International workshop and continuing higher education


lead by
VLADIMIR OLSHANSKY from Cirque du Soleil


6 to 26 August _ 2017

In these 21 days of intensive laboratory and residential, students will learn and develop the principles and methods of the techniques of the clown-actor form, discover the character of the clown and create their own personal repertoire.

Participants must send their applications  enclosing a curriculum vitae and two photos. 

The art of clowning is based on a fundamental factor, the clown-actor.
A figure that is eccentric, often grotesque, ranging from the clown in pantomime to the theater of words, seamlessly blending different techniques and styles.
Our workshop aims to bring the actors into this fascinating discipline, to discover and understand through an original methodology, the high technical depth and the resources of their talent for comedy.
The course is divided into three weeks and will end with the presentation of works that emerged during the open class, a clown show.
People often ask me: what it’s the art of clowning and how you can deepen it?
The clown allows us to stimulate our creativity, to “find” unusual dramatic solutions, to expand our repertoire and enrich it with new ideas and original materials. My master class is a unique opportunity to enjoy and understand deeply this ancient art, which is surprising and dynamic.

In the late seventies, when I won a prize in Moscow for the Performing Arts, my dream was to establish a Clown Theatre. I graduated from the Moscow Circus School. My ideas about clowns are born from the Masters of the Silent Movies: Charlie Chaplin, Max Linder and Buster Keaton, in addition to the legendary Russian director Meyerhold Vakhtangov.
While studying circus arts I was able to meet the extraordinary Russian clown Leonid Engibarov, by whose talent I was completely seduced. He was the first clown to combine the art of circus and theater. I came then to St. Petersburg with the idea of a Theatre Clown, a clown-like character actor. Along with a well-known and very gifted clown, Slava Polunin, I founded the group Clown “Lizidei”. In the meantime I put up my first one man show, a clown show with me as a single actor, which became successful in St. Petersburg.
In 1997 I was invited by Slava to play the part of the main “yellow clown” in his “Snow Show” at the Old Vic theater in London. Our relations have never stopped and we continue to collaborate till this day.
At the end of 1990 with my brother, Yury, director and actor, and Catherine Turi-Bicocca, we founded “Emergency Clown”, a non-profit arts and social organization. We have had experience as “hospital-clowns” and launched this new profession in Italy to work in hospitals with children and their families, in different areas, including oncology and AIDS. In recent years I have appealed to my ten-year experience in various hospitals in New York (USA). Now I am the Artistic Director of Emergency Clown.
I started working with Cirque du Soleil in “Joy” in 2000, I have a contract as a “guest-actor.” I worked with them on tour in Australia and New Zealand. After a pause, the collaboration was resumed in 2004 in New York, Philadelphia and Toronto.
The work with Cirque du Soleil has led me to invent a new show as a clown-actor, “Strange Games”, in which I was able to partially put into practice some of my ideas about clowning, poetry and philosophical comedy.
Now I live in Italy and this gives me great pleasure to compete on the stage where the phenomenon of the Italian Commedia dell’Arte has got its start in finding a sense of my roots as a clown.

Vladimir Olshansky

Section A:

  1. The origins of Clown Art and its use in the creative process.
  2. The meaning of “being funny”.
  3. Slapstick and clowns.
  4. Beginning the journey of discovering inner creativity.
    • The Ego
    • The three centers of the human body
    • The five phases of work
  5. What is the importance of conflict and how to make Comedy.
  6. Creating your own clown character. Learn about the significance of the four types of clown characters: White, August, Anti- August, Hobo.
  7. Creating a unique costume and makeup.

Section B:

  1. Creating personal repertoire.
  2. Using physical comedy: body language and emotions.
  3. The source of improvisation and its use: Work on impulse.
  4. The principles of work with an object.
  5. Working solo.
  6. “Offer” (communication with partners)

Vladimir Olshansky
Vladimir has received several awards for its activities including the Raul Wallenberg Humanitarian Award, New York, USA, and the Michelangelo Award, Florence Italy, also received the Award for best show and artist from Entratainment Festival in Moscow, Russia.

Info and Inscriptions

Fraz. Goregge, 4 | 06024 Gubbio (PG)
Tel. 075 9258072 | Cell. 338 9788533
www.vladimirolshansky.com | vladimir@centroteatraleumbro.it