Mimes have been gesticulating their way into our hearts (or nightmares) for a lot longer than you may think. While it may have been the legendary Marcel Marceau who popularized the mime, people have been communicating through movement since the very beginning.
But is the future of miming in trouble? That may depend on what you consider the art form to be. Whether you recognize it or not, characters in big-budget Hollywood movies and television shows routinely rely on pantomime techniques to create the on-screen characters we love.
This hour we speak with mimes and mime historians about the past, present, and future of the art. We also interview actor Doug Jones-- famous for his performances in The Shape of Water, Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, and currently as Commander Saru on Star Trek Discovery-- about how miming and movement are central to his character portrayals.
- Doug Jones - Trained mime, contortionist, and award winning actor known for his roles in The Shape of Water, Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, and currently as Commander Saru on Star Trek Discovery
- Richard Knight - Mime, movement instructor and physical comedy expert currently working for East 15 Acting School at the University of Essex; author of Mime the Gap: Techniques in Mime and Movement
- Shawn Wen - Writer, Producer for Youth Radio, and multimedia artist; author of A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause
Colin McEnroe, Jonathan McNicol, and Betsy Kaplan contributed to this show, which originally aired on August 30, 2018.