Beirut's International Institute for Very Very Serious Studies offers free introductory classes

Institute will teach participatory art, clowning, mask work, bouffon technique, puppetry, physical theatre, and storytelling

The International Institute for Very Very Serious Studies, aka the IIVVSS, is a performance training programme in Beirut, Lebanon, created to develop the talents of experienced artists and send them out to use their skills to engage with communities.

The school's first year will run from September 2019 through to April 2020, and to celebrate the Institute's opening will be free of charge for accepted students.

Successfully selected artists will be put through a seven-month programme with two parts: a crash course in techniques such as participatory art, clowning, mask work, bouffon technique, puppetry, physical theatre, and storytelling. The classes will be presented by professional teachers from Italy, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, and Lebanon. The classroom sessions will be followed by a field project using the acquired skills to create a street performance in a community in Lebanon.

Applications are due by July 152019 and promising candidates will be selected for a follow-up audition. Applicants should meet the following criteria: they must be in Lebanon from September 2019 to April 2020. They should speak Arabic and English and have a background in theatre, the arts, and artivism.

Applicants must also be able to commit to an intensive programme of 4 hours daily for 4 months, followed by 2 sessions per week for 3 months. Finally, successful candidates should be excited to pursue very serious studies after carefully reviewing the courses of the faculty.

Candidates should also be available for a two-day audition in Beirut in August. Full application requirements and an online application form can be accessed at

The IIVVSS is a project of Clown Me In, a Lebanese/Mexican collaborative theatre group that aims to spread laughter and provide relief to disadvantaged communities and is supported by the Swiss non-profit The Drosos Foundation.