Theatrical Daze & Nights
Michael's Artistic Biography & Chronicle of Decades
Adventures on the Road with Dancers, Musicians, Clowns, Mimes, School Busses, & Other Creatures
Scroll down for summaries of the various sections,
follow the links, or try the Handy Table of Contents:
Early SLC Mime Troupe   Art Studios Etc   SLC Mime Troupe; Year Two
1974 International Mime Festival  Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe   First Tour: Aspen Highlands  California Pt. 1   California Pt. 2   California Pt. 3  Coast to Coast to Europe
The 1975 Festival of Fools and Holland   Mime Troupe Scrapbook and Outline
Footsbarn Theater  Readers' Comments
(Links shown by Italics are not my work, and will open in a new browser window)
Back to Theatre X-Net



Theatrical Daze & Nights I
Hard-Hat/Art Student with a Sony Porta-Pak

Salt Lake Valley's Tolkien-esque Two Towers -- Studies at the University of Utah (East Side Mountains -- Left) and job at Kennecott Copper Corporation (West Side Mountains -- Right);
A twenty five mile commute between very different institutions;
Part Ia : The Sixties and Seventies;
Rock Concerts; SDS & The Draft; Underground Comix; Conceptual Art; Paul McCarthy, Mike Cram, Al Payne; Sony Porta-Pak -- Spin-off from the Space Program; Part Ib & Part Ic : First Avenue Studio; SLC Mime Troupe; Modern Dance Department; Repertory Dance Theater Summer Workshop; Murals and windows for local alternative "Head" Shops; 9th & 9th Studio -- The Nameless Uncarved Block and other video experiments; Theater 138 -- Mime Troupe Redux;















Theatrical Daze & Nights II
The Hillside Studio; LaCrosse ; and the Lollin Building

Part IIa : Studio in the carriage house of McCune Mansion on Capitol Hill; Assisted with Katie Berger's classes at University Utah via videotape; Mime Troupe maturing into a character-driven dance company with a unique, fluid, ever-evolving style; Music by Paul Blackwell and Stuart Curtis; Initial manager was Daniel Robert from New York; I learned lights, sound, publicity, and any other chores which came my way; Stuart and Paul gradually formed a band; Daniel took the bold step of booking us at the Sun Tavern-- one of the first openly gay discos in the western states. A large percentage of their clientele was from the local arts community, and everyone who went there wanted something out of the ordinary. Daniel was correct -- they loved our show! We first worked out of state at an arts festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in the spring of 1974.
Part IIb : Daniel made another important decision when he sent Matt, Katie, Dave, and Patsy to LaCrosse, Wisconsin for the International Mime Festival. I made one of the most important decisions of my life when I gave up my job on Kennecott's railroad to follow the dancers to LaCrosse, along with our band.

LaCrosse was a TRIP -- home of the Heileman Breweries. Several hundred young men and women in a dormitory next to the Wonder Bar, where beer was ten cents a glass. Our hosts, the nuns of Viterbo College, and the hapless festival management were outnumbered and overwhelmed. The European performers outclassed the Americans every time; A circus trainer from New York named Hovey Burgess taught everybody, including myself, how to juggle; Just when it seemed like things couldn't get crazier, the Friends Roadshow drove in with their own electric band; Their company letterhead said London, Paris, Amsterdam, USA -- and Salvador Dali was their patron;
We had already made a sensation by taking over a space and putting on our own full-length show. We made an alliance with Jango Edwards, the leader of Friends. He suggested we would do well in Europe, and offered to help book us there. Jango kept his promise within the year, but there was a lot more work ahead of us;
An ex-teacher named George Kugler was at LaCrosse too. We had previously met him in Salt Lake City. He was looking for a new career. He was an apt pupil and immediately innovated a wide range of juggling tricks into an act and character all his own. He asked to join us back in Salt Lake City. We accepted his offer, and never made a better decision than that. To top off the whole event, Nixon resigned during the last week of the festival;

Part IIc : Return to Salt Lake; Optimism and Anxiety; Katie and Dave follow Friends Roadshow to San Francisco; George Kugler moves to Salt Lake and practices his craft at Trolley Square;
We move to a new studio in the Lollin Building on Main Street; Daniel recruits Mark Nelson as manager and returns to New York; Paul and Stuart form another band; Fun at the Sun -- and any gig we could get; Jango and Davy of Friends Roadshow come to town; Workshops and performances at University of Utah;
Clown's Cabaret, the Glass Factory show, a somewhat-new name, and public recognition at last; George buys a school bus, and the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe goes on the road;




















Theatrical Daze & Nights III
Aspen, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles,
Salt Lake to Denver to Michigan, and Amsterdam

THE ROAD is everything all those songs say it is!
Part IIIa:
A holiday week in the Rockies, and we almost run onto the rocks at the Highlands of Aspen; Debra fills in for Patsy;
Part IIIb: One last night at the Sun; Southwest College (Zupan almost fire-breathes his last); Balboa Park; The Back Door at San Diego State; Grossmont College, and the schools; Road Angels -- the Appezeller Clan (Katie's family); Karen in San Diego; Barbara in Camarillo; Margaret in Santa Barbara;
Part IIIc: Santa Barbara Playhouse; Getting ready for the Big City;
Part IIId: Los Angeles: Reunions with Karen and Antonin Hodek; Last reunion with Paul, Mike, and Al;
Word comes down that Europe is ON! Tajunga Canyon;
Century City Playhouse; Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo; Los Angeles Times; Loyola Marymount; Madame Duck slowly becomes Katie Duck; More schools, more miles, fewer smiles. Utah in a snowstorm on our 33 foot bus;
Part IIIe: One more concert at the University; Passports and preparations -- Patsy rejoins us for European Tour; Denver -- gigs and prairie snows; The long haul to Michigan and Friends' Farm; The Filling Station bar in Detroit; More schools, and a final forgotten festival before flying. Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Manhattan, and Queens -- the long wait for our charter at JFK Airport; All night flight to Brussels; Lost luggage (a blessing in deep disguise); Long train ride to Amsterdam;
Part IIIf: De Melkweg -- reunions from Aspen, LaCrosse, and new Friends; Road angel Peter Domela-Nieuenhuis; The 'funpark' at Gooi Zee; The Mime Troupe regains it's stride at the Hot Theatre in The Hague, De Lantaaren in Rotterdam, and Toneelschuur in Haarlem; Vondelpark -- Mike Heron;
Triumph at De Melkweg
;
Friends Roadshow returns from America -- I was A Teenage Palm Tree; The 1st Festival of Fools begins in earnest; The Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe decides to disband after the festival (Later to re-form); Street shows, juggling, Footsbarn Theatre, and a continental romance for me. Scrapbook and Outline








Theatrical Daze & Nights IV
Footsbarn Theatre -- On Tour In Southwest England

Footsbarn's base of operations was a farm named Trewen, deep within the hedgerows. I went right to work, travelling from one end of Cornwall to the other. The rural countryside was invigorating after hustling about big cities.




Theatrical Daze & Nights V
Amsterdam -- Peaks and Valleys in the Dutch Flatlands

Return to Holland; Willie Nelson at De Paradiso; 2nd Festival of Fools; The US Bicentennial in Amsterdam (Red, White, and Blue); Theater Slapstique; Paul Blackwell; Michael Gimpelli, and Colonel Bogus; Footsbarn visits Amsterdam during Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee in England (More Red White and Blue);
A winter of extreme discontent
; Footsbarn Theatre revisits Amsterdam; Fighting Back: Bouwes Wat Anders; Fontaintheater; Jorge Fishon at the Shaffy; 3rd Festival of Fools -- Rejoining the Mime Troupe; Footsbarn's Dancing Bear; After the Festival: Katie Duck, Debra, and Patsy; Goma Fewtet; Katie & Carlos; Return to the USA: Jango on the same flight -- final goodbye; Steve Martin on Saturday Night Live, The Gong Show, Disco, Waylon & Willie; The Generation Gap heals over in America.




Theatrical Daze & Nights VI
The Late 1970's -- Personal Transformations & The Later Mime Troupe




I made a new committment to graduating college. I also took a job as an ITV video cameraperson at the University of Utah, shooting theater and performance, but also sports and educational sessions; Linda C. Smith's Repertory Dance Theatre was at the top of it's game with Backstage Jitters; The Mime Troup's ex-manager Mark Nelson was booking ASUU Programs, and I helped promote Duck's Breath Mystery Theater. We became friends, and I rode in the Homecoming Parade with them the next spring, wearing a duck mask of my own design;
My days of personal involvement in Theater were ending:
I made some videos for Debra Ryals' Masters Degree; Spent a short time at Pioneer Memorial Theater as a scenery painter; Ran lights one night for Patsy Droubay and Hillary Elmore at the Art Barn; Shot
my last video for the Great Salt Lake Mime Troupe at Kingsbury Hall in 1978;
My graduating thesis -- Masks and Transformations was shown at the Marriott Library, thanks to Sharon Shepard and Laird Rodet. It was a kind of stand-alone theater.
Attendance rather than participation; The Fowler Brothers, Bob McFerrin, Hole in the Wall Saloon -- live music every night, including Mime Troupers Gregg and Stuart playing Jazz in the first incarnation of Available Jelly. I drew cabaret sketches of the Jordan River Uptown Band at Trolley Square. My teaching career crashed on take-off, but it's aftermath propelled me to technical school, and long-term employment.
I am NOT the only college graduate who's had this experience.





Theatrical Daze & Nights VII
The 1980's -- Spectator, Supporter, Jogger, and Technician




I started taking more and more photographs in the 80's and making drawings from them.
Nina Cheney was a friend of Patsy Droubay. I first met her in Amsterdam while she was travelling. She later studied with Carlo Mazzone-Clementi. She was/is a serious juggler. Nina re-visited Salt Lake with her juggling partner at the beginning of their long career, and I took some PHOTOS.
Double Oh Four (004) -- a dance band. (Visit Hole In The Wall on State Street.) Photos, drawings, friendships with Doug Edwards (very much like Jango), Wanda Day (very much like Katie), Elaine Matsui and Scott Simons (unique and friendly people). Wanda introduced me to 'Punk' guitarist Al Grazzi, and bassist/model Lisa Verstieg. 'SLC Punk' and New Wave had their OWN scenes.
I created some graphics for the Salt Lake Track Club and Sojourners when I was a jogger. I served as crewmember for some of the weekend races and shot pictures too -- one of them won a Blue Ribbon at the Utah State Fair.
I volunteered at KRCL Community Radio for a few years, and one of my most pleasant duties was dubbing syndicated Duck's Breath Homemade Radio segments for drive-time. Dan Coffey even helped make a special tape with me, as his famous radio character Dr. Science -- who is still on the air!
The last time I hung out with Duck's Breath was when they screened their movie Zadar, Cow From Hell, at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City and performed one more concert at Kingsbury Hall in the late 80's.




Theatrical Daze & Nights VIII
The 1990's to the 21st Century -- Digital Art and Technology



















Computerized graphics, writing, and publishing caught my interest, and I pursued them all the way from Salt Lake to Seattle to Spokane and Kalispell, Montana after I was married. I sharpened my skills on college newspapers in Spokane and Kalispell, briefly dabbled in music journalism in Spokane, and even in Salt Lake City once again, when I returned for some "temp" work at the end of the 90's.
While living near my old haunts on Capitol Hill, I was inspired to take up caberet sketching again at performances of the popular Disco Drippers band, featuring the angelic voices of Tamara and Lisa Rodgers -- scanning my drawings and turning them into more atmospheric representations of the dancing scene. Look at some drawings of the Rogers sisters in Adventures on the ONE Pt. 2
I made friends with members of the group, and other people who enjoyed funky music. In fact, I used digital techniques to make colorful prints of other jazzy Funk artists who performed in Salt Lake -- Maceo Parker, Rodney "Skeet" Curtis, Greg Boyer, Bernie Worrell (plus his Woo Warriors), Fred Wesley, and Dennis Chambers. They'd all served time with Funk mastermind George Clinton.
See Adventures on the ONE Pt. 3 , Pt. 4 , & Pt. 5
The Internet made it possible for me to contact various musicians within these seminal "bands of bandleaders," and I treasure the friends I have met in this manner. I have also personally seen George and his Funk Mob twice in the wilds of Montana, and spoken with many of them at length. Read about it starting with Adventures on the ONE Pt. 1
While I was checking out interesting venues in Salt Lake, I renewed my aquaintence with Linda C. Smith, who still ran Repertory Dance Theater in a new downtown building named the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. Read more in Reflections on RDT
I made friends with a ballerina named Heather Thackery and gladly watched Ballet West whenever I could. I attended appearences by poet/performer Alex Caldiero -- an electrifying presence onstage, and a kind, gentle friend offstage. Read about him in Reflections on Alex Caldiero
I also spent quality time with, and did a sketch or two for Scott Simons and his wonderful wife Diana, who ran a shape-shifting musical group called Curious Birds among their other intense (and positive) projects.
I visited an out-of-the-way place called Kilby Court where I saw two unusual events: Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, and the multi-media Mesh, starring Street Legal Theater -- who combined stilt-walking, fire manipulation, juggling, and rauchy comedy. They also lived communally in a way I hadn't seen since the 60's and 70's.
I first met Street Legal's members at a neighbor's garage sale on Capitol Hill when Amber Merriwhether, their hard-working den mother, did an impromptu fashion show right off the racks of clothing. She was hilarious, and I made a drawing of her when I got home, so I wouldn't forget how funny the whole thing had been, and later made friends with her. Street Legal targeted their energies towards the annual Burning Man Festival every August/September in Nevada.
Check out Reflections on Street Legal Theater 
In the wake of their return from 1999's Burning Man, I saw the Bindlestiffs, straight from New York by way of the high Nevada desert, surrounded by the costumed Street Legal gang at Kilby Court. When Ringmisteress Philomena started singing "You are the show..." she was certainly addressing the right crowd! The Bindlestiffs are a variety act -- that being said, it is impossible to adequately describe the totality of their performances. Keith (Pennygaff) Nelson is from Coney Island. They had supporting acts, like "Rocket Johnny," a Canadian pyrotechnic performer -- but primordial sideshow stunts, performed by Keith and Stephanie (Philomena) Monseau, supplied the BIG thrills.
I stay in touch with the Bindlestiffs via email and it turns out that Hovey Burgess is on their Board of Directors (!) I can't do much but send them money when it crosses my mind, or encourage them in their daredevil antics, but I'm glad to know that centuries-old traditions continue in this way.
I worked at Flathead Valley Community College in Montana for nine years, and there was an active Theater program there. I videotaped performances for two years, and supplied equipment as part of my job, but I wasn't personally involved very much. A dancer and theater veteran named Linda Grinde charmed me into designing some oversized costumes for her pantomime-like production of a Dr. Suess story. I was happy to lend a hand, but intentionally limited my input. My FVCC Theater Projects are worth a quick look.
I worked for the Hockaday Museum of Art, for ten years handling paintings, drawings, and sculpture. I was a photographer there too, and enjoyed it very much.
These photos are from a charity art auction which the Hockaday Museum helped sponsor, with a Modern Dance group as artistic presenters.
Digital photos, Internet video, and writing may occupy a lot of creative time now, but music is still a major muse of mine, as a glance at the Exceptionally Yours page, and my Personal Blog will clearly demonstrate. I also produced videos on the local Public Access channel for the college in conjunction with the public relations department, where I promoted our theater productions and other events.




















I felt pangs of theatrical temptation when Footsbarn Theatre asked for help in finding venues in North America after a scheduled appearence at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis during the summer of 2005. I contacted Nina Cheney, and she agreed to look around. John Kilby gave her a call too, and we started making plans to see them. Just before Footsbarn flew off to India, the Guthrie cancelled their gig. Footsbarn eventually landed on their feet, performing in a specially-built venue on the docks of Dublin, Ireland for the whole month of July, 2005, after a successful tour of the Far East.

2006 was Footsbarn's Thirty-Fifth Anniversary
I went to their home base in France -- it was quite a festival, and a fine "working vacation" -- over 250 artistes from around the world, almost 10,000 people filling the seats, and dozens of volunteers like me trying to keep it all together! I met some of my old compadres, and made new friends too.

See the Illustrations of:
Footsbarn's 35th Anniversary -- A Celebration of Theatre

I've spent the summers of 2011 and 2012 in Amsterdam

Choreographer and master teacher Katie Duck invited me to take photographs and shoot video during the MAGPIE Summer Workshops and Orgel Park workshop/performances. I became friends with her musical partner Alfredo Genovesi, met many other fine artists, and reconnected with great friends like Davey Norket in 2011. The next year I was part of Katie's team throughout the entire summer. Investigate Katie's Videos, plus peruse some of my own Performance Videos.


Credits: All graphics are made from digital scans of personal memorabilia, and are presented as 'scrapbook' samples of my own experiences, based on the 'fair use' principle of international copyright law. Some photos are from public archives in Utah and Wisconsin, assumed to be for public use. All drawings are by ME. Most black & white and color photographs are taken by myself, or are digital copies of personal photos taken by friends and family members in the 1970s, 80, and 90s.
Copyright© by Michael Evans 2006. *Burning Man, Curious Birds and Bindlestiff Family Cirkus are digital reinterpretations of images found on their websites.
Credited images used by permission. Public Domain images are used freely under provisions of International law.
All Rights Reserved Michael R. Evans 2012  Email Me