Dr. Tom's Teacher Study Guide: The Mime Behind the Mask About Dr. Tom Tom Pierce is a professional mime and actor who has toured nationally and internationally for over 25 years. He studied mime, acting and children's theater at Florida State University. He performs a style of mime that is primarily narrative, using illusionary mime technique, masks, and clowning to communicate with his audience. He has performed in schools, theaters, festivals, colleges, and churches in 40 states and in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong, England, Mexico and Cuba. The student analyzes, and constructs meaning from formal and informal theater. l...understands appropriate audience responses to dramatic presentations. 2...understands how theater communicates events of everyday life. 3...understands the similarities and differences between play acting, pretending, and real life. 4...knows how theater uses visceral elements, sound, and movement to communicate. 5...articulates emotional responses to the whole, as well as parts of, dramatic performances. ...to understand and appreciate the art of mime and mask theater. ...to learn that doing anything well takes practice and perseverance. ...to be motivated to try new and different things. ...to have a better understanding of non-verbal communication. In The Mime Behind the Mask: Dr. Tom introduces his audience to the art of mime using the illusionary technique, European style clowning, and stand-up comedy. He will act out silent stories including: "The Butterfly" that teaches about learning from mistakes, Face Place; about self-acceptance, The Toddler; a true story about Tom and his son Zack; ask Theater; a history and mask demonstration, plus circus skills and audience participation which heighten the excitement and involvement of the students. Mime as a theatrical art form has its origins in the masked choruses of Greek theater. However, as a means of communication, it has been used in every culture in the world to tell stories since men and women were created. During the 18th and 19th centureies in Europe, mime was integrated in a verbal art form, satirical and improvasational in nature, called "commedia del'arts." The actors used masks with the major characters wearing leather masks, and the minor characters wearing white-face. These troupes would travel about the provinces making up skits about the prominent citizens of the area in which they performed. Physical comedy and slapstick routines were a major part of these performances. 1. Ask students to give examples of non-verbal communication which they observe and/or use during the course of a day (or class period). 2. Have students take a vow of silence for a period of time. Have them communicate silently (and without writing notes) and later discuss their experiences and feelings.