Mime Troupe Busted


Fifth Estate # 17, November 1-15, 1966

Maybe you dug the San Francisco Mime Troupe doing their blackface minstrel show jamming black-white reality back in your face, but the Denver cops certainly didn’t. Charges of indecent acts and indecent language were filed against three members of the Troupe when they played Denver’s Phipps Auditorium last week.

When the cops refused the actors’ invitation to step on stage and debate the issue the actors jumped off and ran up the aisles. Shouted one, “You want to know what obscenity is—it’s a 16 year old boy shot down in the street—it’s Vietnam! You sick-minded idiots!”

The large, well-dressed audience spilled into the street outside the auditorium and vociferously turned on the police. A woman screamed, “You want a Christian? Where are the lions?”

One of the Mime Troupe actors not under arrest, shouted, “You folks are concerned about law—you ought to learn something about human law.”

A small group started singing, “We’ll walk all over this big white world, and I’ll let it shine.” This was followed by “We Shall Overcome.”

The actors were released on bond when the American Civil Liberties Union came to their aid. The Troupe’s Detroit appearance was sponsored by the local branch of the ACLU.