The San Francisco Mime Troupe has been named the recipient of Actors' Equity Association's 2014 Rosetta LeNoire Award. The award was presented at the San Francisco Bay Area General Membership Meeting on Monday, April 28th, 2014 in San Francisco.
Mime Troupe and Equity Members Velina Brown, Michael Gene Sullivan, Keiko Shimosato and Lisa Hori-Garcia, who also represent the cast of the group’s upcoming summer production, were present to receive the award from Equity Executive Director Mary McColl and Western Regional Director Ralph Remington.
The Rosetta LeNoire Award, established in 1988, recognizes outstanding artistic contributions to the universality of the human experience in American Theatre. The Award is given to an individual, theatre or producing organization with an exemplary record in the hiring or promotion of ethnic minorities, female actors and actors with disabilities through multi-racial and/or non-traditional casting.
The Mime Troupe has ”for over 50 years” been at the forefront of socially relevant theatre in the United States, putting forth dialog that focuses on issues of race, gender equality, class and economics as well as political, economic and social issues that affect our world. Their work uses social satire, comedy, music and Commedia dell'Arte to enlighten its audiences with humor to those serious issues that affect our daily lives to promote awareness and change. They began the tradition of shows in parks, which are always free, and open its yearly production on July 4th in San Francisco’s Dolores Park.
The company, a collective, has been from its inception multiracial (before the word "multicultural" had entered the vernacular). The company's work has provided both gender and "true" colorblind casting in each and every production. The Mime Troupe began its relationship with Actors' Equity Association in 1991. As compared with other regional companies, even in this economic downturn, the troupe has been pro-union and committed to maintaining the number of contracts or salaries.
The work of the San Francisco Mime Troupe has been a stunning example of positive choices in theatre and has been recognized nationally when winning an Obie Award on numerous occasions, as well as the Antoinette Perry "Tony" Award for excellence in regional theatre.