Traditional and non-traditional aspects of the silent theater art of mime combine with music and dance in the third annual Mid-Atlantic Movement Theatre Festival being held today through Sunday at Towson State University.
Acclaimed international theater movement artist Tony Montanaro of Paris, Maine, The Bond Street Theatre Coalition of New York and TOUCH Mime Theatre of Carrboro, N.C., are the featured experts who will perform and teach master classes.
The four-day event is offering 12 workshops, eight panel discussions, evening performances and cabarets. Other movement artists presenting informative seminars in mime and acting techniques are: Mark Jaster, Binnie Ritchie-Holum, Michael Pedretti, Brad Waller, Jill and JW Rone, Tomi Casciero, Terri Mastrobuono, Karin Abromaitis and David Geyer.
Geyer, the coordinator of the festival, is the founder and artistic director of the mime company, IMAGIMIME, an educational school cultural project.
"The purpose of the festival is to showcase new works by top theater movement artists," he says. "There is a wonderful sharing here. The works are an outgrowth of mime as a simple art form. People are using more props, masks and spoken words. Nobody at the festival will be in traditional white-face.
"Tony Montanaro and his wife, Karen Hurll, a classical ballet dancer, will present the more traditional mime form integrated with dance," says Geyer, also a traditional mime. "Touch Mime Theatre is concerned with sociological issues, and the Bond Street Theatre excels in circus skills.
"The important thing in movement theater," he says, "is the creativity. The artist has to make decisions how to express himself and not lose artistic integrity. Props and things can end up being more clutter on stage. The power is in the simplicity."
Montanaro, who studied under Marcel Marceau and Etienne Decroux, and started the current mime program at Towson State University 20 years ago, is also a well-known actor, director, choreographer, writer and poet. In his new pieces he and Hurll blend their respective art forms in a series of comedic movement sketches.
Festival panel discussions include such topics as: "Business Management for the Movement Theatre Artist," "Street Performing," "Creating a Movement Piece," "Clowning and Its Relationship to Movement Theatre," "Writer's Block and the Process of Creativity" and "Touring and Performing Internationally."
Performance schedules are as follows:
The Bond Street Theatre Coalition performs at 8 tonight in the Mainstage Theatre. Admission is $10 general, $8 for students.
TOUCH Mime Theatre performs at 8 p.m. tomorrow in the Mainstage Theatre. Admission is $10 general, $8 for students.
Tony Montanaro and Karen Hurll: Mime Dance Theatre perform at 8 p.m. Saturday in Mainstage Theatre. Admission is $10 general, $5 for non-TSU students, $4 for TSU students.
For costs and times of daily workshops and panels call Towson State University at 830-ARTS.