The San Francisco Mime Troupe, which has earned an international reputation for slaughtering sacred cows, will be performing its anti-war commedia dell ‘arte “l’Amante Militaire” in a benefit performance for the Fifth Estate on Saturday, October 28.
R.G. Davis, the articulate and energetic director of what he has called the ‘guerrilla theatre,’ had this to say about charges of obscene, suggestive gestures, disloyal treatment of the Vietnam War and presidential policies, and shock for shock’s sake in his show:
“The show is meant to disturb. It disturbs us as performers, and I am willing to expose myself to the same thing we expose the audience to. We are not interested in listless audiences that go to the theatre only to verify their own prejudices. It is the conception of puritan culture that art should endorse its morality and flatter its patriotism.
There are some prejudices we all have about a variety of subjects that can only be broken down by a sort of shock treatment. We don’t present conclusions to our audience. We are demonstrating what is happening around all of us, and we cannot agree that it is disloyal to ‘tell it like it is.’ The Vietnam war is obscene. To delete obscenity where it really occurs in life would make us an intellectual discussion group.
“We are a theatre and we present life as it is. There is nothing more shocking than fact with all the ideologies and explanations taken away, but facts are what we have to live with, work with and face, if anything is ever to change for the better.”
The mime troupe was in Detroit last year and performed in a minstrel show subtitled “Civil Rights in a Cracker Barrel.”
Proceeds from “l’Amante Militaire” will go to this newspaper to help purchase more newsstands and typesetting equipment.