September 8th, 2009
The San Francisco Mime Troupe actually talks a lot.
The radical theater company has been speaking out since 1959, after
performing only very briefly in silence at first.
The troupe is on its 50th anniversary tour, and the current show is
"Too Big to Fail," a contemporary satire framed as an African fable,
to Sebastopol's Analy High School on Sept. 18, Petaluma's Walnut Park
on Sept. 20 and the Sebastiani Theatre in Sonoma on Sept. 24. For
the details and complete schedule (415) 285-1717 or visit sfmt.org.
Head writer Michael Gene Sullivan of the San Francisco Mime Troupe
spoke out during a recent interview on a list of controversial topics.
Our conversation was an interview, not a debate, so if you want to
see opposing points of view, you'll need to add those yourself. Other
viewpoints are welcome. Here we go.
Inflation and recession:
"When capitalists say it's a boom or bust cycle, I always think, if
your car broke down periodically, so badly that the whole community
had to put money into it to make run awhile, you'd call it a lemon."
Socialized medicine and socialism:
"Other countries have socialized medicine, free school through
college, all these things that are actually socialist. They're
socialized democracies. England, Sweden, France, Spain all of
these countries are our allies, sometimes. We'll take their soldiers,
we'll take their money and we'll take their jobs if we can. But when
it comes to getting in the way of corporate profit, we say they're on
the other side."
Religion and politics:
"Just because someone isn't of your faith, it doesn't mean they have
different economic interests than you. And just because someone goes
to church every Sunday, it does mean that if they're your boss, they
can't still be ripping you off. You really have to separate these things."
Provocative? Certainly. Offensive? Possibly. But it's not fluff.
As Sullivan sums up the San Francisco Mime Troupe philosophy:
"We're just like a Broadway show, but you have to think."