Profs don clown mask

By Rory McCarty


Senior Reporter

A lone, remote-controlled miniature VW Beetle scuttles across the floor. Two voices echo from somewhere outside the stage and yet still inside the tiny car. They argue about directions as they make their way to a show. Finally the car stops.

When the miniscule car doors pop open, the performance of “How Many Clowns Can You Fit In A Volkswagen?” has truly begun.

“Clowns” features OU professors Karen Sheridan and Rick Carver, and was performed in Varner Recital Hall several times from Jan. 16-18.

It’s a collection of unrelated pieces where Sheridan and Carver, in clown makeup, act out mostly nonverbal sketches involving dancing, masks and magic. Sketches also included the pair doing such things as trying to assemble a see-saw, juggling with invisible balls, trying to escape from a straight jacket and attempting to sit on a chair.

“It’s a physical comedy show, it’s about relationships … there’s something for everybody,” Sheridan said. “We call it an adult excuse for physical comedy.”

“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to enjoy it, but you could enjoy it if you were a rocket scientist,” she said.

Some scenes, such as one where Sheridan and Carver dance to two disparate types of music one after the other, resulting in humorous awkwardness, are done without words.

They said they have performed “Clowns” over 40 times since 1992.

Carver said that changes to the show were made when he slammed his finger in an Applebees’ door in the days leading up to the performance. Despite his injury, Carver managed to play the piano in a sketch.

Katie Nabors, a senior theatre performance major who appeared as a sidekick in “Clowns” said it was “a wild ride.” The sketches with her in it were newly added.

“It’s theater without words, but it’s hilarious,” she said.

Carver said that although he doesn’t see them quitting performing “Clowns” in the near future, there may come a day when the show will be passed on to younger performers.

“There will be a point where if we continue to do the slapstick, we wouldn’t be able to get up in the next morning,” he said.