2021 Theatre Festival

Play the Fool Festival

Sept 23-26, 2021

2021 Trailer

Festival Welcome

Greetings from U.K. performance poet Rob Gee


From The Day My Head Exploded, poems drawn from Rob’s experiences as a nurse, inpatient and writer in healthcare settings.

“Brimming with anarchistic joy… yet behind everything is a big heart. It’s typical Gee – combining gleeful subversiveness with poignant observations about the human condition.” – Victoria Times

The Day My Head Exploded is £10, plus £5 postage to Canada, which comes to £15 / about $26 CDN in total.


Welcome & thanks from the Festival Director


Can you spare a dime?

Play the Fool Festival is run by artists, for artists. Your donation will help us offer affordable, accessible programming into 2022 and beyond.


Signal Boost

Uncle Junior Project – Jamarr Woodruff

United States

“The whole reason why I wanted to become a clown is the whole job description of a clown: That is to make people happy. And that's what I get to enjoy everyday.”

Jamarr Woodruff
9 min | All Ages Free Included as part of our Signal Boost program. Please donate directly to The Uncle Junior Project.

aka Jman the Clown, The Clown of Crunk

Watch the Documentary Film and Exhibit

The Uncle Junior Project is a community-driven digital exhibit celebrating the history of Black people in the American circus. It honors the achievements of the many extraordinary individuals and groups in the African-American circus community, including clowns.

Don’t forget to sign up for their free membership, donate directly, and check out the exhibit store.

Signal Boost

Caroline Stokes

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Amiskwaciwâskahikan
Caroline Stokes
Free - Like and Subscribe Included as part of our Signal Boost program.

Instagram comedy bites

Caroline Stokes is a comedian who’s based in Edmonton but performs for the world via her online “variety show”. During the pandemic, her passion made national news and continues to be shared widely as people find comfort in her comedic, uplifting, and colourful content. Whether she’s onstage or behind a camera — she wants to make you feel GOOD.

WATCH & FOLLOW Caroline on Instagram


Signal Boost

Magpie the Conqueror

Edmonton / Amiskwaciwâskahikan
6 mins | All Ages Free On-demand Included as part of our Signal Boost program.

A short film by Kijo Gatama

If taking candy from a baby is the easiest thing in the world…pff… hijacking a kid’s scooter is just a Tuesday for Magpie. Magpie conquers all odds, obstacles, and laws to fight for what she wants most in the world: a best friend…. READ MORE.

Signal Boost

Dust Bunny by Little Beasts

Victoria, B.C. Canada
All Ages Free On-demand Included as part of our Signal Boost program.

Short stop motion animation

A dust bunny faces its arch nemesis in this stop motion animated short.

Click here to watch more Little Beasts

Written and Directed by Kate Braidwood and Andrew Phoenix
Lead Animation by Kate Braidwood

Little Beasts is a husband and wife team of documentary film makers who seek to reveal the lives of the tiny creatures who live out their existence in the unseen nooks and crannies of our wide world. 

FB: littlebeastsstopmotion | IG: little.beasts


Signal Boost

Tapes Last Krapp

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
7 mins | All Ages Free On-demand Included as part of our Signal Boost program.

A short film by Jesse Buck

Inspired by the work of Sam Beckett, Tapes Last Krapp shows us an older Clown reflecting on the glory days spent in the centre ring from the darkness of his tiny home. Constructed, and shot alone, by Jesse, in a hallway, under full lockdown, during the height of the Covid epidemic… READ MORE.

Discussion Panel – Pretty Ugly: Bouffon in Pedagogy and Practice

Sun Sep 26 3:00pm
90 mins | 14A

Join Jake Tkaczyk as he facilitates a panel discussion with the phenomenal Deanna Fleysher, Ken Hall, Nathaniel Justiniano, and Janice Jo Lee about teaching and practicing bouffon. We will discuss these artists’ different approaches to this format, how bouffon functions as a teaching tool, and reasons why it can be so effective or disastrous in front of an audience. Read about the panellists & more…


He’s My Brother

Edmonton / Amiskwaciwâskahikan
8 min | PG Pay what you will, starting at $5 CDN Available online & on-demand Sept 23-Oct 3, 2021

A short film by Barry Bilinsky


Neech learns the hard way that to love is to risk it all – sometimes there just isn’t much you can do but trust the Universe to carry you through. He learns this through the unexpected (and TOTALLY not his fault) death of his precious Hydrangea. How he copes and what the circle of life has in store is another story. READ MORE…

Jesus Teaches us Things

Edmonton / Amiskwaciwâskahikan
30 mins | 14A Pay what you will, starting at $5 CDN Available online & on-demand Sept 24-Oct 3, 2021

A loving comedy written & performed by Rebecca Merkley


Jesus Christ teaches the Holy Bible Assembly’s 2nd grade Sunday School class! What does the man who can walk on water have to say about The Good Book! The Plague? Jaywalking? Come find out! Snack provided. Eat at your own risk. READ MORE…


Good Morning Darkness

Edmonton / Amiskwaciwâskahikan
26 mins | 14A Pay what you will, starting at $5 CDN Available online & on-demand Sept 24-Oct 3, 2021

A crackpot comedy written & performed by Adam Keefe


Are you a morning person? If you are, they won’t let me say the list of words I might mutter at that suggestion. But if you’re not, come with me… If you’ve ever wished sudden justice upon intruders to your rest and relaxation (and who hasn’t), this will be your invitation to live vicariously through an ill-tempered and fun-loving tour guide to the wrong side of the bed. READ MORE…

Hope For Life

Edmonton / Amiskwaciwâskahikan
15 min | All-ages Pay what you will, starting at $5 CDN Available online & on-demand Sept 24-Oct 3, 2021

Created and performed by award-winning mime Zillur Rahman John


Our lives have been changed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This once in a lifetime chapter saw human life filled with struggle, frustration, uncertainty, and fear. However, we will not let this define us as humans, we will not lose hope, and we will continue to fight on for humanity. READ MORE…


Inga and the Date

Edmonton / Amiskwaciwâskahikan
38 mins | 14A Pay what you will, starting at $5 CDN Available online & on-demand Sept 24-Oct 3, 2021

A red-nose romance written & performed by Kiana Woo


Feeling fresh and looking for love, Inga finds herself on a date. She’s prepped and preened and ready to fall head over heels, but dates never really go the way you expect them to. And this date might just turn out to be the most peculiar one of all. READ MORE…


Bedeutung Krankenwagen

Edmonton / Amiskwaciwâskahikan
Fri Sep 24 7:00pm
Sat Sep 25 2:00pm
Sat Sep 25 7:00pm
45 min | 16+ Pay what you will, starting at $7 CDN All performance times Mountain Daylight Time

A LIVE bouffon seminar written & performed by Jake Tkaczyk

Herr Frölich is the world’s first German Nihilist life coach. He discovered that traffic cones make excellent megaphones. He also discovered a deep enjoyment for helping people through tough times. In this 45-minute seminar you will change in ways you never imagined. Come have a seat and learn a little about life and a lot about yourself! Batteries not included. READ MORE…


Online Workshop with Shannan Calcutt

Las Vegas, NV, USA

“Shannan is incisive and hilarious, probing and expansive. Shannan will needle your clown until you land fully into the achingly tender depths of your truth. Be prepared to cackle and cry, boo and cheer, waddle and skip.”

- Anna Slate, singer, actor, performance artist, NY
Sat Sep 25 11:00am
Sun Sep 26 11:00am
2 hours | 18+ Pay what you will pricing, starting at $15 CDN Mountain Daylight Time | Maximum of 12 participants each class

VIRTUAL PLAYGROUND: An interactive clown class with master teacher Shannan Calcutt (18+)

Play big, risk gloriously and fail better. This class was workshopped and designed to be experienced virtually. It’s time to bring the playground into your own home where all the props, toys, and costumes you often wish for in the studio are suddenly at your disposal. Participants must explain to housemates ahead of time that they will be noisy, move throughout the house and be free of inhibitions. It’s recess for grownups! READ MORE…