Sunday, February 28, 2010

In Appeciation of Jan Jaap Dekker

The Netherlands' own Jan Jaap Dekker was Stage Manager/Photographer/Artist for the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe in 1976. He continued to work with members of the company and De Melkweg on a regular basis until he up and moved to the USA in 1978.
He helped Stuart, Debra, and Patsy with his own talents when they started Creative Graffiti (see photo below). Utah couldn't hold him, and he's lived in Northern California since the early 80's. He got in touch with Patsy and Webmaster Mike last week via email, and we hope he visits this blog soon!

Debra and Patsy clowning and dancing in Creative Graffiti -- Photo by Jan Jaap Dekker circa 1978.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Footsbarn in Paris 2010

Footsbarn has many cross links with the history of the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe -- Pierre Byland was a featured performer at LaCrosse in 1974, and many of the Footsbarn actors graduated from Jacques LeCoq's school. The company toured with Friends Roadshow, played the 1st Festival of Fools, adopted stray Trouper Mike Evans, and shared The Road with Katie Duck and Hillary Elmore. Gregg Moore was a member for several years as well. Footsbarn persevered through stresses which often broke up other talented groups. They have literally gone around the world, and will likely do it again before all is said and done.

There's still time to see them in the City of Light!
17 January to 28 February -- Theâtre de l'Epée de Bois
Cartoucherie Paris 12ème Times: February -- tues - sat @ 21h; sun @ 16h

A play for clowns, undertakers, horses, chickens, tractor, gypsies, children, dogs, sheep, violonists, opera singers, bodies, gods, and a fistful of chillies!

From a translated review: Two undertaker's assistants, with the paces crafty devils, make the beautiful ones in the middle of the track. A famous type-setter returned the heart, his coffin is brought solemnly in a cart to horse. The circle becomes the theatre of funeral, accompanied by a trio by classical music. One quotes Shakespeare and Goethe; the small orchestra plays of Schubert. One respects one minute of silence. In the room also, silence!
But ... the first button jumps. A black cock unloads while hopping and comes to perch itself on the coffin. Then it is a cat ... Our two undertaker's assistants (Pierre Byland and Vincent Gracieux) deadpan, make large eyes with each new disturbing appearance of good progress ... the higher bid appears by the interruption of a white horse to the gallop ... Sorry! is the excuse uttered by Paddy Hayter when he makes his interruption on a yelling and noisy tractor ... it is also the title of the most recent creation of Footsbarn Travelling Theatre ... for this spectacle the company joined two others: Charcoals and the Circus Werdyn Tzigane. This last bringing the equestrian key, or rather, equine strength.
... director and joint author Pierre Byland (Charcoals) had to compose skilfully to take into account the talents of all. Swiss, formative clown of generations of actors at the international Ecole Jacques LeCoq, Byland exploits the eccentric sequences, until the final biblical explosion ...
After the Cartridge factory of Vincennes, the company will take again the road. After Tweed, in Normandy, in mid-March, it revisits its origins for the summer in England, then will go to Switzerland, and Belgium, before finishing the year in the south of France.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

john fischer was a worried man, whether about the quality of his playing or on the relusts of his attempts to book the mime troupe further into europe is unknown.
maybe it was his way of praying
I myself used this picture at times to try to get gigs, and sometimes it made the deal.....

he could play alongside the friends players easy,
I remember even impronights

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Joining the Circus!

Webmaster Mike got an email from Rob Owen, one of the enrollees at the International Mime Festival and Institute in LaCrosse, Wisconsin 1974! He has an interesting story to tell:

...that seemed to be the pace of things there, too much to do and no where near enough time. I got to see Dimitri's second performance and have had the pleasure of seeing him again since then. That was probably the highlight for me though experiencing that much mime in one place at one time was a highlight in itself. It was great to read about and remember the Wonder Bar, arrival of the Friends Roadshow and their show, and think of the many other things that happened at all hours of day or night that weren't part of the schedule.
I haven't done much mime since then though I know it has been a big help when I did some circus clowning and acting. My path after the military was touring with circuses for thirteen years and then working at a family theme park in NH for the past twenty.

Read it HERE (scroll down):