Best of the Bay 2011: BEST ROMP WITH YOUR INNER PSYCHOPATH

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"Do you want to play?" challenges Nathaniel Justiniano, the artistic director of Naked Empire Bouffon Company, who invites performing artists and activists of all disciplines to explore their loonier selves during his hardcore Bouffon Intensive weekend workshops. Participants learn to tap into their physical and emotional "asymmetry" and exaggerate it, excavating the bouffon within and applying their inside-out personas to any performance situation. The resultant characters — bundles of twisted, giggling, homicidal urges who have an uncomfortable talent for honing in on the weaknesses of others — are, well, insanely entertaining. Justiniano, who trained in bouffonnerie at the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre, believes these "groveling goblin prophets" are harbingers of essential truths whose very grotesqueness compels people to pay them heed.

www.nakedempirebouffon.com