San Francisco Mime Troupe performs in Seattle at University of Washington on November 7, 1969.

  • By Priscilla Long
  • Posted 11/04/2001
  • Essay 1326
On November 7, 1969, the San Francisco Mime Troupe performs in support of "liberating" the Raitt Hall "Commons" on the University of Washington campus. According to Seattle director (of Black Arts/West) Douglas Q. Barnett, "Their performance of The Minstrel Show was a scathing, satirical indictment of race relations and the military industrial complex."

The San Francisco Mime Troupe is a renowned experimental, political theater, which began in 1959 by presenting avant-garde performance events in lofts and basements. R. G. Davis was the founding director.

The troupe became a collective in 1970 and, in its own words, "...we have done melodramas, spy thrillers, musical comedies, epic histories, sitcoms, cartoon epics. Our trademark style draws from all these genres and is based on their common elements: strong story line, avowed point of view, larger-than-life characters, fantasy, live music"(San Francisco Mime Troup website).

Sources: Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 276; San Francisco Mime Troupe website accessed November 1, 2001 (; Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, "Black Arts/West, Part 2 -- A History," (by Douglas Q. Barnett), (accessed November 1, 2001).

Related Topics:   Education | Theater & Dance

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You