The Acrobuffos

The Acrobuffos

Performing in the 2014 Green Show Thursday, July 17 and Saturday, July 19.

This is their second season in the OSF Green Show.

Waterbombs! Hysterical water balloon gladiator show set to opera music.

Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone met at a circus in Afghanistan, were engaged while street performing in Scotland, and married in China. Since becoming clown partners in 2006, they have created 6 shows together, competed in international circus festivals, performed in over 18 countries, juggled on Letterman, were featured in The New York Times, and headlined at the Big Apple Circus. “The most over-educated clowns you’ll ever meet,” Seth (a former professional juggler) graduated from 3 clown schools and Christina (a former professional ballerina) graduated from only one -- and Princeton. They live in Harlem, New York City.

The Acrobuffos on Community: Our performances are created for people around the world. This means a university student in Japan, a refugee in Afghanistan, a tourist in Scotland, an average family in China, or an elementary student in Harlem can laugh and understand our shows. We work in the realm of non-verbal comedy using universal themes and images. We create stories enjoyed by anyone, anywhere. This might sound like a huge community, but in our personal experience it is small. There are some universals that work everywhere: water spitting, falling down, hits, chases, character status, vocal exclamations, and audience participation.  There are other elements that are not: language, topical references, cultural characters, accents, "average" situations (not everyone uses a tap to get water.)  Many of the tools available to most comedians and actors are not available for us to use.

Being good travelers is inherent to what we do, and how we perform. What words are bridges to another culture? How do you act appropriately? What do you eat? What is acceptable to wear? Our mindset must be open and welcoming, not judgmental. How do you visit, work, and collaborate in a country with different social mores, different systems of government, and different standards of what is good or important?

In the end, we are connectors of communities.  When we perform in Europe, we are offering performances that re-explore European modes of theatre. When we are in China, we are populist performers, not wealthy tourists or businessmen.  When we are in Afghanistan, we are Americans without guns.  When we are in Harlem, we are white neighbors who collaborate with our black neighbors. The Acrobuffos, through laughter, offer a connection with people, all people, regardless of what language they speak, or what continent they grew up on.