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22 March, 2017  → 26 March, 2017 - Portland, Oregon, USA



Bouffons have been watching the news

coming from North America lately

Their eyes are shimmering with jubilation

and they have decided to come for a ride in the NorthWest

to dance with the Tangerine New Emperour

and drink a lot of mokas.


BOUFFONS are back to Portland

for a FIVE-DAY intensive !


The word Bouffon comes from a latin verb: buffare, to puff, to fill the cheeks with air, to deform oneself, to swell in  order to provoke laughter. It seems to be a very old human practice. In  fact, bouffons are direct descendants of the satyrs from Ancient Greek  Satyric Drama.

The actual word "Bouffons" comes from French and it entered English theatrical language through the work of Jacques Lecoq.

The essence of the Bouffon is in the dynamic of MOCKING.

The MOCKER is a specific role, existing in all human societies. Bouffons represent elements of their society in an amplified, distorted or exaggerated way, thereby provoking laughter and outrage.

Their Mockery doesn't have an agenda in itself, because the Bouffons don’t have opinions, and they don’t protect any side from their mocking. They just mock everything and everybody. Their purpose is to have fun mocking humans and therefore they use everything they find, with  ferocious ecstasy and jubilation. This is their power: they see and play with everything, they feed on human dynamics in order to play with it.

Bouffons never touch on individual or private themes, instead they take on big collective movements –  involving the social complexity and  the very essence of society and culture. Politics, religion, economy, power, money and finances, morality, war and the military, science,  gender and race, ecology, family, education and school, cultural  institutions…





For Bouffons work to be possible, we need to be very well and precisely informed about  the situation or themes that we are mocking,  in order to see and then reveal what is hidden, what lies underneath –  on the other side, in the shadow or the unspeakable. Nothing can be invented – all the movements and dynamics are documented and are based  in authentic behaviors.

The actors need to collect facts, not opinions. Bouffons have no opinions or values. Actors, directors, writers and members of the audience do. That's why, as a theatre genre, Bouffon is often very  provocative, because its very nature is to bring hidden things to the  surface and to unmask the collective games lying behind events. This often includes the fact that the role of oppressor and victim are always intertwined.

Everybody in the audience gets scrambled by a bouffon piece, which can be often a bit difficult and or even unbearable. It’s not the  Bouffons who are unbearable but the truth that they reveal about  humanity, what is hidden, what lies underneath, on the other side, the grotesque of human society (grotesque comes from greek cryptos =  hidden).







- Play, action/reaction and fun

- Collective complicity

- Engaged madness

- From children playing to Bouffon games

- The Bouffon “state” and the mocking eyes

- The grotesque body: amplification, deformation, swelling and puffing

- The white bodies



- The state of play: bands of Bouffons, rhythm, rituals

- The shapeshifting chorus

- How the Bouffons see the world: themes of play

- The Bouffons mocking the great themes of humanity

- How Bouffon relates to Tragedy, Melodrama and Clown

- Writing in the Grotesque Mode.

- Staging and Devising for Bouffons.









The workshop is devised as an intensive five-day training, 

from Wednesday March 22 to Sunday March 26.

Wednesday 22: 9:30 to 5:00.
Thursday  23: 9:30 to 5:45
Friday 24, Saturday 25: 9:30 to 6:00
Sunday March 26: 9:30am to 5:00.



Shout House - 210 SE Madison St., Ste 11

Portland Oregon








Early Bird registration: US$ 460 if full payment is sent by March 1st, 2016.

Full Price: US$ 550 if the full payment is sent after March 1st, 2016.


Please note that tuition does not include accommodation: participants will be responsible for organizing their staying in Portland.


To apply to the workshop please send a brief letter of motivation by e-mail, sharing something about why you wish to attend this training. Once the application is accepted, applicants can confirm their enrollment by paying the full tuition. Please not that in case of cancelation a US$ 200 non-refundable deposit will be kept by the organizer.

Once accepted, places will be given in order of email submission.


Please note that the number of participants is limited to 16



For applications and registration please contact MARINA at:


portlandbouffon @ gmail.com


For further information about the content of the workshop please contact





   Photo credits:
(1) Dell'Arte School of Physical Theatre, 2007
(2) David Currie for Celebration Barn Theater, Bouffons Workshop 2016
(3) Stefano Borghi for Helikos School, 2014

(4) Dell'Arte School of Physical Theatre, 2007

(5) Stefano Borghi for Helikos School, 2014
(6) David Currie for Celebration Barn Theater, Bouffons Workshop 2016


Design & programming : DomRadisson.net