Sunday, July 27, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

S.F. Mime Troupe visits with irreverent, sharp-edged political satire

By
From page A9 | July 30, 2013 |

The San Francisco Mime Troupe will make its annual summer visit to Davis to give a free performance at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, in Community Park. The double feature will look at the environmental crisis as well as dubious deeds committed by elected officials, secret government agents and giant corporations. Courtesy photo

The San Francisco Mime Troupe — still uppity after more than 50 years — will make its annual summer visit to Davis to give a free performance at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, in Community Park. Donations will be accepted. For information, visit www.sfmt.org.

Famous for staging politically oriented “street theater” — with an activist slant — the troupe plans a double bill this year titled “Oil and Water,” featuring a loosely linked pair of short plays by Pat Moran and Adolfo Meijia that involve (you guessed it) a dangerous environmental crisis, dubious deeds committed by elected officials and secret government spooks, and giant corporations whose financial and political tentacles extend all the way into the Oval Office.

The play “Deal with the Devil” begins with the discovery of a dead body in the White House, and the characters include a presidential aide, a shadowy Secret Service agent, a sinister senator and a sputtering chairman of the Federal Reserve.

The story — told with a tip of the hat to classic film noir and 1970s-style cop shows — is a cautionary tale about what happens when the government has entirely sold out to fossil fuel corporations.

The other play, “Crude Intentions,” concerns two women who run a gourmet restaurant in San Francisco, whose lives are upset when a visitor from the past appears to collect on an unfulfilled obligation. The play was inspired by the ongoing legal struggles between Chevron and plaintiffs who were awarded a large financial settlement relating to environmental devastation in the Ecuador.

The show features a cast of four — Mime Troupe regulars Velina Brown and Lisa Hori-Garcia, actor Rotimi Agbabiaka (who appeared in the group’s 2010 show) and “first-time trouper” Hugo E. Carbajal, accompanied by musicians Ahron Wheels Bolsta and Pat Moran.

It’s a somewhat leaner cast than the troupe has toured with in recent years; usually, there are six actors and three musicians. But some anticipated grant money for the Mime Troupe did not come through, and this year’s tour was put together with the help of a last-minute fundraising appeal.

First-timers should know in advance that the San Francisco Mime Troupe does not do silent pantomime, a la the late Marcel Marceau. “We mean ‘mime’ in the ancient sense: to mimic,” the troupe explains on its website. “We talk, we sing, we make a lot of noise. We are satirists, seeking to make you laugh at the absurdities of contemporary life, and at the same time, see their causes.”

The San Francisco Mime Troupe dates back to 1959. The group began doing experimental performances, but soon evolved into a more politically oriented form — often modern adaptations based on the traditional Italian commedia dell’arte, which featured stock characters wearing masks in outrageous comedy that frequently made fun of the rich and powerful.

Before long, the San Francisco Mime Troupe began staging pointed satires by the likes of Bertolt Brecht and Dario Fo; in fact, the Mime Troupe claims to be the first American theater company to have staged Fo’s work, long before he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.

Along the way, the troupe has received several Obie (Off-Broadway) Awards, a Tony Award and other accolades. In 1999, the year the troupe marked its 40th anniversary, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors declared Dec. 6 “San Francisco Mime Troupe Day.” And in 2009 — its 50th anniversary — the group received a special certificate of recognition from the state of California.

There is a Davis connection as well. The Special Collections Department at the UC Davis Library contains a San Francisco Mime Troupe archive — 88 linear feet of documents and related material, focusing in particular on the troupe’s activities during the 1960s and 1970s.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055.

Comments

comments

.

News

Zombies by rail: It’s not just a show, it’s a trip

By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Community gardens stretch food dollars, study finds

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Humphrey Fellows will host Global Forum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Fatal Covell Boulevard crash recalled in court

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

Ukraine launches offensive to retake Donetsk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Rairdan joins race for Davis school board

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

State can’t say if it’s meeting drought goal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Wildfire spurs evacuation of 700 homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Israel extends Gaza truce through Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

New ordinance aims to prevent nut thefts from orchards

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Luna family matriarch turns 100

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Freeway crash injures two drivers

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

 
Museum wants your old Davis High School yearbooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Mace Innovation Center is focus of meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Affordable housing forum planned in Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
 
Discussion of oil by rail EIR planned Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

State awards $40,000 for historic property survey

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A8

 
Protesters gather at Primate Center

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

Vanguard hosts economic development director

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Get a sneak peek at documentary trailer

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Free blood pressure screenings offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Davis Chamber Choir sings short summer program

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A9

Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A9

 
At the Pond: From Davis, it’s easy to get back to nature

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Tickets on sale now for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Forum

Feels like a million miles away

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

 
Check doctors’ vitals before they check yours

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Here’s what you need for a perfect wedding

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Husband’s let himself go

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A14

 
Pat Oliphant cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A16

So, what’s in a week’s worth of waste?

By Michelle Millet | From Page: A16

 
Questions on water rights

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16, 1 Comment

Golf tourney was a big success

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A16

 
Campus turns on the tap

By Our View | From Page: A16

New playground is wonderful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

 
Just Us in Davis: Little Rock Nine hero to celebrate with Davis youths

By Jann L. Murray-Garcia | From Page: A17 | Gallery

We can do more to help

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A17

 
.

Sports

New Korematsu teacher is an American Ninja Warrior

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sutherland presents 1st clinic; golf column on its way

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Gray wins 6th straight, A’s 4 HRs beat Texas 5-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Kershaw throws 2-hitter as Dodgers beat Giants 5-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Furyk opens 3-shot lead in Canadian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Nibali set to cruise to Tour victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Area sports briefs: River Cats take Game 1 of doubleheader

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Companies will collaborate on crop insect control

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13

 
Developer’s commitments: affordable and green

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13 | Gallery

UC Davis Health System earns ‘Most Wired’ award

By Charles Casey | From Page: A15

 
Bartholomew hires new associate

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A15

 
Go back to school with Great Clips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

Lagerstrom represents Davis at Mary Kay seminar

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

 
.

Obituaries

Jonathan Eric Hollander

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Carlton Hope Meister

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, July 27, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A6