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Toronto Bouffon Intensive with Nathaniel Justiniano Day 5

The appetite of the bouffon is singular: To play with what society has to hide. The bouffon doesn't judge. With a no-holds-barred relationship with the audience, they are a dangerously perceptive fun house mirror of us all. Why? Because it's fun. The bouffon uses mockery, wit, and parody. They dance beautifully and are grotesquely obscene in the same moment. Why practice bouffon? To practice facing life head on. To undermine apathy. To acknowledge the tragedies we share, the shame we hide, and the beauty of acceptance. This is an athletic, intensely physical form of comedic performance that demands the in-the-moment engagement of your intellect and imagination. We welcome performers of all skill levels and interests. Actors with limited experience in physical theater or devising are especially encouraged to participate because this work has a powerful impact on one's freedom and creativity. The poetic dexterity and incisive play that we cultivate in this intensive is immediately applicable to any process involving scripted theater, dance, performance art, activism and beyond. If this resonates with you, we would love for you to join us.


  • Finding your personal bouffon

  • Entering into and creating within a state of ecstatic play

  • Choral, movement-based improvisation

  • Mercurial acting techniques for shape-shifting between characters of heightened text and grace to those of base, groveling goblin prophets

  • Audacious and confrontational status play with the audience

  • Wielding stillness and silence like a scalpel

  • Parodying social maladies and hypocrisies

  • Ramshackle techniques for on-the-fly costume creation