The Clown within the System
A conversation with Sharon Usher
In this interview, organizational consultant, group facilitator,
community-builder, clown and constellator, Sharon Usher talks about
her experience of bringing
together two bodies of work – Improvisational Clown Theatre
Constellations. She shares some of the learning from a collaborative
Judith Hemming in October 2010 called ‘Clowning Constellations
which they ran in a spirit of exploration. Sharon also observes
the way that both
disciplines work with the knowing field and how it influences her
way of working.
Interviewer: Can you say a little
about the traditional role of the clown in a social and organisational
setting for the benefit of our constellations community?
The clown is a dweller on the edge. She has a unique relationship
to ‘the rules’ in a social/organizational setting
and hence it follows, it seems to me, to the formation of conscience
and loyalty. The options for most of us are to go along with or
to break the rules, however the clown has the option to play with
them. And in playing with them they are brought to light in an
accepting way that challenges at the same time and so may also
undermine some of their ‘subconscious stickiness’
(my term :O).
We explore extensively in our work what it means to transgress
i.e. to surface and play with the obvious and the less obvious
rules, habits and values of a system. As a visual cue that serves
as a metaphor here, we use a rope in our work to delineate the
boundary between the stage and the audience. The clown can play
with that boundary, approaching it, seeing how we in the audience
react, putting a toe over, looking at us again, even leaping over
it (then leaping back and apologizing to an extraordinary degree).
However it is only pleasurable to transgress in this way, for
the clown and the audience, if we all know that the clown knows
that they are transgressing a boundary, and they play and replay
that fact. For some reason everyone finds that a real pleasure!
Email me this article
To receive this article (or interview), simply fill in the form below
with your email and click submit. The interview will be sent to you
We send out updates and news of our courses about twice a year.
If you do not wish to receive this simply reply with the words unsubscribe
in the subject heading.
We do not share our mailing with anyone.