Mimes want to be seen, heard through actions

ColleenSully

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Shhhhhh • Nora Fitzsimmons ’20, Alyssa Cathcart ’22, Holly McCutcheon ’20, Cassie Wolf  ’20, Phoenix Farrens ’23, Ellie Henderson ’20, Anna Czechut-Hoffman ’20 and Katie Peklo ’23 wait for their time to shine at the Thanksgiving prayer service. They captivated the school with their beautiful rendition of Shel Silverstein’s book, “The Giving Tree.” 

Marian’s Mime Troupe proves actions speak louder than words. Assistant to the Principal, Mrs. Michelle Delisi, has been moderating the club since she began working at Marian in 1978 and is passionate about teaching the girls how to successfully captivate an audience. She was a member of the club when it began in 1972. “There were way more people on it back then. When I was on it there were 24 of us,” Delisi said.

Delisi has enjoyed every second of moderating the club but is sad to see fewer and fewer girls joining each year. “When I took over, we would range from 16-24 mimers. In the last seven years it has completely dropped off where we only have a dozen girls,” Delisi said. “I think that the main problem is that girls have too many clubs to choose from and are overcommitted. It is hard for people to fit in everything they want to do.”

Delisi fears that the club will die off if she doesn’t get more girls excited about it. She has condensed the practice schedule throughout the years in order to make the club less of a time commitment. She is passionate about the art of miming and would hate to see it go away. “It’s frustrating because I don’t know what else to do to get girls interested in miming,” Delisi said. “I think it is such a unique club and is worth keeping around.”

Successful miming takes more than just a face of black and white makeup. There are several rules that the Marian mimes follow when performing; the full uniform includes completely black shoes, black tights, the black romper, gloves and a long sleeve shirt. They are also required to fully cover their hair with their black hats and paint their faces all the same way. The mimes are never permitted to speak when they are in full uniform. The girls will remove their gloves if they want to converse with each other or with someone else around them. Marian’s mimes take these rules very seriously. Behind the painted faces are just average high school girls hoping to entertain the Marian community. 

The mimes performed at the Thanksgiving prayer service and were seen roaming the halls during Marian’s Open House event in November. “Working at the Open House was a life changing experience. I have a passion for miming, and I like to see people’s reactions,” senior Anna Czechut-Hoffman said. She has been a mime since her freshman year.

“I love the girls that are in the troupe. The energy and creativity of the group is amazing,” Delisi said. “The girls that worked at the sixth and seventh grade workshop were amazing. Everyone loved them and they just had a great time. It was so refreshing to see the younger girls eager to learn about miming.”

Delisi loves just about every aspect of miming but her favorite part is the creativity that goes behind each performance. “I love when we actually create and build a mime from scratch because our original ideas get bigger and better at each meeting,” Delisi said. “There’s a lot of laughter and it’s really fun to see the creativity come to life.”

The mimers practice on Wednesdays before school in the dance studio. Their next performance is in the west gym during both lunches on March 31 and they are looking forward to lots of support. Contact Delisi (delisi@omahamarian.org) and follow through if you have an interest in joining the troupe. You don’t have to have any experience to become a mime!

Adviser Note: COVID-19 UPDATE- the performance of the Marian Mime Troupe on March 31 has been cancelled. Students and teachers may be practicing their miming skills if the audio glitches in upcoming online learning. 

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