This is an enthusiastic report on the San Francisco Mime Troupe performance of “Schooled” at Cedar-Rose Park on July 3, 2016. I was not intending to do a video, just a BERKELEY CALLING BLOG. But this video is sort of an appetizer since The 2016 SFMT Summer Tour was just launched! The SFMT road show will back in Berkeley on July 9 and 10 at Live Oak Park. See the SFMT Home Site for details, mission statement, donation page, history, and how to get involved. http://www.sfmt.org
This video by Vic Sadot was created from photos and short clips at the end of the show on July 3, 2016 at Cedar Rose Park in Berkeley, California. This video is a little better than the one first posted at YouTube. The video is set as a Creative Commons Copyright – Non Profit Use with Credits if you want to download it and use it for promotion or as a souvenir.
The San Francisco Mime Troupe kicked off its Summer 2016 Season to a large crowd in Berkeley’s Cedar-Rose Park on July 2 and 3. Then they packed everything up and did a show in Dolores Park in San Francisco on July 4. The summer tour goes all the way to the grand finale at Dolores Park on September 4 and 5. There will be only one more curtain call in Berkeley at Willard Park (aka Malcolm X Park) on August 20 and 21.
The 2016 road show play is called “Schooled”, as opposed to “educated”. It was written by Michael Gene Sullivan and Eugenie Chan, and Sullivan is the Director too. The Music & Lyrics by Ira Marlowe are full of shining gems of wisdom and common sense. Daniel Savio is the Musical Director. He plays keyboards in the SFMT Band with Will Durkee on guitar and bass, and Dominic Moisant on percussion. They have to do a lot of sound effects in addition to music for the songs sung on stage. CAST OF CHARACTERS: Rotimi Agbabiaka plays Thomas Jones and Arthur Quisdedo; Velina Brown plays Lavinia Jones and Estelle Partridge; Lisa Hori-Garcia plays Fredersen J. Babbit and Michiko Chimlis; and Keiko Shimosate Carreiro plays Ethel Orocuru, Tatianna, and the Choir Student.
Notes from the “About the Troupe” Page at SFMT:
The San Francisco Mime Troupe does not do silent pantomime. We mean ‘mime’ in the ancient sense: to mimic. 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. We’ve done shows about most of the burning issues of our time, generally shows that debunked the official story. We perform everywhere from public parks to palaces of culture, aiming to reach the broadest possible audience.
Our artistic history has been a series of experiments with popular theater forms. Founding director RGDavis began in 1959 with avant-garde performance events in lofts and basements. When he discovered Commedia dell’Arte (Italian Renaissance marketplace comedy) he began tradition of free shows in the parks that still thrives today, over 50 years later. Since becoming a collective in l970, we have done melodramas, spy thrillers, musical comedies, epic histories, sitcoms, cartoon epics. Our trademark style draws from all these genres and is based on their common elements: strong story line, avowed point of view, larger-than-life characters, fantasy, live music.
These are the universal elements of popular theater, understood by everyone from academics gathered on a Midwestern U.S. campus, to a captive audience of prisoners or high school students, to a crowd of working women on a plaza in Bogota. The SFMT delights in savaging the norms of mainstream American theater, with its naturalistic values, its emphasis on personal (or at most family) psychology, its settings confined to living rooms and patios. We admire the depths reached by 20th-century realism, but we also think it sanctions social inaction. Our characters are individuals but they are also members of social classes: conscious or unconscious participants in the unending wars over land and power and wealth which drive human history.