The Sights of Silence are indeed a sight to behold. Murray’s Marvelous Mimes (the Pleasanton Intermediate Campus’ extra-curricular Drama Troupe, under the direction of Dawn Cardwell Murray) performed at PISD’s Doug Williamson, Sr. Performing Arts Center on Monday, Nov. 21 and Tues, Nov. 22.
The performance opened with songs sung by PIC’s sixth grade choir classes, taught/ directed by Mary Dowdy. The audience enjoyed the choir singing some of their favorite songs, including “The Singer’s Prayer” by Thelma B. Quillian (Mary Dowdy’s grandmother) whom many of us remember as our favorite piano teacher as we grew up in Pleasanton. Mrs. Dowdy also shared interesting historical background of the songs, including “Jingle Bells” by Robert Pierpont… which we learned was originally a Thanksgiving song.
Mime Time began with each skit being introduced by the Sign Wranglers: fifth graders Hannah West and Kinsley Moore, as they showed the audience the title of the upcoming skit.
The curtain opened upon a “wave” of actions showing the audience their first glimpse of the mimes wearing their very unique costumes: long-sleeved gray shirts, black pants and shoes, piano key suspenders, white gloves and, of course, their white “mask” mime face (which took almost two hours to complete on the 29 mimes). Big thanks to our volunteers who helped the makeup process go quite smoothly and finish on time: (in alphabetical order by first name) Britni Barker, Cathy West, Charles Murray, Jackie Moreno, Mandy Hardy, Sarah Rich and Summer Murray.
The audience was captivated and entertained by the silent creative facial expressions and body language of each of the 29 mimes, as they performed over 15 skits that included face-to-face mime time as the mimes went out into the audience and ended with a flourish wave, curtain call and fun picture poses.
Performing at the PAC theatre is an awesome treat for a drama troupe of sixth graders. Thank you Rey Rodriguez for manning the control booth so that the lights and music added that extra depth to the actor’s and audience’s experience. Thanks to Cathy West and Kittie Mann for your continued support and work on PIC’s yearbook. The lovely hat racks were lent to us by the First Baptist Church in Jourdanton and Frances Schneider.
Pleasanton can be very proud of its young people. PIC certainly is. Performing without speaking is a challenging art to learn. Clarity of body language is the key to a successful connection between the actors and the audience. These young dramatists worked long hours after school (sometimes three days a week for two months) to prepare for their “first time ever!” mime performance that awed those in attendance.
Audience comments: “The teamwork that was shown included each of the performers as the ‘star of their moment’ as each individual action flowed together to produce harmony … I liked the wave.” “Magnificent.” “Awesome.” “I laughed so hard! It was great.” “The student audience was captivated.” “They came right up to me. That was cool.” “I’ve never seen anything like that before! They did a great job.” “They looked like professional mimes.” “This was a production of top quality.”
None of this would be possible without the support of PIC Principal Jennifer Garcia, who sees the importance of fine arts in our schools and the way it benefits and enriches the lives of all our students… and our community. Thank you, Mrs. Garcia!
A sincere thanks for the continued support of the Pleasanton Express and their awesome staff, including Lifestyles Editor and photographer Lisa Luna and photographer Leon Zabava.
As a Theatre Arts teacher in Pleasanton for the past twenty years it has been my privilege to work with many different talented students. I am pleased to say, once again, how proud I am of my troupe’s performance and our community’s encouraging responses and support. I thank you all.