Nathaniel Justiniano

Theatre-maker, educator, community advocate, and Artistic Director of Naked Empire Bouffon Company using performance to subvert apathy.

Based in Boston, Nathaniel is a chubby, gay, Puerto Rican born and raised in the barrios and working-class suburbs of Southern California.

Nathaniel uses performance to subvert apathy. He is the founding Artistic Director of Naked Empire Bouffon Company (www.nakedempirebouffon.org), through which he devises and tours across North America with outrageous physical comedies that satirize society’s worst dysfunctions.

As a community advocate, he cut his teeth as a manager for programs out of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center, the National Conference for Community & Justice, and Cornerstone Theater Company. His recent advocacy work focuses on social justice in the workplace and in performance pedagogy and is highly influenced by the teachings of ArtEquity’s national facilitator training, Nicole Brewer’s foundational anti-racist theatre training, adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy work, and Claire Warden’s intimacy direction training, among several others.

He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Performing Arts Department and the first-in-the-nation Comedic Arts BFA Program at Emerson College, as well as a guest artist teaching in the Drama Division at The Juilliard School. www.nathanieljustiniano.com

triptych of three clowns
A Very Very Very Serious Clown from Lebanon
Essay

A Very Very Very Serious Clown from Lebanon

10 November 2020

Amrita Dhaliwal and Nathaniel Justiniano speak with Lebanese humanitarian clown Sabine Choucair, covering the differences between clowning and bouffon, joining the revolution, environmental work, and more.

a group posing for a photo in front of a white van with "democracy" written on it
Can a Clown Be an Activist?
Essay

Can a Clown Be an Activist?

9 November 2020

Nathaniel Justiniano and Amrita Dhaliwal kick off the clown, bouffon, and activism series, talking about how the clown world has a racism problem and introducing the four contributors who practice their art around the world.

When Clowns Fight The Power
a clown kissing a clear riot shield
Series

When Clowns Fight The Power

Clown and activism may seem like an odd couple, but embedded in the nature of clown is the spirit of joy and resistance to oppressive forces. This series features a selection of folx from around the world who are all part of a long and diverse heritage of clown activists.