CLAREMONT, CA -- With the publication of Words on Decroux 2, Thomas Leabhart marks his 16th year in the Theatre Arts department of Pomona College and the 24th year he has been publishing Mime Journal.
Leabhart studied with Etienne Decroux, the grand old man of mime whose most famous students were Marcel Marceau and Jean-Louis Barrault, and who is the subject of the latest issue of Mime Journal.
Words on Decroux 2, a 117-page paperback, includes both text and photos to document Decroux's theories on mime and movement.
"[Decroux's] knowledge of the actor's pre-expressive level, how to build up presence, and how to articulate the transformation of energy, is unequaled in Western theatre history," said Eugenio Barba in an article entitled "The Hidden Master."
Also included in Words on Decroux 2 are articles by Corinne Soum, Marco de Marinis and Deidre Sklar. In addition, the journal includes excerpts from two of Decroux's lectures and an interview with Maximilien Decroux. Leabhart, who teaches "Mime & Movement for Actors" and "Acting Through the Mask" at Pomona College, said, "Decroux's second phase, Corporeal Mime, went past the illusionist phase utilized by Marceau and Barrault. It is less anecdotal and has nothing to do with whiteface skits. Directors like Robert Wilson and many performance artists have been influenced by Decroux's teachings, which only ceased in 1991 when he died at the age of 90."
Leabhart has published 19 issues of Mime Journal, but only 12 are currently in print. The Words on Decroux 2 issue is $20, postage & handling $1. Send a check or money order to Mime Journal, Theatre Dept., Pomona College, Claremont, CA 91711-6349. (For foreign air mail, add an additional fee of $6 per book.)
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent