To Bee or Not To Bee

Posted in Uncategorized on February 27th, 2009 by jerry

I’m opening APIS, or The Taste to Honey, on March 13.  I have taken the world of the honeybee and fused it with that of a military prison. APIS is a movement piece - dare I say “mime?”

I have returned to my roots - movement theatre.  For many years, I worked only in mask theatre - silent work with no facial expression.  After I stepped out from behind the mask, I was starved for words.  I talked incessantly on the stage. I wrote plays with words, words, and words. I directed plays with words, words, and words.  

A few months ago an old hunger returned - I was starved for silence again. At least silence from words.

In the seventies and eighties, there was an onslaught of mime theatre in the United States.  Many artists and groups became clones of Marcel Marceau.  However, there were many others that offered a wide variety of visions.  Some favorites of mine included Mime Omnibus and Theatre Beyond Words - both Canadian.  

Imago was born within but not from that onslaught.  Like most of the other mime companies, the company transformed. Imago migrated away from mime.  Movement became a driving force for all aspects of theatre.

Mime still leaves a bad taste in most people’s minds.  An image of Dustin Hoffman (I think that’s who it was) pushing a white face mime off an imaginary wall in some movie.  Yes we all came to hate mimes. Who wouldn’t? It was a bad plague. 

It may be time to leave the bad taste behind.  Mime is a wonderful and vast realm of theatre.  Perhaps it will return in a new state. One that is not pushed off an imaginary wall.