Loud and timely
The San Francisco Mime Troupe returns to the region with a political production that explores love, fear and immigration
The San Francisco Mime Troupe has staged socially relevant theater, leavened with music and earthy humor, since the 1950s. The acclaimed group is touring the region this weekend with performances in Nevada City, Davis and Sacramento.
Its latest production covers a timely topic. Titled Walls, it follows an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent who falls in love with an undocumented immigrant, says Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe, the show’s co-director.
“I’m married to an immigrant who recently became a U.S. citizen,” Cooper-Anifowoshe says. “For years and years, we never worried about it. But now, a lot of people are in a panic because of Trump.” The characters include immigrants from Ireland, Somalia and Mexico. Written by Michael Gene Sullivan with music by Michael Bello and lyrics by Piero Amadeo Infante, the show also features a three-piece band.
Cooper-Anifowoshe, who got her first professional job in the theater with the San Francisco Mime Troupe in the 1980s, also worked at the Sacramento Theatre Company for several years. She has since performed all over the country.
A word of note for those who’ve never seen the San Francisco Mime Troupe perform: Don’t expect silent mime. The troupe favors the classical definition of mime—“the exaggeration of daily life in story and song.”