Home / Courses / COURSE D – 2017: The Power of Laughter: Comic text into performance

COURSE D – 2017: The Power of Laughter: Comic text into performance

Tutor: Eric Weitz


Dramatic texts that contain laughter-inducing potential can vary widely in tone, from the lightness of classic farce to the darkness of some contemporary stage worlds. In fact, something of the comic spirit tends to find its way into most dramatic pieces, here in the twenty-first century, to greater and lesser degrees and to wide-ranging purpose for escapist or satiric effect. There is often room to tune the humour of a particular play to a range of frequencies, depending upon the production’s vision.

The mechanics of comic performance, however, are largely similar whatever kind of world they inhabit, and certain basic approaches can be applied whether one is exploring Lady Gregory or Enda Walsh. In this way, the course should prove useful by instilling an approach to comedy-related rehearsing and performing that will serve you well in future productions.

This course will devote itself to a week-long exploration of the comic sensibility as practised in games and exercises and then applied to the reading, rehearsing and performing of dramatic texts. Although the plays to be explored can be further adjusted according to interest on the course, a preliminary range of potential texts will include works by Lady Gregory, Samuel Beckett, Victoria Wood, Martin McDonagh, Elaine Murphy and Enda Walsh.

As the approach will be based in a spirit of full-bodied play, it is expected that substantial amounts of fun will be had by all – this does presume, however, that participants are prepared to enter into the course with some degree of abandon. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, as long as you are willing to throw yourself into the work/play at hand.

It doesn’t matter how experienced you are,
as long as you are willing to throw yourself into the work/play at hand.

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