Current Research: Development of a creative pedagogy through mask and clown

Development of a creative pedagogy through mask and clown and the possibilities that these methods could present in the education of practitioners across other performance related disciplines.

In order to undertake this inquiry, the research is focused on my personal experience as a mask and clown performer. Documenting my practice through an active interrogation, using an auto-ethnographic approach relating to practice and creative process within the context of devising and teaching. I further reflect on my own solo work and collaborative work through workshops, experiments and performances.

During the process of engaging with this research a number of new findings and methods have emerged. This new knowledge base has been developed and established upon the existing concepts of play, complicitè, embodiment, and kinetic empathy. These emergent methods are subsequently being compiled to create a robust framework for a new creative pedagogy.

The new methodology, which informs this research, follows a structured learning program through mask and clowning principles. Incorporating the Neutral Mask, the Equivocal Mask, the Four Temperament Masks and Character Masks, which are then interspersed with the application of a Red Nose.

However, the focus of this pedagogy is not on teaching mask and clown as disciplines, but on how to incorporate elements of mask and clown into a student’s existing knowledge base. The pedagogy has being developed to teach, support and mentor students by providing them with the necessary skills to create audience engaged performances, which are rooted in play, complicité and empathy.


Simon Thompson 20 Simon Thompson 26 Simon Thompson 10

photography by Maurice Gunning