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Dear Friend,

Throwing a stone into a pond creates a series of concentric circles, each one growing larger than the last. The San Francisco Mime Troupe has sought to create this type of ripple effect for 55 years. From a small stage our stories toss big topics into the audience, hoping they'll ripple into communities initiating conversation and inspiring action.

This year's play, Ripple Effect, hits close to home, literally. San Francisco has been a city of dreams for a succession of newcomers for over two hundred years. Each group has woven their cultural identity into the fabric of the city, and the world has watched as vanguard movements have surfaced from our city by the bay. But lately, the news is filled with stories of the city's unravelling; techies versus hipsters, landlords versus tenants. Not exactly the "cool, gray city of love".

In Ripple Effect, we look behind the headlines and ask, once again, who really benefits from this intercommunity tension? And how can one person's actions affect so many others? It's a story of three very different women, all at a critical moment in their lives, who by chance find themselves in a boat on San Francisco Bay.

Though set locally, it's a nationally relevant story as the distribution of wealth and power continues to stream to very few, leaving most of the rest of us struggling with less and less. To right this wrong "we the people" need to create a ripple effect of global proportions. We need a tsunami of activism that will return power to the people and health to the planet. And we need to do it right now!

And right now we need you!

We are asking you to create your own ripple effects. This summer reach out to co-workers, family and friends and bring them to a Mime Troupe show. Especially those who think we do pantomime! After the show, continue the conversation and make a plan of action. That's how movements grow.

Here at the Troupe we've been experiencing some positive ripple effects first hand. Our Community Forum events last year were so successful that we've made Forums a regular part of our schedule. We are also working toward making our studio an available resource for our city's diverse communities. Internally, we've expanded our Collective and Board membership by three each. And this year's production team boasts a bunch of new faces; writers, director, composer, musicians and designers.

A year ago when it looked like we couldn't afford to do the summer show, word got out and concentric circles of friends stepped up and gave generously. With that support, and by streamlining the production and number of performance weeks, we had a successful season!

Still, the cost of "free" shows continues to rise while foundation and government grants continue to diminish. So we look to you for your continued support. Your generous tax-deductible donation will keep the Troupe onstage, speaking out and creating even bigger ripple effects. Because, like the women in our play that we hope you'll come see this summer, we really are all in the same boat.

In Solidarity,
The San Francisco Troupe Collective & Staff

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