Bay Area Fundraisers: Wanna See Free Theatre About Fundraising?

Spending a summer’s day in the park seeing the San Francisco Mime Troupe, picnicking, and seeing which old friends you run into: It’s a Bay Area tradition.

No, the Mime Troupe is not silent, as in pantomime — it’s campy political comedy, with rousing music to boot. (To quote their website, “We mean ‘mime’ in the ancient sense: to mimic.”)

The question every year (other than, should I buy a T-shirt or just make a straight donation?) is, what topic will have the politically savvy Bay Area audiences laughing, crying, and clapping along — without saying, “Didn’t we see this last year?” That’s no mean feat, given that they’re in their 52nd season. (Though I still wish they had an excuse to bring back their Dick Cheney character.)

The answer this year: Nonprofits’ desperation for funds, and the pushed-to-the wall question of whether to accept funding from dubious corporate sources. It’s sort of a play within a play, as a scrappy political theatre group faces imminent closure and the temptation of corporate funding from the mysterious (and more than a little pushy) Mrs. Haverlock.

To say any more would be require a spoiler alert, so I’ll just send you to the Mime Troupe’s website for reviews and the performance schedule.