Play big, risk gloriously and fail better. This class was workshopped and designed to be experienced virtually. It's time to bring the playground into your own home where all the props, toys, and costumes you often wish for in the studio are suddenly at your disposal. Participants must explain to housemates ahead of time that they will be noisy, move throughout the house and be free of inhibitions. It’s recess for grownups! A chance to play, get moving, let loose, be silly and make genuine connections with other fabulous fools. Common side effects include (but are not limited to) feeling more alive, awake, joyful, connected, playful, confident, hopeful, present and creative.
“Clown class with Shannan has by far been the most fun I’ve had in 2020 and certainly the most fun I’ve had with a toaster (in 2020, that is). Shannan is incisive and hilarious, probing and expansive. She’ll needle your clown until you land fully into the achingly tender depths of your truth. Be prepared to cackle and cry, boo and cheer, waddle and skip. You’ll stretch your body, stretch your clown, and stretch your joy. Shannan's class is a necessary antidote to quarantine: we are joyfully alone. Together.”
- Anna Slate, singer, actor, performance artist, NY
“This class taught me how to use zoom creatively as a tool for performance rather than a limitation. Playing the games and creating together helped me rediscover a long-forgotten excitement and joy as if I was a kid again. I recommend this class to anyone who wants to explore their idiot side and fall in love with their inner fool.”
- Daria Sobelman, Artist, Cirque du Soleil, NV
“Shannan has found ways to curate intimacy and play within the boundaries of zoom by being truthful in the moment. Giving new life to classic exercises, a new problem arises around every corner. A problem, just what a clown needs. This workshop invites you to challenge the limits of zoom, find all new ways to connect and never stop playing!”
- Mikey Ross, Artist, Cirque du Soleil, NV
"Able to recognize everyone’s clown and to coax forth those clowns, gently and lovingly yet determinedly, Shannan is a shaman of silliness. Playing with Shannan is like eating magic mushrooms; your mind will be altered and your heart expanded. After only four evenings of ridiculousness, I miss my fellow clowns, and that’s some serious magic to have conjured when you consider that we shared our time together via Zoom. How does a teacher hold such a safe, nurturing, and challenging space? And how does she do so remotely? There’s nothing “remote” about Shannan, and you will carry with you the joy and wisdom she offers. Please take her workshop and make the world a better place!"
– John Cross, middle school teacher, medical clown, CA
“What I thought was just a cute name for a zoom class actually cut to the truth of an experience that lives at the top of my pandemic gratitude list. It’s sweaty, full-body, whole-soul play. The clowns I met there were instantly and are forever my friends. But they will not defeat me at Three Strikes*!" (*for a third time)
- Tiffany Elle, actress and future playground games champion, CA
"Virtual Playground with Shannan will get you out of your head and into a space of fun, energy and creativity. Without fail each class lifted my spirits and left me excited about acting, clown, and being alive. Shannan creates an exceptionally supportive environment to take bold risks, fail fabulously, and grow as an artist. She is an unusually kind and generous instructor and I highly recommend this class!”
- Steven Gordon, actor and musician, CA
"Working with Shannan is a double MasterClass. She is an incredible clown, inspiring authentic joy, fun, and play! But she is also an incredible facilitator, and continues to teach, inspire, and find the clown even in moments of instruction. You learn while participating (and believe me, these are active classes!), but also through osmosis, interacting with her as she leads the room. I cannot recommend her highly enough."
- Daniel Lendzian, Lecturer, Fredonia State University, NY
"Shannan’s Virtual Playground brought out more of my inner child and confidence than I’ve ever felt before. Playing with Shannan and others in the class was the most fun and creativity-inspiring experience I’ve had in a long time. She made (and continues to make) my life a better place. If you are thinking about taking this class, stop thinking about it and do it!"
- Gilbert, Storyteller, OK
"Shannan's classes have been a bright spark during some dreary days. She has the ability to be positive with all of her students, to encourage while she gently but surely guides you to new performing experiences, and to create a place where laughter comes easily and honestly. I'm signed up for a second class with her, and I'm sure it won't be my last!"
- Yvette Menard: clown, performer, storyteller, Canada
"Shannan is an amazing clown, person and clown teacher! She magically fosters complicity over the wifi-waves, quickly creating a sense of ensemble amongst students. Shannan pulls a bunch of fun, wacky, clowny games out of her bag that make her class super-fun, fresh and exciting! I loved that she offers an equal measure of performance experience with her unique pedagogy. She offers excellent feedback and gives everyone equal time and chance to put the feedback to practice. Before class ended, I signed up for another class with Shannan. I plan to study with Shannan as often as humanly possible because I know that I will learn something new everyday and continue to develop my clown craft."
- Dana Savo clown, storyteller, writer, Canada
"A class with Shannan Calcutt is like a visit to the spa - you'll leave refreshed! She's fun and she knows how to make everyone feel good while still pushing more comedy and truth out of you. You'll get out of your head and into your heart/inner child in this class! Also, I was very impressed with the virtual adaptation!!"
- Alyssa Kostello, idea machine, creator, Canada
"Shannan's Virtual Playground was some of the most fun I've ever had on Zoom. She leans into the platform and pushes your clown to be more playful and creates an incredible space to have a blast. If you are feeling stuck or trapped, taking this workshop will show you that you can have fun ANYWHERE. You'll also discover all the wonderful things you have in your home."
- Nicholas Polk, clown, humor writer, IL
"Shannan did it again! I’ve taken her in-person class, Celebrate Your Ridiculousness, and it was amazing! I didn’t know how she was going to make this work in a virtual world but of course she knocked it out of the park! Somehow, Shannan created an incredibly high level of intimacy even though we were all in our own homes in different parts of the country and world. It was so lovely to connect with others, laugh, pretend, play and be ridiculous in a safe space. Zoom bonus: I got to learn how to be humorous using camera techniques I would never have learned in the in person class. I didn’t want the class to end and miss my Thursdays with such a great group of idiots!"
- Kristin Cooper, housing and homeless advocate, clown aspirant, NV
"Virtual Playground could also be called "Getting Out of Your Shell with Shannan." Shannan served as an excellent playground guide and successfully coached myself and a group of fantastic fools into being our most silliest! As someone new to the world of performance, I expected to be completely intimidated by Virtual Playground but instead I found the guidance and support of THE ENTIRE CLASS incredibly uplifting and encouraging to be my best self, and it turns out sometimes my best self is a clown! Who knew?!?!"
- Holly VanDreumel, Accounting Professional & Muppet
"Shannan’s Virtual Playground was exactly what I needed in my life right now. Shannan’s enthusiasm, encouragement, and experience helped me break out of my shell and imagine the world in strange & fantastic ways. If you’re in any way feeling stuck in life - I definitely recommend this class as a necessary prescription in play!"
- Kelsy O’Morrow, performance artist, musician, LA
"Virtual Playground is soooo good for the soul! The sky's the limit as to what Shannan helps us discover. She instantly creates a trusting comfortable environment, a genuine spirit of camaraderie, and delicious silliness: all geared toward awakening the fool that lives in each of us. Inspiration thrives in her classes whether we're bouncing around excitedly or giddily watching others in awe. Shannan and my "fool mates" were a much-needed infusion of adrenaline, insight, and magical delight. Playtime isn't just for kids! It's giggles & barrel laughs, heart touching truths, eye-popping "oh là làs" and unpredictable "aha" risk it all moments in the "Virtual Playground." And you get to merrily learn without initially realizing you're actually learning. LOVED IT!!! Do yourself a favour and take this class with the Queen of Shenanigans. Your inner fool will be forever grateful."
- Stéphanie Broschart, Voice Over Performer/Director, Court Jester (in a past life!), Lover of Unapologetic Snort-Laughs, Canada
"Shipwrecked, Shakespeared, Scavenger, Song Singer, and a whole lot of Silliness on Saturdays. I got to step out of my box into the Virtual Playground of Shannan Calcutt's world of the possible. For 4 days I got a chance to explore my possibility to return to the stage. Here the Art of Clown became more about the fun of finding me. Thanks to this experience I learned to let go again. Be the young boy who wanted nothing more than to perform. I'm back and ready to play!"
- RuBen Permel, Artist, Designer, Playwright and now my return to Actor, NV
“The title of Virtual Playground could not be more perfect, because that’s exactly what it is! Taught by Queen of Shenanigans herself Shannan Calcutt, you’ll be given the tools to turn your home into a place of play where you’ll get out of your head and create from your heart! Virtual Playground was exactly what I needed to lift my spirits and bring me back to my inner fool during such challenging and serious pandemic times.”
- Mandi Maxwell, Screenwriter, Director, Multidisciplinary Artist, Instructor, Overachiever, Fool, Canada