Past Festivals – 2017


The Mysterious Magical Brandishers of Magic!

60 mins 14+

Monkey Do! International collective

A daredevil freak show of magic, chaos, and sorcery!

Written and performed by: Pratik Motwani (India), James Peck (UK) and Sarah Peters (USA)

Daredevil style Freak Show performed by a Hilariously mystical clown trio. This Dangerously funny clown show is packed with mysteriously hilarious physical comedy that uses the ancient art of sorcery as means to tickle your funny bones. A magical world in which both success and failure has only one purpose – Laughter and Entertainment of the audience. The show involves amusingly bemusing mass hypnosis and precariously hilarious audience participation in acts such as The Board of Doom, The Bed of Nail and The Golden Eggs!


A Basquette Quese

France & California
75 mins All-ages

An International Eccentric Performer’s story of a clown who confronts her insomnia with a series of bedtime antics.

Performed by: Iman Lizarazu

Written by: Julie Goell & Iman Lizarazu

Directed by: Avner the Eccentric & Julie Goell

A Basquette Quese is an all-ages poetic tale about a clown in a war to fall asleep. In a classic comedic battle, Iman, as a Commedia dell’Arte, Pierrot-type character, confronts her insomnia with a host of strategies to exhaust herself. The result is a series of bedtime antics, including pillow feather juggling, a Flamenco ballet, a pirate’s adventure atop a rola bola, and a Tango that brings her clothes hanger to life. The show includes physical comedy, mime, dance, and juggling. Iman engages her audience in a safe, playful, and joyful environment. She has performed A Basquette Quese worldwide in over 30 venues and festivals since 2007.

Photo credit: Cornicello Photography


Hushabye – Sizzle & Spark

Calgary & Montreal
75 mins 14+

A torrid tale of temptation, gestation and a foolish bargain

Written and performed by: Jed Tomlinson & Jacqueline Russell

Directed by: Michael Kennard

Sizzle and Spark Fandango have the perfect life. The big house. The beautiful yard. The white picket fence. The only thing they are missing is 2.5 children. In their relentless quest to have it all, a nefarious deal is made that entangles them in an explosive situation with unexpected consequences. A dark comedy about the extremes we go to have the perfect life and how easily it can all blow up in our faces.

Festival Artist Panel Discussion

90 mins All-ages Free

Cultural Approaches to Theatre Clowning

There are many schools of thought when it comes to theatre clown training, but through different schools’ styles and cultures, is there a common goal? How does a performer’s personal history and/or cultural lens manifest in their work? Join us for a dynamic conversation with festival artists about the many ways clowns are born, and how their stories end up on-stage.

Featured Panelists:
Jacqueline Russell, Sizzle & Spark, Hushabye
Pratik Motwani, The Mysterious Magical Brandishers of Magic!
Travis Bernhardt, Chris & Travis
Iman Lizarazu, A Basquette Quese
Barry Bilinsky, Fool Spectrum Theatre

Moderated by Christine Lesiak, MFA
Play the Fool Festival Director

The Rookie Cabaret

60 mins 16+

Play the Fool’s emerging artist showcase, featuring:

Kidd Crimson aka Jordan Sabo, Evelyn Smyth aka Marya Folinsbee, Lady aka Lindsay Ruth Hunt, The Former Winners aka Erin Pettifor & Gabby Bernard, Spatz aka Lisa Dawn Daniels, Inga & Tops aka Kiana Woo & Joel Taylor, Jenny  aka Kristy Benz, Azul aka Tatiana Duque, Meep aka Carolyn Venter

Fool’s Spectacle Cabaret

60 mins 14+

A variety spectacular brought to you by Edmonton’s Fool Spectrum Theatre.

Franco Corea – Nana Stubble:  Flower Pressing, The Grand Salto – Philip and Lucinda:  I Think We’re Alone Now, Anna Pratch – Mauve:  A Sticky Situation, Megan Verbeek and Justin Kautz :  Two Sleepy People, Nona & Squee,  Caitlin Mader:  Spheres Morgan, Trixie the Clown :  The Date

Opening Night Cabaret

60 mins 14+ Free

Join us for our FREE opening night event featuring the 2017 festival performers. Hosted by The Great Balanzo! with Christine Lesiak

Sneak-peek performances from: Sizzle & Spark from Hushabye Kidd Crimson, aka Jordan Sabo Iman Lizarazu from A Basquette Quesse Doctor Professor Lavernius Cumquat, aka Dustin J Allen The Mysterious Magical Brandishers of Magic! Fool Spectrum Theatre Philip and Lucinda from The Grand Salto Theatre Mar & Briefcase, aka Carmen Nieuwenhuis & Jessy Ardern and MORE!

Admission is first-come, first-served at the door

Clown Shorts 2

60 mins 16+

Alternative Science – Edmonton

Written by: Dustin Allen / Dezi DeHaan Performed by: Dustin Allen

Dr. Professor Lavernius Cumquat unveils legitimate facts to halt the lurking dangers of social, political, and environmental “progress”

The Closet of Olfactory Sorrow and Great Fanny Anguish – Edmonton

A clown struggles with the social norms of public washrooms.

Written and performed by: Megan Verbeek Directed by:Adam Keefe

Ahhh… The public restroom: a necessity, an ubiquitous installation, and a sanctuary for our most private deeds. Pop!, the Queen of Mexican Cuisine, must make a hasty retreat to the nearest porcelain throne. But, when other people discover her gastrointestinal distress, it’s hard for her to “relax”. Will this pass? Will there be enough toilet paper? WILL SHE HAVE TO FLUSH TWICE?!

And How Do You Feel About That – Innocent Operations, Edmonton

An “exploration” of mental “health” in the “style” of “bouffon”.

Written and performed by: Alex Dawkins and Jake Tkaczyk

Stage managed by: Louise Mallory

Clown Shorts 1 – Emerging Artist Triple-Bill

60 mins 14+

Mar and Briefcase in Office – Edmonton

Written and performed by: Carmen Nieuwenhuis & Jessy Ardern

Two clowns are in charge of the office for a night – can they lock up without screwing up?

A Perturbed Palette of Pickled Pickings – Stardust Undertakers, Edmonton

Dip into a vortex of fine dining, that will tickle your palate with fine fleshy fruits and satiating surrealness.

Written and performed by: Laura Rezko and Demmi Dupri

Tonight, between nights you are volunteered to dine our humble delicatessen welcomes your devotion; subversive servings of… cerebral… nutrition Partake in a fleshy fruit parfait, And the wine runs red To tickle your palette. New tastes await and experiences will follow Tuck into a vortex of fine dining. And satiate yourself in the surreal you’ve been pining.

Unedited Footage of a Ghost – Edmonton

Written and performed by: Connor Suart and Alex Cherovsky

Two clowns happen upon a haunted house. One is excited. One is not.


60 mins All-ages

Chris & Travis – Vancouver

Award-winning improvised comedy, performed entirely in an unrecognizable language made up on the spot.

Written and performed by: Chris Ross and Travis Bernhardt

Chris and Travis scribble outside the lines of improv comedy with their high energy, hilarious, and surreal two-man show. Their extreme physicality, endearingly strange characters, and commitment to entertain by any means necessary have surprised and delighted audiences across Canada.

The Great Balanzo! – Montreal & Edmonton

A gourmet mix of circus & comedy delivered by a contemporary clown with a old fashioned style.

Written and performed by: Aytahn Ross

The Great Balanzo presents a gourmet mix of circus & comedy that has been seen live by more than 1 million people in 13 countries around the world, He’s the last surviving member of the Royal Balanzos who were exiled from their land hundreds of years ago and traveled the world surviving as circus performers. Now there is only one Balanzo left and he turns the everyday into an adventure with a show that is amazing, silly, and unforgettable. Don’t miss The Great Balanzo!