The Mime Troupe believes in theater as a tool for community empowerment. We have had the honor of teaching theater workshops to various populations worldwide—from prison inmates to high school students to migrant workers.
Our work is grounded in the American Melodrama and Commedia dell'Arte traditions. We use larger than life characters, fantasy, and a strong story line with an avowed point of view. The goal of the Mime Troupe workshop is to teach the tools and put the power of creation into the hands of the participants. Participants experience the fulfillment of creative expression and collective problem solving, leaving our workshops inspired to organize and speak out against injustice in their societies.
Our instructors use theater and improvisation games and team-building exercises to break down barriers, encourage collaboration, and facilitate trust and comfort. Then the stock characters and contemporary archetypes are introduced. We move from there into ensemble methods of play creation and burning issue discussions. Time permitting, we then form small groups that create, rehearse, and perform a short play, using five frames to make a scene and essentialize the story.
To book one of our workshops, contact:
Workshop Coordinator, Karen Runk
THE LECTURE DEMONSTRATION requires an auditorium with a stage that is at least 12' deep by 15' wide. Without this space the demonstration aspect will be limited. It is best if this small stage is raised so that the audience can easily see the feet of the presenter and the audience members who join in exercises. We will need a slide screen and a Kodak Ectographic projector with remote cable and appropriate lens for the projection distance. To show video and DVD, we will need either a large screen monitor and player or a video beam projector and a movie screen. In large or difficult acoustic halls we will need a microphone on stand with enough cable that the presenter can roam the stage. Lighting should be bright and cover the stage area. House lights will be left on during the lecture except for the slide and video presentation. The sponsor will provide operators for sound and light as well as house management.
THE ENSEMBLE STYLE WORKSHOPS (three hour through one week), need a large open room like a dance studio approximately 30' x 40' with lights and heat or cooling to make the space comfortable and safe. The ceiling should be 12' to 15' high. In general the space should be cleared of all fragile or unnecessary objects. The approach is active and physical, and with a group of thirty students we need room for them to work together and in teams of four or five. No sound or theatrical lights are necessary.
STUDENTS SHOULD WEAR loose, flexible attire suitable for dance workout and body contact exercises. In longer sessions it is good if students bring kneepads and elbow pads to work pratfalls and basic stunts. Each person knows what his or her special physical condition is and must take responsibility for communicating these to the workshop instructor. In the one-week class we ask students to bring costume pieces, hats or any bag of tricks, props or other devices that may help make the short plays more exciting.
PLEASE NOTE: We are able to host any of the above workshops at our studio space in San Francisco's Mission district.