Thursday, September 9, 2010

Clown Fest Interview - Heather Marie Annis of Morro and Jasp do Puberty

By Byrne Harrison
Photo by Alex Nirta

Name: Heather Marie Annis
Show: Morro and Jasp do Puberty
Relationship to show: Co-Creator, Performer (Morro)

Tell me a little bit about your show.

Morro and Jasp do Puberty is about two clown sisters going through... you guessed it... puberty. Morro just got her period and can’t figure out what to do with menstruation, and why anyone should ever have to experience such a horrible thing. Jasp, on the other hand, can’t wait for her period and waits by the phone for the love of her life to invite her to the dance. A tale of laughter, longing, tears and tampons.

What inspired you to create it?

This show is actually an extended version of our own experiences, going through that cherished time of life. As clowns, we feel like we can explore and celebrate anything, so why not this amazing/awkward event.

What is your clowning background?

The three members of our company met in theatre school together and decided we wanted to do some clown work. We hired Peter Jarvis (also known as Silver Elvis in the international clown and busker circles) to train us in the art of Pochinko clowning. Over a three year period, we did a series of workshops in clown through mask, kinetics, intuition and play, and then began to experiment in creating our own work. We still train with Pete as well as other teachers (including Francine Cote who we will be working with this fall.)

What would you tell someone who is afraid of clowns to get them to come to your show?

We have actually rescued a number of people from their fear of clowns. Our clowns do not wear a lot of make-up, they have a full emotional range (so there is no creepy, always happy component) and they could potentially be as afraid of you as you are of them... kinda like spiders.

What is next for you after the New York Clown Theatre Festival?

Next up Morro and Jasp will be scaling a mountain at the LabCab Festival (Factory Theatre, Toronto) and are then off to Montreal at the end of October to perform their show Morro and Jasp Gone Wild at Theatre Ste Catherine.

UNIT Productions
Toronto, Canada

NY Clown Theatre Festival
The Brick Theatre
575 Metropolitan Ave.

Saturday, September 4th @ 7pm
Sunday, September 5th @ 7pm
Thursday, September 9th @ 8:30pm
Friday, September 10th @ 9pm
Sunday, September 12th @ 9pm

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