Concert: 30TH AND 31ST
Power Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
University Musical Society
Created and interpreted by:
in collaboration with John Charles Murphy
in memory of Andres Bossard (1944-1992)
Wednesday Evening, February 17, 1993, at 8:00
Thursday Evening, February 18, 1993, at 7:00
Power Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
William Walters, General Manager
Ian Jackson, Lighting Designer and Technical Director
Yvonne French, Technical Assistant and Stage Manager
All Mummenschanz acts, costumes, masks and props are registered and protected by the Soci6te des auteurs et
compositeurs dramatique (SACD), Paris. Mummenschanz is represented by ICM Artists, New York.
30TH AND 31ST CONCERTS OF THE 114TH SEASON 22ND ANNUAL CHOICE SERIES
About The Artists
Although the trio known as Mummenschanz presented its first program in 1972 as a fringe event at the Avignon Festival, their performances date back to 1969, when Bernie Schiirch and Andres Bossard staged their first show together. Originally the two Swiss mimes combined spoken dialogue with mask sketches to create fantastic and humorous effects, but upon meeting Floriana Frassetto, another student of mime, and traveling to perform in Paris, they dropped all the spoken items to overcome the language barrier. From then on their programs relied solely upon mime and mask, and became appropriately named "Mummenschanz," meaning mas?querade or mummery.
Since its initial engagements, the troupe has performed throughout the world including South America, Japan, Israel and the former Soviet Union and has regularly toured the United States, capti?vating audiences with its mixture of acting, mime, dance, puppetry and magic. In Eu?rope, Mummenschanz has appeared at the Edinburgh and Spoleto Festivals as well as in London, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Madrid, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Brussels. In New York City, the trio performed for three years on Broadway at the Bijou Theatre.
After a period spent developing new material in Zurich, the original cast re?turned in 1984 with "The New Show" and began a second Broadway run in 1986. The years 1989 marked the 20th anniver?sary of Mummenschanz, and a special show, "encore," was created and began to tour the world.
For 1993, the original Mummenschanz trio planned a new production. After the premature death of Andres Bossard in 1992, the two remaining founders, collab?orating with John Charles Murphy, Ian Jackson and Yvonne French, developed and staged Mummenschanz "Parade." This new show explores the cycle of life, death and resurrection, symbolized by the garbage bag and expressed through the images of recycling, terminal disposal and renewal. Throughout the program both familiar and
unknown characters appear, vanish and reappear transformed, with the combina?tion of fantasy, mystery and humor that is unique to Mummenschanz.
Floriana Frassetto studied basic acting techniques in Rome from 1967 to 1969, at the Theater Academy with Alessandro Fersen and through intensive study of body movements (mime, acrobatics, and dance) at the Teatro Studio of Roy Bosier. During the next two years, she worked with various mime shows on tour throughout Europe and joined Andres Bossard and Bernie Schiirch, with whom she founded Mummenschanz in 1972. She has been creating and perform?ing the Mummenschanz repertory ever since. Her most notable individual accom?plishments in addition to Mummenschanz include her costume design and choreogra?phy for a production of Faust in the Greek amphitheater of Taormina, Sicily, and her collaboration in the musical Body and Soul produced by Andre Heller.
Bernie Schurch interrupted his studies at The Acting School of Berne, took leave of a local mime company and went to Paris to study at Jacques Lecoq's School of The?atre and Movement from 1967 to 1969. There he met Andres Bossard and spent the following two years researching and devel?oping a fundamentally new form of visual expression. After many work-in-progress productions and occasional touring engage?ments in Europe, he founded Mum?menschanz with Andres Bossard and Floriana Frassetto in 1972. He has created and performed with Mummenschanz on worldwide tours, including two long runs on Broadway from 1977-80 at the Bijou Theatre and in 1986 at the Helen Hayes Theatre. In 1988 he collaborated on an adaptation of a Mummenschanz act for the Swiss National Circus.
John Charles Murphy holds a B. A. in Speech and English from Creighton Uni?versity and an M. A. in Theatre and Dance from the University of Colorado. Between 1974 and 1976 he acted in children's plays
and street theater productions. From 1976-78 he attended Jacques Lecoq's School of Theatre and Movement and the mime school of Etienne Decroux in Paris. In 1979 he acted in several off-off-Broadway shows until he joined the Mummenschanz com?pany touring worldwide from 1980 to 1982. Since 1983 he has been living in Italy teaching theater techniques, performing and directing in cities throughout Europe. In 1992 he joined Floriana Frassetto and Bernie Schiirch to collaborate in the pro?duction of Mummenschanz "Parade."
Andres Bossard started to perform in a children's theater at the age of 10. Between 1956 and 1966, he first founded a local youth cabaret group, for which he served as writer, director and actor. Later, he took an active part in the production of German and Austrian cabarets. From 1967 to 1969 he was a student at Jacques Lecoq's School of Theatre and Movement, where he met Bernie Schiirch, creating and per?forming the Mummenschanz repertory until 1991. In more recent years, he staged a movement chorus for a baroque opera in Germany. Mr. Bossard passed away last year.
William Walters spent the last twenty-six years traveling around the world as the Stage, Production, and Company Manager for Peter Schickele's P.D.Q. Bach. After the retirement of the erstwhile Professor Schickele, he took a job as the Production Manager of The Acting Company (founded in 1972 by John Houseman and Margot Harley). He is now an advisor to both The Acting Company and Peter Schickele.
Mr. Walters has written plays, stage man?aged, acted, directed, designed and built scenery, and collected unemployment in?surance. He has worked for NBC, the Juilliard Dance Ensemble, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Playhouse of the Ridiculous and several summer stock out?fits. This is his first season with Mum-menschanz.
Ian Jackson began his theatrical career in 1984 as a deputy chief electrician at the Bournemouth International Center and the Pavilion Theatre in Bournemouth, where he worked until 1987. The next year he moved to London. After taking an H.N.D. in Lighting Design, he soon received en?gagements in the West End, designing for various theaters and opera houses. At the same time, he was commissioned as a freelance technical manager to the Hill Street Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival and for television productions for the BBC and others.
Yvonne French moved from her hometown of Cleveland, England, to Lon?don in 1987. There she studied theater design, specializing in the design and con?struction of theater costumes and stage properties. Since 1990 she has been work?ing as a freelance prop and costume maker in several film, theater, and opera produc?tions, developing her own technique for sculpting various kinds of plastics and syn?thetic foams used in the construction of masks and armor. Before joining Mum-menschanz, she worked at the Royal Opera House in London.
Musical Society T-Shirts are on sale in the lobby. $10 buys you the fashion statement of UMS.