Below is a video of a fairy tale told by a Buffoon played by Myriah Duda. The theatrical style of Buffoonery comes from medieval leper colonies and ships of fools where those who were different were believed to be possessed by evil spirits and were cast out from the walled villages. Legend has it they found each other, one by one in the forests or on the waterways, and formed their own strange societies. Once a year, the townspeople laid an elaborate feast, hid themselves in their homes, and invited “the buffoons” back inside the gates thinking they could scare away evil spirits. They came, of course. It was a free meal. While they were there, they had nothing to lose so while eating and drinking, they made a wild mockery of the powers that be: the clergy, the wealthy, the politicos, the military, the beautiful. This might be the origin of Mardi Gras.
Theatrical styles circulate through time as they become relevant and when have we had a more relevant time than this for buffoonery? Myriah’s Buffoon is part of a family who has been summoned to entertain the King. That’s different than just coming for a meal. Buffoons were also the King’s Fools, the only ones permitted to speak truth to power and with nothing to lose but their heads if they went too far. Myriah’s family dresses in their finest rags and prepares to entertain the court. Each has a fairy tale to tell. In THE OTHER, six different fairy tales launch, interrupted by dances, songs, and strange rituals. None finish. The Buffoons wait for the right moment to lower the boom, in just the right way. Their boom is a final fairy tale they take turns telling, about a King without a Kingdom.
This video, and those to come, is a chance to see each fairy tale told from beginning to end, something you won’t see in the actual show, once we’re allowed to rub shoulders in a crowded theater again.