“Taking risks is an essential part of learning and this implies the right to fail. Clowns enable us to embrace failing as part of learning.”
Viv Harris, theatre director

Universities and Drama Schools

Acting Can Be Fun
Over the years, Angela de Castro has developed her in-depth, serious investigation into the ‘state of clowning’, which she calls ‘The Clown’s Intelligence’. This research has been developed with the support of Nesta and four major universities: RSAMD – Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow, Scotland, UK and Academy of Dramatic Arts, Ernst Busch, Folkwang University, Essen and Bochum Hochschule, Bochum in Germany.

These universities have given the opportunity, time, peer support and space for de Castro to develop a new pedagogy and improve her methodology in training for actors, introducing clowning as an integral and important part of the actor’s work.

Following this, de Castro has worked with the support of Professor Louise Peacock at Hull University to develop her method in Clowning in Tragedy and Serious Theatre.(for more information, see page on training).

This is serious research into the process and effect of the state of clowning on creativity and effectiveness for people in theatre, the arts, business, education and many other walks of life. Angela de Castro’s work as a thinker and researcher into the state of clowning has led to profoundly transformative work within theatre, business and education.

Please see description of the courses on the Training page.

Angela de Castro welcomes residencies in Universities and Drama Schools.

Teacher Training

“I teach because I search, because I question, and because I submit myself to questioning.”
Paulo Freire, educator and philosopher

The Clown’s Competence

Over the last few years we have been experimenting with what clowning can offer teachers in schools. With PAL (the Performing Arts Lab), de Castro ran two pilot Labs in England and Amsterdam. Some of clowning’s core elements – failure and play – are also fundamental elements of teaching and learning. These Labs had extraordinary effects on the primary and secondary school teachers involved. We witnessed transformations in participants – the clowning awakening hidden aspects of all individuals involved.

PAL and CCP received grant funding from Nesta (National Endowment for Science, technology and the Arts) to extend this experimental work to include Headteachers. Between 2001-2002 we ran pilot Labs with Headteachers, school teams and Creative Partnership projects. We know we can reach interested teachers but they often find themselves isolated within their schools, unable to creatively explore what they have learnt. Headteachers are central to school culture, so we need to reach them with the experience. Headteachers themselves are starved of investment in their own professional development. We are very excited by and keen to develop this work, disseminate it widely and create support strategies for teachers back in the classroom.

In recent years A de Castro run ‘The Clown’s Competence’ workshops for the teachers at Academy of Dramatic Arts, Ernst Busch, Berlin and Folkwang University, Essen, Germany.

“Two pilot Labs of Learning in 2001 and 2002 demonstrated the profound benefits that de Castro’s work has for teachers. We witnessed extraordinary transformations in participants – the clowning awakening hidden aspects of all individuals involved. PAL recognises de Castro as an inspirational teacher who can unlock profound insights into teaching and learning. The confidence to go on the learning journey with students, to take risks, make mistakes, and break down the false notion of teacher as the holder of knowledge are core elements of the Labs of Learning philosophy which are embodied in her work. de Castro has the ability to liberate the individual imagination with her out-of-the-ordinary approach to learning.”