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Antic in a Drain to Premiere Site-Specific BUCKO: WHALEMAN! This June

Antic in a Drain presents its world premiere production of Bucko: Whaleman! Meet Captain Bucko and his scurvy crew, on the crest of the most bountiful whale hunt of their careers. But where does man's ambition end? How do you lay down your harpoon and bring home the haul when the thrill of the hunt consumes you? Come join the slaughter ye salty dogs!

Set in the heart of San Francisco's historic maritime center, this site-specific original production uses the provocative humor of bouffon (a form of grotesque satirical physical theatre in which characters on the outskirts of society use subversive humor and ecstatic play to highlight ignored or marginalized issues) to investigate religion, natural resource consumption, racism and privilege in maritime history and juxtapose these subjects with our modern times. How has the legacy of Manifest Destiny and America's relationship with God affected present day society? What has changed in the last 200 years about our relationship to the consumption of oil and natural resources -- from whale oil to the Dakota Access Pipeline? How does the hierarchy of class, privilege and racial prejudice in 19th century ship life compare to today's subjugation of native and minority communities? Through the investigation of these urgent and divisive questions, this production combines comedy and tragedy to challenge and delight you.

Tickets will NOT be sold at the door for this production as tickets cannot be sold on park property. PRE-SALE TICKETS ONLY ending an hour before the show begins.

This show is site-specific on a concrete pier and there is no traditional seating. Please bring blankets, collapsable chairs or cushions for sitting as well as warm layers, for there's no telling what weather may come on this voyage.

Antic in a Drain combines circus, clown, bouffon and improvisational audience interaction, developing extreme characters and telling stories from the fringes, igniting dialogue and change within communities around ignored or taboo social issues. At the heart of the company's work is the traditional physical theatre form called bouffon. Bouffon was codified from many satirical traditions throughout history (including the Feast of Fools celebration during medieval times and the Satyr plays of the ancient Greeks) by the French theatre provocateur Jacques Lecoq in the 50s and 60s. Bouffons are grotesque outsiders who view mainstream society and its hypocrisies from a distance, then enter society and magnify what they see through gratuitous ritual, song and ecstatic play. The powerful combination of comedy and tragedy in a bouffon performance catalyzes social change by eliciting laughter, which opens the audience so that when the tragedy of the material is presented they are more apt to consider new perspectives and viewpoints.

In 2014 and 2015 Antic in a Drain developed and performed The Greatest Monkey Show On Earth, a primate circus extravaganza that takes a satirical bite out of animal/human agency. The show premiered in 2014 after an Artist Residency at the San Francisco Circus Center, then toured to the Edmonton and Vancouver Fringe Festivals in Canada that same year, receiving a four-star review from Global News and the inaugural Artistic Risk Award in Vancouver. In 2016 Antic in a Drain was Artist-in-Residence at Kinetic Arts Center, where the second version of the Greatest Monkey Show was workshopped and performed. It was nominated for two 2016 Theatre Bay Area Awards for Makeup and Costume Design and won for Costuming.

Bucko: Whaleman! is Antic in a Drain's second and most ambitious project to date. It is generously funded in part through an Individual Artist Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission and a Zellerbach Family Foundation Grant. Is is being developed in residence at Zaccho Dance Theatre and Kinetic Arts Center.


Antic in a Drain

in residence at San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park presents the

World Premiere Production of

Bucko: Whaleman!

June 10 - 23, 2017

Tickets: $20-35 at

Hyde Street Pier, San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park

Nine performances: June 10 - 11, 14 - 18, 22 - 23 at 7-8:30PM (90 minutes)


Ross Travis (Lead Artist) is a professional Actor/Creator, Bouffon, Clown and Circus Performer who has studied with world renowned master pedagogues including Dodi DiSanto, Giovanni Fusetti, Ronlin Foreman and Master Lu Yi. Ross's lineage of training and experience allows him to create unique and provocative performances that combine buoyant humor, cutting satire, physical spectacle and unscripted audience interaction to provoke and challenge his audiences. He has developed multiple works in this vein including Apocalyptika, a satirical romp that took a sledgehammer to the convenient stories we tell ourselves about how our world will end and You Killed Hamlet, or Guilty Creatures Sitting At A Play, which skewered the ways in which Western society avoids death. This show won critical acclaim while touring from San Francisco to Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver and Montreal. The piece was awarded the San Francisco Best of the Fringe Award, the Vancouver/Plank Magazine Talk of the Fringe Award, a nomination for Vancouver's Georgia Straight Critic's Pick Award, and was an Official Selection of the Toronto Festival of Clowns. In 2014, Travis founded his own company, Antic in a Drain, to pursue the creation of his own work.

Amelia Van Brunt (Collaborating Artist) is a professional and award-winning actor/creator, clown, teacher, dancer, fire spinner, burlesque performer, character extraordinaire and founding Artistic Director of theatre company Bad, Bad Bunny. Amelia performs regularly around the San Francisco/Bay Area and specializes in complete physical transformation and ferocious play in her characters. Amelia studied at Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theater where she completed a one-year Professional Training Program and after graduation returned to complete a master's thesis on clown. Amelia is a performer and a part of the beloved San Francisco-based clown/burlesque troupe Fou Fou Ha! which has been established as one of the Bay Area's most sought-after hired performers for over 15 years. With Fou Fou Ha! Amelia helped create and perform the smash hit full-length show "WHOA-MAN!" which was extended with Shelton Theater and toured internationally. Amelia completed an artist residence at the San Francisco Circus Center where she developed a one-woman show, In the Blue of Evening, produced by and under Bad, Bad Bunny which is currently touring internationally.

Stephen Buescher (Director) is the Head of Movement and Physical Theater, in the MFA acting program, at the American Conservatory Theater. Drawing from a vast knowledge of vaudeville, hip-hop and breakdance as well as cartoons, his work is marked by its intricate detailing of eccentric comedic movement. His directing credits in the ACT Conservatory include: Romeo and Juliet, the Island, The House of Bernarda Alba (USA/Moscow), Hotel Paradiso, Archangels Don't Play Pinball, and Can't Pay Won't Pay. He has collaborated on pieces including Father On (Scott Wells Dance/ShelDon Smith), Melymbrosia (ACT SkyFest), Black Maria (ACT SkyFest), Wild Porcelain (Workhorse), With Claws and Beak (Workhorse), Sawbones (Workhorse). He has also devised numerous pieces for over a decade with Dell'Arte International as a company member. He has choreographed for theaters such as ACT, Long Wharf Theater, Trinity Rep, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Lorraine Hansberry theater, and Dell'Arte International. Stephen is a graduate of Calarts and The Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theater.

Joan Howard (Set Designer) is a professional Performer/Clown, Properties Designer, Builder and Artist who holds a BFA in Sculpture/Installation and Performance Art from California College of Arts & Crafts and is a graduate of James Donlon's Flying Actor Studio Physical Theatre Conservatory. As an artist, Joan blends traditional woodworking skills with DIY aesthetics, and is inspired by trickster social movements like Fluxus and the simple mechanics and imaginative wonder of itinerant medieval theater. As a physical performer and acrobat, she delights in the possibility of the body in space. Combining these pursuits, Joan creates interactive performance objects and mobile environments that partner with their performers and transform everyday public space into participatory worlds where anything might happen. Joan was awarded the Stuart Award for Best Director, and a 2013 San Francisco "Best of Fringe" Award for Idiot String's 2013 production of O Best Beloved. In 2016, she was awarded a Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Properties Design for Bay Area Children's Theater's Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site - The Musical.

San Francisco Maritime and its partners seek to forge emotional and intellectual connections through preservation and interpretation of the resources and stories of America's maritime gateways, history, and culture, especially the development of the Pacific Coast. Located on the edge of San Francisco's Fishermen's Wharf, San Francisco Maritime NHP tells the story of America's seafaring past through a variety of resources. In its Collections, the Park holds extensive library, archival, small craft, and object collections, making it the largest Museum Collection in the National Park Service. At Hyde Street Pier, you can visit the Park's Historic Ships, as well as boats from the Park's small craft collection. Nearby is the Park's Maritime Museum in the 1939 Streamline Moderne Bathhouse Building, and the Park's Visitor Center housed in the Park's 1908 historic brick cannery warehouse.

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