ATCHOO! REBEL CLOWN ARMY Environmentalists and social activists meet for street theatre rehearsals Thursdays at 6:30 pm. Free. Ralph Thornton Centre, 765 Queen East. email@example.com. Rating: NNNNN
Why guerrilla clown theatre?
We’re clowns, and a lot of us are concerned about environmental issues. Our society is so conservative, and we need a bit of fun and to push the issues.
Exactly. Usually violence comes from the other side anyway. I think the police have more riots than we do.
What future events have you planned?
We’re doing a March Of The Trees to the airport to liberate the concrete. We’re also going to gas stations dressed in our clown outfits to remind people to think twice about filling up their gas guzzlers. We’ll hit a gas station for about six minutes and then move on to another.
What kind of person does it take to do this?
You need a bit of theatrics. You’re going to be out in public, so we look for people with some concern for the world they live in who can put on a costume and perform. Theatre students are good for this type of work.
What’s your favourite past costume?
Once I dressed as a businessman, in pinstripes, who acted like a little boy flying an airplane around. We like little spoofs like that. Little boys have toy cars and planes in their sandbox, and as they grow up they want the real thing. This is creating our huge environmental footprints. We’re being transformed into something that the earth doesn’t want us to become – high-energy users and polluters.
Is there a famous theatrical protest moment that inspires you?
The firing of teddy bears into the police ranks at the 2001 Quebec City summit. I remember thinking it was a great way of demonstrating and it was really inspiring. But the person who did it got arrested, even though that person was doing nothing wrong.
No balloon animals at these events?
No, but we have stiltwalkers. We’re having polar bears on stilts at the Easter Parade. You never know what’s next.
Do you ever bring out the sad clown face?
Only if there’s a reason, like if we’re sad because the earth has collapsed.
But we’re fairly optimistic about what we’re doing and having fun at it. That’s the bottom line.