Rob Mermin Producer, Director, Performer, Educator, Author, Lecturer, etc.
Programs (see NEWS & EVENTS for Summer 2016 performances)
This page briefly introduces the programs I currently offer. For full descriptions click on any Main Heading on top of the Home page under the photo collage, or click below:
SILENT FILM CIRCUS MAGIC MIME BUBBLES CIRCUS SMIRKUS
WORKSHOPS are available with all the shows. Contact me for pricing and further information. As a VISITING ARTIST I enjoy being in a community for a week or more giving performances, lectures, and master classes at all levels. (For schools, colleges, theaters, libraries, cultural centers, and general public venues.)
The Illustrated History "Live Documentary" Series
A "Live Documentary" is a one-man, multi-media show on a topic of personal cultural history performed live with storytelling and demonstration, and illustrated with rare and fascinating film clips. (All 90 min. programs can be condensed for 60 min. venues.)
1. Adventures in Mime & Space: The Legacy of Marcel Marceau
This one-man program expresses an unabashedly reverent yet critical look at the author's teachers, Marcel Marceau and Etienne Decroux and the art of Mime. Rare documentary film footage of the masters performing, teaching and speaking is accompanied by live demonstration and personal anecdotes. (90 minutes) Click MIME for more information.
2. Circle of Sawdust: Mud, Myths, Magic, and Mayhem in the Circus
This is an autobiographical show with Rob telling True Tales of High Adventure and Low Comedy from forty years in the circus world. Rare and amusing historical film footage showcases Rob's adventures in the ring in the context of 200 years of circus history. (90 minutes) Click CIRCUS for full description.
A full evening of entertainment from the era of silent cinema, re-discovering The Forgotten Art of Silent Film Acting, and illustrated with a dazzling array of clips from 100 silent films! An "American Masterpieces" Arts Council selection. (90 minutes) Click SILENT FILM for full description.
4. The Silent Clowns: A Celebration of Silent Film Comedians This program features Rob's live commentary comparing the comedy styles of Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Lloyd, Langdon, and others of the silent era. Fun-filled laughs with lots of film clips! The program is most fun with an inter-generational audience: kids howling at their first glimpse of slapstick, and grown-ups laughing at the screen and the kids! (60 min.)
5. Silent Black Cinema: Oscar Micheaux and Race Films of the 1920's
Race Film was a term that identified idependent films in the silent era produced by and for the black community. The most prolific of the early black film directors was Oscar Micheaux, whose films were a response to the demeaning stereotypes of the African-American population by the Hollywood studios. His movies represented black society head-on with controversial issues such as mixed marriages, lynching, passing, family abuse, and the virtues of education, self-reliance, and moral social awareness. This lecture includes a history of Micheaux's work, with rare clips from several of his feature films. Black silent cinema reflects a significant period in African-American cultural history, an often overlooked subject in American film studies.
6. CIRCUS IN CINEMA: Hollywood Under The Big Top is an "Illustrated History" show commissioned by Focus on Film for the Green Mountain Film Festival. (90 minutes). This program depicts how the movies represent the international world of traditional circus under the Big Top, with all its characters, romance, drama, and intrigue! Rob presents live commentary from the stage along with clips from 25 feature films. Film stars include: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Gina Lollobrigida, John Wayne, Betty Hutton, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Charlton Heston, Humphrey Bogart, Frederic March, Peter Lorre, Pat Boone, Doris Day, Danny Kaye, Jimmy Durante, Charlie Chaplin, and more!
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These shows are designed for smaller venues and audiences — kids, families, and general ages. All my shows and projects in a forty-year career have in some way involved cultivating the idealism and nourishing the dreams of young people, while stimulating their creative imagination with adult playfulness.
The BUBBLE CIRCUS (performance) was inspired by an 89-year old vaudeville wizard, an expert in the soapy science, who impressed me profoundly with how he saw all of life in the luminous wonder of a bubble. A Bubble Circus & Soap Suds Sideshow presentation: Click BUBBLES for full description.
GRANDPA'S SLEEVE (What's Up Your Sleeve, Grandpa?) A hands-on workshop of simple tricks with ordinary objects with a nod to science, silliness, and magic. It is a fascination with those invisible realms just beyond our usual senses, but within a blink of our imagination. A workshop for all ages, but especially for Grandparents, Parents, Aunts & Uncles! Click MAGIC for full description.
This is an intimate evening of close-up conjuring designed for grownups for special occasions, dinner parties, and informal living room gatherings. Your guests enjoy a friendly atmosphere of personal mysteries and delicate enchantments, as well as an edifying digression into scams, bets, and swindles.