The Prague Summer Theatre School


Performing Nonverbal Comedy Theatre

The objective of the course is for students to find their own way of expressing themselves through nonverbal and comedy theatre. The course will be an intensive exploration of pantomime and clown. The goal is to finish with a solo performance that can be performed on the street and in theatres of all sizes throughout every nation and for all audiences.

Before we begin to use language on stage, we will undertake intensive body training. Your body language has to be present on the stage. This intensive training will include various warm-up techniques; an analysis of our body and the way we move; the ABC’s of pantomime called Mime Corporel (by Etienne Decroux); and the awakening of your fantasies without any restrictions because anything is possible in pantomime! The next step will be to find your personal clown. Take a wonderful journey back to your childhood and thoroughly explore your personality, which will be the purest YOU you have ever experienced. The clown is a child and an animal in one person. She does not take the time to think about the consequences of her actions. A clown is not just an actor who is dressed in funny colorful costume, wearing a red nose. No, the clown is much more than that – he can appear in many different costumes, he can be a banker, a teacher, a politician or whatever character you choose. The clown is who she is, and along with getting laughter from the audience she can also evoke all emotions. The dreamer Pierrot  – the white clown - tells us stories about his broken heart, his unfulfilled dreams, his desires, and like Augustine (the silly clown) he is telling us his view on people’s social status and behavior. In this workshop, you will be the author, the dramatist, the director, light designer, musician, costume maker and actor, all in one person.


June 3rd to June 21st 2013. Three teaching hours every weekday afternoon. Students in this course may also enroll in take Enlivening the Performer.


Nina Hlava, MFA, Ph.D studied at HAMU (DAMU’s sister school) at the pantomime department under the leadership of prof. Boris Hybner. She specializes in the theatre of Vaudeville, pantomime, clownery, grotesque and tap dance. Nina has been a member of the theatre group “Bühne Heidenreichstein” since she was 5 years old. She studied under the Bühnenfachverband Austria, at the Scuola Teatro Dimitri (Switzerland), Atellier de Belleville (France) and with Tap dancer Katherine Kramer in Miami (USA). Her goal is to keep pantomime and comedy theatre alive and to pass on the art of solo performance in the tradition of her teachers, who influenced her the most: Clown and mime Boris Hybner , tap dancer Petr Zamostny and Katherine Kramer, mime Martin Sochor and clown Stevo Capko.  Nina is also teaching the nonverbal comedy component of Enlivening the Performer.