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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Theater

Mission: The San Francisco Mime Troupe creates and produces socially relevant theater of the highest professional quality and performs it before the broadest possible audience. We do plays that make sense out of the headlines by identifying the forces that shape our lives and dramatizing the operation of these giant forces in small, close-up stories that make our audiences feel the impact of political events on personal life. To make this work accessible the Mime Troupe performs its shows in local parks at a price everyone can afford: FREE.

Results: We currently perform our annual summer show for an average of 40,000 people every season, which has steadily grown to this number in the 50+ years the Mime Troupe has been performing free in the parks. In that time, we have been bestowed with a Tony Award for Excellence in Regional Theatre, 3 OBIES, and numerous local awards and recognitions from cultural and governmental entities. Our Youth Theatre Project has directly served over 500 local youth in its 15 years, many of whom who have go on to teach in the program themselves, and/or pursued theatre and other artistic endeavors beyond high school.

Target demographics: People of all ages, ethnicities, genders and income levels enjoy our main Summer Show; since we perform outdoors and for free, anyone can come, and cost isn’t an issue. However with that fact in mind, and with a stated mission of reaching the broadest possible audience, we definitely have an eye toward serving those who couldn’t otherwise afford to experience live theatre. Our Youth Theatre Program, a free teen afterschool program held every spring, is geared toward local youth aged 14-18.

Direct beneficiaries per year: We perform for an estimated 40,000 people every season, and serve 30-40 youth every spring in the Youth Theatre Project. We also teach various workshops for youth and educators throughout the year, reaching, on average, another of 150 people.

Programs: Theatrical performances, tours & workshops to promote public awareness of headline issues in an entertainment format. Approximate 24 performances in bay area and throughout the usa.

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been watching SF Mime Troupe productions (THEIR PLAYS ARE NOT SILENT, despite the name) in the parks of San Francisco for the last 30 years! I am never disappointed. I have been so enamored by their work that I sent my son to a program for public school students that they sponsored where he worked with other teens from a variety of schools in various neighborhoods to create, write and produce their own play. What a pleasure to watch students of all colors and backgrounds collaborating while producing their own creation!
I am especially impressed with how the Mime Troupe has managed to bridge chasms of race and class. Their cast is multi-racial and multi-national and respectful of gender identities. Their themes are universal. Their productions inspire action for building kinder, stronger communities and a better world. The Troupe is well worth supporting!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Saw my first Mime Troupe show in 1988 in Columbus, Ohio - Seeing Double, about the Israel-Palestine conflict. Been hooked ever since. I go every summer now to recharge - get outside, be entertained with hilarious, clever politically progressive musical comedy, see my friends, remember that there are thousands of us (and we need to stick together!), get some ironic distance from whatever craziness is going on politically - and get insight at the same time. Tickle your funny bone, sharpen your wit, strengthen your commitment, warm your heart - and do it in great company. Go see the Mime Troupe as soon as you can! Oh and -- bring some cash - they need it, and boy, do they deserve it! You won't be sorry.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of watching the Mime Troupe's summer shows since about 1987. They are excellent! They really explore and satirize the currents events of the day in a very humorous way with very skilled and appealing actors, very good accompanying music, very good costumes, and amazingly flexible attractive sets. I have never seen a show of theirs that I didn't completely enjoy! I saw "Freedomland" this past summer and couldn't have imagined a more appropriate way to comment on the police brutality against black men in our country at this time than the way the SFMT portrayed it. The issue of the bureaucracy the police use and their willingness to manipulate facts were both effectively displayed. They perform not only in the San Francisco Bay Area but in nearby parts of California and sometimes elsewhere. Go to see them whenever you can!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been a fan of the San Francisco Mime Troupe since around 1970. I think the first show I actually saw was at UC Santa Cruz in the early 1970s-- "Electrobucks". Although a Mime Troupe program will probably not serve as a new membership tool, it is nevertheless true that long standing left wing people need encouragement and inspiration too. "Freedomland" is one of the most inspirational shows I have experienced. We may live in an era of atrocity and indifference but the San Francisco Mime Troupe gives us fresh evidence every year that evolution and revolution are still part of a future we are all working to build. Freedom is, indeed, a constant struggle.

Robert Scott, Boulder Creek CA

Donor

Rating: 5

Th SF Mime Troupe: I first attended a performance in the 1960's, in a downtown building basement. Bill Graham did their publicity then, I think. I was a devoted fan until I left for l.A. and stayed in SoCAL for 17 years. However, upon my return in 1983 I have managed to attend nearly all performances, minus a couple when I was in poor health or hospitalized. I just love the Mime Troupe. and enjoy bringing friends who've never seen it to get caught up in the atmosphere and the talent. Nowhere is there anything at all like this in theater. The satire on political and civic endeavors are always perfect pointed.. The cast is enormously talented, taking several roles, and sometimes I cannot figure who is playing which role. The music is lively and catchy. Most of all the audience is "as one" at these events. People are in tune and "chiiing out", as a crowd united in joy and appreciation for a viewpoint held by all.this theater group must NEVER close. Its point of view is essential to public sanity, the unique arena to laugh at what is truly quite tragic and dispiriting in
our culture. Claire Isaacs Wahrhaftig Dec. 31, 2013

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The San Francisco Mime Troupe is the best theatre in San Francisco and anywhere else for that matter. I have been to many shows over the years, beginning in 1978 when my now 34 year old nephew sat in a stroller beside me as a pre-one year old and enjoyed the sounds and sights of theatre in Dolores Park. Continued success, Mime Troupe!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The chemistry that a troupe has onstage is so important, and it cannot be feigned. These singers/dancers/actors are having fun together!! The writing was AAA+, the timing couldn't have been edited to be any tighter, the whole show simply ROCKED! Go out of your way to catch it...you will be glad you did...

John H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AS A YOUNG CHILD WHOSE UNCLE AND AUNT WHERE PART OF SFMT.

I TRAVELED WITH THE TROUPE IN A OLD MAIL TRUCK FROM PARK TO PARK. I LEARNED SO MUCH ABOUT TRUTH AND JUSTICE AND FAIR PLAY.
I ALSO LEARNED ABOUT RACISM AND EQUALITY . I COULD NOT HAVE ASKED FOR A BETTER LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AS A CHILD . WHAT A BLESSING. THANK YOU SFMT JOHN HOLDEN

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We saw our first Mime Troupe show, “City for Sale”, in Boston in 2000 when the Troupe was on an East Coast tour. It is impressive that the Troupe presents not only a quality theatre experience but also that the script & music are original. The Troupe is a talented group of writers, musicians and actors who have blended their skills and who collectively turn out a superbly entertaining, yet highly relevant play each season. Their plays have a message which makes you think long after the show is over. We would love to see the Troupe tour the East Coast again, but until then we will continue going to San Francisco as often as we can to catch a performance.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first saw the SF Mime Troupe in the early 90s, when I had just moved to San Francisco. I had grown up being involved in theater communities on the East Coast and in Europe, but I had never seen anything quite like this particular blend of entertainment, education, and activism. Over the years I have seen the Mime Troupe perform in SF and Oakland, and each time I have been blown away by the Troupe's willingness to pull out all the stops in order to tell a story. Their comic timing, originality and overall energy are simply outstanding. Why can't they be on the 6 o'clock news? We might have a more educated (and happier) citizenry...