The San Francisco Mime Troupe is now in the process of planning to tour the United States and Great Britain during the Fall and Winter of 1967-68 with its anti-war commedia dell’arte, “l’Amant militaire.”
The Mime Troupe has presented free comedia dell’arte in the parks and fairs of California for six seasons and has toured the United States and Canada with “A Minstrel Show, Or: Civil Rights in a Cracker Barrel.”
“l’Amant militaire,” translated from the Goldoni original by Betty Schwimmer and adapted by Joan Holden, deals with the difficulties to visitors and visited when a large, powerful country invades and occupies a smaller nation in the throes of a civil war. “Olive Pits,” a one-act commedia adapted from a work by Lope de Rueda, will also be presented by the touring Troupe. It concerns the get-rich-quick schemes of a peasant farmer who attempts to use the system to beat the system and is, instead, beaten by it.
R.G. Davis, the Troupe’s founder and director, speaks of the work of his company as “guerrilla theatre.” “You do something because you think it’s right and you believe yourself ultimately. We want to deal with hypocrisy in America. I deal with it on the stage for everybody. You can’t say ‘this is the conclusion’ to the audience. They have to come to the same conclusion as you, hopefully. Otherwise it’s the didactic theatre and you might as well write an essay. We’re out to disturb you. I’m willing to expose myself to the same thing we expose the audience to.”
The Mime Troupe will appear in Detroit in late October, sponsored by the Fifth Estate.
See Fifth Estate Benefit: S.F. Mime Troupe: No Escape, FE #42, November 15-30, 1967.