Exploring the Intersection of Clown & Melodrama Through Visions of A Crying Girl

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For my MFA thesis at Dell’Arte International, my partner, Cleo DeOrio, and I have set to explore the boundaries and intersections of two distinct stylistic territories: Clown and Melodrama. Through devising an original play entitled Visions of A Crying Girl, we are exploring such questions as “How do we maintain the indelible nature of the Theatrical Clown while telling a Melodramatic story?” Through a process further informed by Viewpoints & Composition, as well as our respective movement specialties in Modern and Butoh Dance, we - over a period of 8 weeks - are currently creating this original performative work, which will premiere at the Dell’Arte MFA thesis festival running May 16 - 26, 2019. As of May 3 - week 7 of our 8 week creative process - we have already discovered extensive overlap between the styles in question and are using the deeply three-dimensional characters and relationships of Melodrama to create circumstances for the clown to be unruly or push back against oppression. In a darker world and with more serious subject matter than your average clown play, we are also discovering a poetic dimension to the theatrical clown, which retains its innate buoyancy, delight, and fondness for the audience, without necessarily being funny. Further findings and deeper conclusions will of course be drawn after the public presentation of the work in May.



theatre, physical theatre, devising, acting, clown, melodrama, dance, dance-theatre, creative practice as research, practice as research, performing arts, creative practice