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Learn how mime troupe thinks outside the box

By MICHAEL PATRICK WELCH

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 22, 2000


Traditionally, mimes don't talk. So someone needs to speak on their behalf.

Dan Chumley, the San Francisco Mime Troupe's artistic director, will discuss the troupe's history, accomplishments and future on Thursday as part of USF's University Lecture Series.

While the art of mime is often equated with the word "pantomime," the troupe bases its work on the ancient tradition of mime, meaning "to mimic."

For 40 years, the San Francisco Mime Troupe has brought social and political satire on topics from bio-engineered food to development of inner city areas to youth centers, activist organizations, theatre programs and labor unions around the world.

The troupe's latest production, "City for Sale," to be performed at USF on Nov. 15, tells the story of the effects of gentrification on a San Francisco neighborhood. But the troupe could also be talking (or not talking) about the changes to Ybor City.

Chumley also will discuss performing with the troupe, the body as a walking archive of a person's emotional history, Masters mime courses (such as the one he teaches at USF), and his experiences teaching characterization to animators at Sony, Dreamworks and Industrial Light and Magic.

Chumley's lecture will feature a minimum of performance. Those interested in seeing Chumley at work can come to a public performance by his current USF class at noon in Room 130 of the Theatre Building on USF's Tampa campus.

If you go

WHAT: Lecture by Dan Chumley, artistic director of the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

WHERE: Theatre I building on USF's Tampa campus.

WHEN: Student presentation at noon. Lecture from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

COST: Free.

CALL: (813) 974-2701.

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