Run For Your Life ! . . .

. . . it’s a dance company !











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Dudley Brooks.
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Dudley Brooks (with Ben Barnhart) as astronaut fsfGeorge 'Stumpy' Spelvin in 'A Space Oddity' -- photo by Marty Sohl

The Comic Muse
Physical Comedy, Clowning,
and Comic Improvisation
for Dancers and Actors

taught by Dudley Brooks and Linda Donald
June 20-July 3, 2004
Bearnstow, Maine

Register Here

Linda Donald as Sister Windy in 'Everything You Wanted to Know about Sects'

All programs are open to Resident and Day Participants.
Tuition for Resident Participants: $325
Room and Board for Resident Participants (7 days, 6 nights): $325
Camp use fee (including lunch) for Day Participants is $75.00 per session.
Limited work/study scholarships available
(please send a note of request with your application)

We think that comedy is one of the noblest and most transformative expressions of the human spirit ... well, we think so in the rare moments when we're serious, and are not too busy just laughing!

Working in the studio and outdoors, you'll start with a physical and vocal warmup that not only builds limberness and dexterity, but also sensitivity, expressivity, spontaneity ... and silliness. You'll develop your own physical and vocal clown character(s).  Using classic vaudeville "schtick", clown routines, and prop manipulation, and comic improv techniques such as Sensory Deprivation, Objective and Focus, and Secret Word, you'll improvise short solos, small ensembles, and large group pieces, and then polish them using exaggeration and transformation.  You'll discover sources of material, all the way from dreams and personal history to the messages which the props, environment, and other performers are sending you.  You'll sharpen your physical awareness using the movement analysis theories of Alwin Nikolais.  You'll play with the effective use of music selecting it, going with it, and going against it. In the process, you'll explore a spectrum of comedy from quickly scripted playlets and improvised narrative scenes through non-sequitur sight gags and the unusual genre of abstract comic dancing.

And you will laugh a lot!

The workshop will be valuable to dancers who want to experience techniques that will be new to them, to actors who want to increase their physicality, to choreographers, directors, and playwrights who want to find new sources of inspiration, and to everyone who wants to experience being possessed by the Muse of Comedy, being the vehicle through which she moves, la-di-da, and other such pretentious claptrap that is academese for "it's fun to be funny".

The workshop will be taught at Bearnstow, a summer camp dedicated to the nourishment of the creative arts — theatre, dance, poetry, music, and graphic arts — and to healthy physical activity for children and adults.  Founded in 1946, Bearnstow is located on 65 acres of wooded land on Parker Pond in Mount Vernon, Maine.

To register, visit

For more information, e-mail  You are encouraged to bring a CD or cassette player and several CDs or cassettes of various types of music at least one classical piece, at least one non-classical piece, and at least one "strange" piece (whatever that means to you).  Bring at least one piece you love ... and at least one piece you hate!  We'll also contact you before the workshop to find out more about your background and interests, and to suggest other things to bring.

Dudley Brooks is Artistic Director of Run For Your Life!'s a dance company!, which has presented its hilarious blend of clowning and modern dance in California, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.  He is Associate Choreographer of Peninsula Ballet Theater (San Mateo, CA), and was Artistic Director of Bay Area Youth Opera. He has choreographed for San Francisco City Opera, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and OpenStage Repertory Theater (San Francisco). He has taught Improvisation, Physical Comedy, Clowning, Modern Dance, and Ballet at institutions ranging from the Université de Paris to the San Francisco School of Circus Arts (now The Circus Center), where he taught Stilt Dancing and was a member of the Board of Directors.  He performed with the Nikolais Dance Theater, San Francisco Dance Spectrum, and San Francisco Opera Ballet, and with numerous independent ballet, modern, and post-modern choreographers.  He is also an accomplished composer, and currently performs Balinese music and studies Balinese dance with Gamelan Sekar Jaya.  He has a BA in Mathematics from UC Berkeley.

Linda Donald is Mistress of Mirth and Director/Coordinator of the Floating Art Regatta, variety shows, and workshops, at Artwell Community Arts Center in Torrington, CT.  In New York City she founded, directed, and produced the theater companies Spring Street Feet Company and The Little Italy Pranksters, co-created Art Cart (a portable performance space and art gallery), and was a founding member of Novo Rep. Her one-woman shows and acts in New York City include her incarnations as Sister Windy and as The Poetry Vending Machine. She has taught Improvisational Theater, Acting, Creative Movement, and Script Writing at the Educational Alliance and Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in NYC, Caravan Theater in Cambridge, MA, Tynan Community School in Boston, the Boston Conservatory of Music, Dance, and Drama, and in Gerlesborg, Sweden, where she also organized the Floating Arts Festival. She has over 20 years of acting experience, ranging from NYC street theater and Off-Off Broadway to Lincoln Center and the Theater Festival in Avignon, and film, TV, and radio credits, including works produced on WBGH/Radio, WLVI./TV and PBS, and the Venice Film Festival.  She has an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts