Introducing The Online Clown Academy

Aug 26 2020

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: The Online Clown Academy

What's a clown to do when they can't play in a room with other clowns? They play online, of course!

Here is the story of who we are and how we came to be known as The Online Clown Academy. If you want to see the courses we have on offer, scroll down to the bottom of this blog.

The story so far...

It's probably no surprise for you to hear that we have taken the decision to postpone all our live courses until it's safe to return to the room. The nature of our work involves bringing room-fulls of people together to laugh, sing, play, breathe and touch. It’s just too risky with the virus on the rampage.

Clown Workouts

To keep our clown community playing, laughing, learning and connecting throughout lockdown, Holly collaborated with Robyn Hambrook to form Clown Workouts. Together we created and curated a plethora of mini-clown workshop videos (known as Clown Workouts) which we shared in our ever-growing Facebook group. Clowns from all over the world joined in with the exercises and shared their ridiculous discoveries with the group. You can join the group here or find all the clown workouts on the website here.

As the sands shifted and the clowns craving for connection deepened, we began exploring whether clowning translates to Zoom – and it sure does! So we developed a 4-week Zoom Clown course and followed up with an intermediate course. More about what we got up to as Clown Workouts here.

Let's keep going!

We took a break through the summer and came back eager to continue with our unexpected online clowning chapter. It feels really supportive to us to have each other to lean on, whilst we learn a whole new way of working. We're totally inspired by each others enormous skill bank, we're both learning loads from each other! What we can create between us is so much bigger than the sum of it's parts. Plus if one of us has a glitch and gets booted out of Zoom, the other one can take over facilitating (this has happened!).

Why the rebrand, then?

Well, we thought about what we wanted to offer – which is a clear progression through a series of short courses; from playing to devising to creating your own personal or political performance (our brand new third course). This feels bigger than the original Clown Workouts premise – which was just to get people up and playing in their homes during lockdown. The Online Clown Academy feels like it encapsulates our intentions to take people on a learning journey.

Here's Holly and Robyn taking about what they've got on offer this Autumn

The Online Clown Academy Upcoming Courses

We've got a delicious selection of courses coming up this Autumn, starting with a series of 4 brand new themed drop-in play sessions throughout September. In October we'll be running two of our tried and tested 4-week Clown Play courses and a brand new super advanced Personal and Political Clown Performance course. See below for dates and details. We look forwards to playing with you!

Zoom Clown Drop-ins

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: The Online Clown Academy / artwork by Robyn Hambrook

Bring a little laughter, play, learning and connection into your life this September, with our brand new weekly Zoom Clown drop-in sessions. Open to everyone, whatever your experience.

Accept: Thursday 3rd September, with Holly

Rebel: Thursday 10th September, with Robyn

Disrupt: Thursday 17th September, with Robyn

Connect: Thursday 24th September, with Holly

More info and booking here.

Zoom Clown 1 – Clown Play

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: The Online Clown Academy / artwork by Robyn Hambrook

Cultivate more play, connection and spontaneity with this series of 4 weekly 2-hour interactive clowning sessions on Zoom.

This 4-week introductory course is designed for adults at all stages of their clown journeys, from beginners to pros. The Online Clown Academy invites you to drop into the open, curious state of clown and discover playful connection, from your zoom window across the globe.

When? This October we are running 2 versions of this course, one on Thursday afternoons (3-5pm UK time) and one on Thursday evenings (7- 9pm UK time) 

Dates: October 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd 

More info and booking here

Zoom Clown 3 – Personal and Political Clown Performance

Holly Stoppit
Image credit: The Online Clown Academy / artwork by Robyn Hambrook

This advanced course from The Online Clown Academy builds on Zoom Clown 2 - Building Blocks to Clown Devising. Over 6 weekly 2 ½ hour sessions, we'll introduce you to how to create clown performance from your own personal and political material. The course ends in a scratch performance at our upcoming Symposium of Stupidity (working title).

When? This course takes place on Zoom on Wednesday evenings 7-9.30pm UK time. 

Dates: September 30th, October 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th and November 4th. 

The final performance will take place on zoom in the evening on Friday 6th November. 

More info and booking here.

Future Plans 

We'll be offering another intermediate Zoom Clown 2 – Building Blocks to Clown Devising in November / December. Dates to come.

Top secret: We're busy beavering away, setting up an Applied Clowning Conference for November 6-8. Save the date, more info to come!

Holly Stoppit menu