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JUNIATA THEATRE STUDENTS WILL CLOWN AROUND IN CLASS

(Posted March 19, 2001)

Every so often, a college student may think the professor teaching a class is a real clown, but from March 19 through March 22 that will definitely be the case for theatre students at Juniata College.

Don Rieder, co-founder of the clown theater troupe Klauniada (pronounced clown-ee-ah-da) will give a series of workshops throughout the week, based on European theater clowning to Juniata theatre classes taught by Andrew Belser, assistant professor of theatre at Juniata. He also will give a public workshop Wednesday, March 21 at 9 p.m. in the Ellis College Center ballroom.

"Don's work is not in the circus tradition," Belser explains. "These workshops will focus more on movement, mime and theater."

Rieder and Valerie Dean co-founded Klauniada in Montreal, Quebec in 1980. Klauniada is the Czech term for "clown play," and all of their performances are structured as small plays rather than the slapstick or sight gags associated with circus clowning.

Rieder writes most of the troupe's plays and the two performers have staged productions across Canada and the United States.

Rieder has toured throughout Europe and taught at international mime and theater festivals in France, Belgium Germany and the Czech Republic. He studied at the Ecole LeCoq in Paris, France and at Circus Alfred in Prague, the Czech Republic. In Montreal, he has taught at the National Theater School and the Ecole National de Cirque.

Next year, Reider will come to Juniata College as an artist-in-residence for the 2001-2002 academic year.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.