The Lebanon-based “Clown Me In” association believes that comic relief is the optimal way to heal communities, as it brings people from different backgrounds together and strengthens their solidarity with each other.
Based on this principle, the association is hosting a theatrical performance titled “Send Me Where They Need Love” on April 1 at the “Dawar Al Shams” playhouse in the capital’s Badaro neighborhood.
The proceeds from the show will go to the association itself, so it can organize similar free shows on the streets and roads across Lebanon.
“Send Me Where They Need Love” is the first show of its kind to be staged in the country.
The association, which consists of a team of specialized artists, has adopted clowning as a way to relieve people’s worries.
In addition to touring in Abidjan, Barcelona, Tunis, and other cities, Clown Me In shows have been performed in different Lebanese regions.
Samer Sarkis, an artistic director at the association, revealed that the April 1 show is the society’s first paid performance.
“In light of current individual initiatives and the absence of the state, we aimed to encourage Lebanese people to come together and spread joy by sharing smiles,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“The project is a collective one in all its human and creative dimensions, and we hope that Lebanese people from all walks of life will interact with us.”
“With them, we can complete our mission and tour around approximately 15 Lebanese regions that are deprived of the entire art scene,” added Sarkis.
The show, which lasts for about an hour, includes scenes from daily life and allows the audience to enjoy sketches performed by a team of clowns.
Sarkis noted that most of the play’s scenes are silent and rely on all sorts of comedy.
The show tackles topics like bullying, forgetfulness, and social relationships.
“Clowns, known for making mistakes and then overcoming them in his comedic style, will encourage the audience to shift their perspective and look at matters differently,” explained Sarkis.
He revealed that the clowns and audience will also engage with each other in a lively fashion.
“There will be no fourth wall separating the audience from the clowns in this show. Both parties will be able to switch places several times,” added Sarkis.
If the show succeeds in attracting enough people, its organizers are considering holding it again to expand their tours to more than 15 towns and villages in Lebanon and hold over 30 street shows.
Clown Me In has been spreading laughter, fighting inequality and healing through the power of art, both in Lebanon and abroad, since 2008.
The association began with Sabine Choucair. Today, more than 50 clowns have been trained to participate in the annual tours and projects. Since then, Choucair has worked around the world, in Mexican, Palestinian, Indian, Brazilian, Moroccan, Jordanian, Syrian, Greek, and Swedish communities.