The Mateel will host the Tony Award-winning and SoHum favorite, San Francisco Mime Troupe on Saturday, July 31 this year
Anything but silent, the Mime Troupe’s brand of mime takes its meaning from the ancient understanding of the word: to mimic. Political satirists, they create and produce socially relevant theater. Their plays seek to makes sense out of the headlines through close-up stories that make the audience feel the impact of political events on their personal lives.
This year’s original play, “Possibilidad, or Death of a Worker” tells the story of workers at a small U.S. factory that is shutting down, causing them to lose their jobs, their last two weeks of pay, and their retirement funds, which were raided over the years to pay stock dividends. Despondent, they put in their last shift and raise a glass to their years together. As they are leaving the factory for the last time, one of the workers gets snagged on a machine. Interpreting this as an act of defiance, “The Boss” calls Security, the situation escalates, and before anyone has a chance to think, the workers have accidentally occupied the factory!
All “heck” breaks loose as the negotiation process begins and The Boss tries intimidation, patriotism and Red Scare tactics, while the workers just try to figure out what they’re doing. Some say wreck the place. Tea Baggers say it’s all the government’s fault. Others blame the Union. When one worker an Argentine ex-pat says they should consider running the factory themselves, he is immediately labeled a Commie.At night as they occupy themselves with songs and stories, the Argentine comes forward again and tells the tale of a similar strike back home.
As more of the Argentine’s story unfolds, the parallel plights of the American and Argentine workers play out side by side. While the Americans struggle to keep their factory occupation from becoming politicized, the Argentine strike is deeply political. In the end, both the American and Argentine workers are victorious, but which resolution will ultimately keep the power in the workers’ hands?
Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 31. Doors open at 7:00pm with dinner available for purchase. The Mime Troupe band plays a set of live music beginning at 7:30pm and the performance starts at 8:00.
For more information about the play or the troupe, visit www.sfmt.org.