(July 2018) Toronto Bouffon Intensive with Nathaniel Justiniano

(July 2018) Toronto Bouffon Intensive with Nathaniel Justiniano


Naked Empire Bouffon Company is offering their award-winning, week-long Bouffon Intensive, led by Artistic Director, Nathaniel Justiniano. This is a crash course in bouffon performance with the only company in the United States exclusively dedicated to the research and performance of bouffon.

Monday, July 16th - Friday, July 20th: 10am - 3:30pm

sold out
Add To Cart


Register by June 15th: $300 (coupon code IMEARLY)
Register by June 30th: $325 (coupon code IMSTILLEARLY)
Register after June 30th: $350

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


If, with at least one week's notice, you need to cancel your registration for any reason, please note that Naked Empire Bouffon Company will retain $75 of your original purchase as a non-refundable deposit. Cancellations made less than one week before the first day of the intensive will not be refunded.


Nathaniel Justiniano is an actor/creator and teacher, as well as the founder of Naked Empire Bouffon Company. His satirical performances are outrageous comedies derived from today’s tragedies. Throughout 2012 and 2013, he co-created and performed in YOU KILLED HAMLET, a satire about avoiding death which won critical acclaim, the San Francisco Best of the Fringe Award, the Vancouver/Plank Magazine Talk of the Fringe Award, a nomination for Vancouver's Georgia Straight Critic's Pick Award, and was an Official Selection of the Toronto Festival of Clowns. In 2016, he directed and co-created YOU FUCKING EARNED IT, a bouffon duet that shines an unflattering light on economic imperialism, which won 2017's Edmonton Fringe Artist's Choice Award and the San Francisco Best of the Fringe Award. Most recently, he co-created and performed DO WHAT YOU LOVE, a one-person bouffon show celebrating privilege. He teaches bouffon workshops in the US and Canada for which he was honored with the SF Bay Guardian's BEST OF THE BAY AWARD for BEST ROMP WITH YOUR INNER PSYCHOPATH. He was on the faculty of the Clown Conservatory of San Francisco and was the director of the 7-week Bouffon Intensive, the most comprehensive bouffon training ever offered in the United States. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Chapman University and an MFA in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre from Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre.


The Commons Theatre
587a College St
Toronto, ON
M6G 1B2