April 24 to 26, 2018
Grades 3 and 4
Pre-show Information for Teachers
Award-winning actress and clown Edith Tankus has charmed audiences across North America with her comic performances as “Hurricane Gerty.” From a dreamy entrance to gutsy grand finale, Gerty performs ukulele music, off-the-wall puppetry, charismatic crowd control and feats of spontaneous mirth. Served with a dose of European charm, it’s an unforgettable theatrical event.
Questions/ Suggested Discussion Points
Introduce the art form of clowning
What are the places we see clowns?
What do they look like?
What do they do to make you laugh?
What is a clown?
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a clown is a comic character of pantomime theatre and circus, known by his or her distinctive costume, ludicrous antics and buffoonery, whose purpose is to induce hearty laughter. While this is very true, clowning is also about liberating your inner self and your imagination.
The clown always perseveres in whatever they attempt to do regardless of failure or success. They never give up and they even take pleasure in making mistakes.
Theatrical elements to look for in this one-woman show:
Comedy — the use of exaggeration, opposition and surprise in language and action for comic effect.
Mime — the use of physical gestures to create surroundings, respond to situations and express character and emotion.
Movement — different dancing styles or simply movement that is ridiculous, dynamic and purposeful.
Dialogue — conversation with an audience and also with second character Mr. Shallmar.
Puppetry — another person to play with onstage but this one is made of rubber and fabric.
Multiple Character/Quick Change — Gerty goes from a sleepwalker in her nightgown to performer to magician before our very eyes.
Magic — the power of illusion.
For the source of the above information, or to find out more, please see: http://www.prologue.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Tankus-Edith-STUDY-GUIDE-Hurricane-Gerty-2.pdf. For optimal reading, please print the guide 2-sided, flipped on the short edge, and assemble as a booklet.
This presentation is made possible in part by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council’s Ontario Touring program.