Clown Around with Physical Comedian Aitor Basauri This Weekend

The acclaimed actor will host a comedy master class April 9–13, with a public showcase on Friday, April 14.
Photos: Courtesy of The ARTS at Marks Garage


Aitor BasauriAitor Basauri is a clown, but not the kind you’re thinking.


Forget Bozo (or, god forbid, Pennywise). Think more along the lines of Buster Keaton and you’ll get an idea of type of clown Basauri is—one who employs physical comedy and slapstick to make audiences laugh. He co-founded England’s Spymonkey theater company, worked with Cirque du Soleil and teaches clown classes all over Europe and the U.S. Now he’s coming to Honolulu to show you how it’s done.


Starting this Sunday, April 9, Basauri will teach a five-day master class on physical comedy at The ARTS at Marks Garage. At the end of the week, there will be a final performance open to the public, featuring students who completed at least 15 of the 23 workshop hours.


Suzen Murakoshi, a Hawai‘i-born writer and performer who spent the past 20 years living and working in New York and on the Mainland, returned home recently to build a community of theater professionals in the Islands. “There’s no professional theater company in Hawai‘i, but we can create the talent to be at that level,” she says, so she partnered with Mark Branner from UH Mānoa’s Department of Theatre and Dance to produce this workshop. Basauri will work with students one on one, teaching them how to really listen, respond and interact with each other and the audience, as well as play games to develop certain comedic acting skills.


Clown group


“We want it to be Hawai‘i-centric,” Murakoshi says, by using local culture and pidgin to make audiences identify, even cope, with what’s going on in the world around us. The workshops aim to get everyone “to see the humor in that ridiculousness.”


Anyone interested in signing up for the master class, or just dropping in for one or two sessions, can do so here. To see the final scenes produced by students, come by the showcase on Friday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m.


Master Clown Intensive Workshop, April 9–13, $500 all five days, $150 Sunday only, $100 drop-in; performance on April 14, 7:30 p.m., $10, The ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nu‘uanu Ave.,