Claire Patton

Physical Theater Mojo

Creative Chaos – Satirical Bouffon


What is Bouffon?

A Bouffon is a theatrical character with an inflated or distorted body. The Bouffon exists on the fringe of society – an outsider, an alien, and comes to ridicule the folly of human life. Bouffons travel in bands and mock our religion, political views, belief systems, societal attitudes concerning sex and commerce, even our sense of morality and justice. They seek out and expose the hypocrisies we hoped would pass unnoticed. The Bouffon is fiercely satirical, feeding on and ultimately celebrating our fears and failings.


Creative Chaos offers students foundational training in the theatrical style of Bouffon. This workshop requires physical engagement, playful exuberance, and a bold spirit.


Participants will learn:

•The state of Bouffon play, the joy of mocking, taunting, ridicule, and ritualization

•Techniques of playing Bouffon on stage

•Construction of a unique Bouffon body, voice, and costume

•The mechanics of choral play – listening, group breath, communal rhythm and dynamics

•The Bouffon body as mask- energetic commitment to character, the articulation of the body

•Satirical writing- awareness and celebration of the inconsistencies of everyday life


Photo by  Timothy Rearick