Louise Peacock

Associate Professor of Theatre Practice in Comedic Acting

Head of Critical Studies

Head of Comedy


Louise Peacock is an associate professor of theatre practice, specializing in comedic acting, at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Peacock has taught clown alongside leading Brazilian clown, Angela De Castro, and she is a collaborator and adviser to Contemporary Clown Projects in London, England. Peacock is an experienced facilitator and deviser of clown theatre performance. Her other great love is teaching commedia dell’arte and creating original pieces of commedia dell’arte performance. She is also an experienced director of comic theatre with recent productions including Goldoni’s A Servant of Two Masters and Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. Peacock also enjoys teaching courses which embrace all elements of comic performance from contemporary stage plays to silent film comedy.

She is an internationally known researcher in the closely related areas of clown and commedia dell’arte. Her first book, Serious Play: Modern Clown Performance, is used for teaching in universities across the United States and in the UK. It is also widely cited in a range of books, chapters and articles on clowning. Her second book, Slapstick and Comic Performance, is a ground-breaking study of the ways in which comic pain and comic violence entertain us. In addition, Peacock has published a range of chapters and articles focusing on clown theatre, commedia dell’arte and stand-up comedy. She is currently co-editing and contributing to a new collection entitled Popular Performance: An Introduction, which is due for publication in 2016. This will be followed by a special edition of the journal Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, which will explore the ways in which practitioners of popular performance are trained. She is an Associate Researcher of the Centre for Comedy Studies Research based at Brunel University in London and she has given papers at conferences across Europe and in the USA and Canada.