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You can listen to this update from Director Scott Moore by clicking the icon below.

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Love them or hate them, most people have an emotional memory of clowns. Clowns are like the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, except they’re more colorful …. and more real.
Clowns are important to the story of Becoming Fools for several reasons. The most obvious reason is the fact that Italo was a clown – and not just a clown, but a professional clown. I didn’t understand it when I first heard his story.
“He’s a professional what? A clown? How is that possible? Does he work at a circus?”
I didn’t understand. But I get it now. Clowns are a big deal in Latin America. They’re much more than an icon of childhood. They are a part of the culture. And it isn’t just because Latin Americans love to celebrate.
Clowns represent both comedy and tragedy. Their colorful costumes and exaggerated expressions enable them to add whimsical overtones to some otherwise very tragic stories. I didn’t dial into this when I was a kid. I only saw the laughter. But now it makes sense. Think about it. Clowns are funny because they CAN’T do things or they DON’T HAVE things. Clowns are funny BECAUSE THEY FAIL. If it weren’t for the makeup and outrageous costumes, we’d all be crying for them.
When I think of Guatemala’s tragic history, clowns make perfect sense. Guatemalans have been oppressed for centuries by Spaniard conquerers, Cold War dictators and now drug cartels and gang warfare. In 2011, poverty in Guatemala increased to 55 percent. This IS tragic in a grand scale. But much like the clowns, Guatemala’s tragedy is masked by its colorful costume – the flowers … on the trees … on the mountain … under the blue sky and golden sun. Sometimes it is hard to believe that in the midst of such beautiful color, people are hungry.
And if Guatemala has had a tragic story, then these children who live on the street have had the most tragic story of all. For one reason or another, they fled the security of home because it was not secure. They fled the comfort of home because it was not comfortable. They fled the peace of home because there was no peace. And now, they huddle together on the streets in a makeshift family that sadly resembles the disfunction they tried so hard to run away from.
We originally wanted to include the clown theme in this story because Italo was a clown. He began to teach kids living on the street to clown so they could have a job. But now I realize that Italo was teaching these kids to clown for a deeper reason. Clowning is a performance art. It’s experiential. It’s theatre. And … it’s medicinal. Clowning can help these kids process their tragic stories and better understand their wounds. Clowning can also empower these kids to begin to communicate their stories non-verbally – in a way that crosses culture and language – so that we the audience can begin to understand their needs and respond. Both the clown and the audience have the opportunity to heal.
Clowning captivates a community in the gap between tragedy and comedy. We have an opportunity to look beyond the colorful costumes and connect to people in need. Call me a fool, but I think this is what we are supposed to do.
Will you join us?

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