he enacts.

The clown teaches us to laugh at ourselves. Joy is like a river: it flows ceaselessly. It seems to me that this is the message which the clown is trying to convey to us, that we should participate through the ceaseless flow and movement, that we should not stop to reflect, compare, analyze, possess, but flow on and through, endlessly, like music. This is the gift of surrender, and the clown makes it symbolically."

~ Henry Miller "The smile at the Foot of the Ladder"

WTD is delighted to collaborate with Nose to Nose of North America for its series of clown workshops. Now in the third year of working with Laura Geilen, a facilitator with Nose to Nose of North America and a member of WTD, these workshops have become a favorite part of WTD’s program.

This clown work is not about routines, tricks or gags. No acting or clowning experience is needed. Participants are invited on a safe personal journey that lets our challenges become opportunities, our mistakes celebrations, and our confusions states of enlightenment. The process is authentic, supportive and joyful. In clowning we delight in life's paradoxes.

The workshops begin with games of discovery and connection using our voices, movement, and by exploring the physical space and objects in it. We continue with improvisation structures that hold safety and inspire emotional response, gently inviting into being our own unique clown. Each improvisation is discussed to identify and bring out the positive and important aspects of our clown (and how it lives in us). This is done with care and respect for each individual and within a framework of rules that ensures a secure and protective environment.

Through clowning and connecting to our playful spirit we can develop and sustain, in each other and in ourselves, the heart to be who we truly are - to trust life and ourselves. 

Upcoming Clown Workshops:

Fall 2011

The Courage to Be - An Introduction to Clowning

Three weekend workshops with Laura Geilen At The Spencertown Academy, Route 203 Spencertown, NY

September 24/25 - October 22/23 - November 19/20
Saturdays 9-5 Sundays 10-4
Cost $150.00 per weekend.
Limit 12


Download the Registration Form

Simply Download the Registration Form (pdf), print it, fill it out and mail it in with your deposit.

Encumbered by the expectations of others and of ourselves, how do we find the strength to shake off the limitations and fears that isolate us and prevent us from feeling free? How do we responsibly summon the Courage to BE?

Clowning is a state of playfulness that allows us to experience a child-like, naïve and vulnerable state of being ... and paradoxically we learn, grow, and are strengthened through reconnecting playfully with what makes us most vulnerable. This approach to clowning is not a technique (tricks, gags and routines), but a personal journey towards finding one's unique way of being - by listening and being receptive, essential skills for any creative and imaginative endeavor. It is only in letting go of control that we begin to be surprised by the depth of that which is around us and within us.

This course establishes the foundation for all our work and is an essential first step before going on to more advanced courses. Class size is limited to 12.

Download The Courage to Be...an Introduction to Clowning

Contact Laura Geilen: laura@nosetonose.info or 518-929-5392

Previous 2011 Workshops

February 13, 2011: A DOZEN RED NOSES
                  – A Clown Workshop for Valentine’s Day

A Dozen Red Roses

1pm-6pm at the Awgawamuck Center for the Fine & Practical Arts in Philmont, New York

February 27, 2011: CLOWN & DANCE – A Clown Workshop for lovers of movement and play

Clown & Dance

12noon-5pm at Sadhana Center for Yoga and Meditation in Hudson, New York


Clowning as an Inner Journey

March 19 & 20, 2011
At Spencertown Academy, Spencertown, New York
Saturday: 10am-4pm
Sunday: 10am-2pm

2 Friends: $275.00 Early Bird fee/$295.00 after February 28
One Person: $150.00 Early Bird/$160.00 after February 28
Returning Clown (at least 1 fully paid for Clown Workshop w WTD: $135.00/$145.00 after February 28
Early Bird Price applies until Monday February 28, 2011
Late price applies after Tuesday March 1, 2011

Clown Workshops for all Occasions

Happy to host Nose to Nose of North America, WTD is offering clown workshops for all occasions, abilities, and ages (from 15 years of age), and can adapt to your needs, space, and context.

If you are looking for a new way to connect a group (business, friends, family), ask us. We offer clown workshops for women only (A Nose Of Her Own), and of course “co-ed” versions. Many continue working with us because they find the freedom and playfulness of the work becomes vitalizing for them.

 "I really learned a lot and it will be a touchstone for me as I remember it and the experience and feeling of being on stage and being viewed....and enjoying it!"

-Workshop Participant, A Nose of her Own

"Thanks for inviting us into providing the license to expand our hearts. Thanks for setting the stage. Thanks for the belly laughs and for the succinct and honest critiques. Thanks for pushing us to dress badly, screw up, drop stuff, fumble over things, dance-with-our-eyes-closed and re-discover ourselves. Thanks for your prodding encouragement to turn our inability to solve the world's mysteries and lack of cooperativeness into endless fodder for satire, fun, games and life changing lessons."

 –Workshop Participant, In Clown We Trust 

The Facilitators:

Laura Geilen trained in dance at the Boston Conservatory of Music, has a BA in Human Services from Lesley University, and is a graduate of the Spacial Dynamics™ Institute and the Camphill Social Therapy Training.

Besides being the mother of four she’s a coach with Kaleidoscope Circus Programs www.berkcirque.com and teaches dance, Spacial DynamicsTM, circus arts, therapeutic movement, acro-yoga and clowning to kids, adults, and special needs groups in schools and privately throughout the Berkshire-Taconic area.

Laura is a member of Walking the dog Theater's OFF LEASH! Improv Theater Ensemble, and trains with the North American Nose to Nose Clown Facilitator team. www.nosetonose.info


Benedicta Bertau, director, actor, clown and Producing Artistic Director/Outreach Director for Walking the dog Theater, Benedicta Bertau was born in Germany into a French/German family.

She received her Waldorf teacher Training Certificate from Emerson College, England, in 1996 and her B.A. in Dance/Eurythmy from Helicon College in The Hague, Netherlands, in 2000.

Benedicta Bertau trained in Physical Theater in Chile, the Chekhov Acting Method in Berlin, Germany, and Clowning in the Netherlands with Marjolein Baars of tiny hero productions.

Photograph: Christian McManus
Clown Workshops

Art Work courtesy of Karen E Gersch