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The Satirical Sideshow Reflecting the House of Mirrors Called Climate Change: Tempting Fate

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Antic in a Drain presents the World Premiere Production of Tempting Fate

Via – Ross Travis of Vau de Vire & Antic in a Drain

Antic in a Drain (Artistic Director, Ross Travis) proudly presents its world premiere production of Tempting Fate, a satirical sideshow entertainment reflecting the house of mirrors called climate change. Balk at the science, bemoan the social impacts, and scream in horror at the political divide. You’ll find yourself laughing at the grotesque hyperbole, and the fantastically fecund characters bedecked in disdain and hubris. See Mother Earth talk trash to those who bite her tit while suckling her life-giving abundance.

A Cosmic Freak Show.

Ross Travis teams up with legendary clown pedagogue and director Ronlin Foreman to create an original one-man bouffon show. Bouffon is a traditional, grotesque, satirical form of physical theatre codified from many 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.  Tempting Fate is full of climatological characters, from a tempestuous Harpy straight from the land of mythology bringing an ominous reminder from the gods to a former Oil Executive, now a sustainable farmer at a Climate Changers Anonymous meeting, struggling with the difficulty of his new off the grid life in a yurt with a backed up compostable toilet.

“The climate change debate is complex,” says Ross Travis, “and there are a lot of different perspectives and a lot of smoke and mirrors around the issue on all sides. As a bouffon, I do my best to have a neutral perspective and soak up as much as I can from all sides of the issue I’m making a show about. During my research and development period, I take a head first plunge into the issue, conducting interviews with experts, listening to podcasts, reading books and articles and watching documentaries and films about the issue. I try to become as much of an expert as I can. Then I find what games I see being played and who all the players are, who is complicit and in what ways, and I replay these games and scenarios for the audience through gratuitous ritual, song, and ecstatic play. I believe a bouffon performance’s powerful combination of comedy and tragedy is an innovative way to foster empathy, connection and action between those with diametrically opposed viewpoints on (in this case) climate change. My goal is to create satire that is not agitprop but gives weight to how complex an issue like climate change is. Bouffon is a vast and dynamic territory that spans all the way from broad comedy to grotesque tragedy. I believe in the cathartic and empathetic power of the form.”

Location: Little Boxes Theatre, 1661 Tennessee Street, Suite #2s, San Francisco, CA, 94107

Dates: May 24-June 2nd (Fri-Sun), 2019

Times: 8:00pm

Tickets: $25-$50

Tickets available at:

Cast and Crew

This piece is Written and Performed by Ross Travis. Direction, Set Design and Mask Design by Ronlin Foreman. Costume Design by Lydia Foreman. Wing Design by Ecco Pierce. Sound Design by Richard Newman. Graphic Design by Ernesto Sopprani. Photography by Eric Gillet.


Founded in 2014, Antic in a Drain combines circus and bouffon to develop extreme characters and tell stories from the fringes, igniting dialogue and change within communities around ignored or taboo social issues.

Antic has developed two works thus far: The Greatest Monkey Show On Earth and Bucko: Whaleman!. The Greatest Monkey Show On Earth is a primate circus extravaganza that takes a bite out of animal/human agency. The show toured to the Edmonton and Vancouver Fringe Festivals in Canada in 2014, receiving a four-star review from Global News and the inaugural Artistic Risk Award in Vancouver. In 2016, the show was nominated for two Theatre Bay Area Awards for Makeup and Costume Design and won for Costume Design.

In 2015, Antic received an Individual Artist Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission and a Zellerbach Family Foundation Grant to create and develop Bucko: Whaleman!, a high seas whaling voyage launching a harpoon into the heart of human greed and natural resource consumption. Bucko premiered on Hyde Street Pier at San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park in

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