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Slapstick comedy is the primary mode of performance for clowns, and in "Serious Play, "drama scholar Louise Peacock explores the evolution over the past fifty years of this unique brand of physical comedy. Though an analysis of clowning in a range of settings--theaters, circuses, hospitals, refugee camps, and churches--Peacock offers a framework for the evaluation of clowning, and she examines the therapeutic potential of the comedic performance. This is the first book to consider clowning venues and styles in light of play theory, including comparisons of traditional clown comedy and contemporary circuses like Cirque du Soleil. A distinctive study, "Serious Play" also provides authoritative definitions of clowns and clown performance styles that establishes a critical vocabulary for clowning performance.
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