Inspiring Teens Magazine - ITMGZ.com
Summer 2016 Issue
Article & Images by Michelle Corr
The Mimes and Mummers at Fordham University
By Michelle Corr
I am not a performance major. I’m studying Journalism and New Media at Fordham University in New York City. Despite my major, I have thrown myself into the theatre community at Fordham and have loved every second of it.
Much to the chagrin of my parents, my life at college has mostly been about the Mimes and Mummers, Fordham’s main stage theatre club for non-majors. The Mimes is not only the oldest club at Fordham, but also the oldest collegiate theatre troupe in the country. Our performance space, Collins Auditorium, was even considered an Off-Broadway theatre for a period of time!
The Mimes is a very unique theatre club. Not only are we a group of non-theatre majors, we are almost entirely student run. Our design team is comprised of the Executive Board members, and each show they rotate departments, learning how to do lights, sound, props, costumes, set, publicity, and production for each of our shows. With two plays and two musicals every year, members of our club get the opportunity to work with the design team to build the show, an experience many collegiate theatre programs do not offer for non-majors. We also have student stage managers, student hair and make-up artists, and student house managers for all of our shows.
The only non-students involved with the Mimes are our directors. The executive board hires professional directors and music directors from all over New York City. We hire a new director for each show, so our club members are cast based on talent alone. Some of our past directors have worked on Broadway shows such as Once, Fun Home, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Sweeny Todd (at the NY Philharmonic), and the upcoming Fully Committed with Jesse Tyler Ferguson. The opportunity afforded to our club members by working with these professionals is priceless – as people who perform for the love of it, we get to work with professionals who can in turn become mentors in the entertainment industry and guide our young actors to success, and learn from people who are actively working in the theatre community.
I have been with the Mimes since my first week at Fordham. I was walking into the cafeteria with my roommate and saw advertising for Legally Blonde auditions. Having just done the show with the Theatre Arts Center in Chalfont, I already had an audition song prepared and was extremely excited about it. When the cast list was posted, I saw my name next to “Paulette,” the role I had just played (and, to this day, the best role I have ever been blessed to sing). As a measly freshman, I was given the opportunity to do what I loved in a show that I loved, and I met a group of people that are now my family at school. Since Legally Blonde, I have been a performer in our productions of Nine (Olga Von Strum) and RENT (Mark’s Mom). I have been serving on the Executive Board for a year, and have produced (Bedroom Farce), and designed publicity for RENT, lights for Bonnie and Clyde, and costumes for Inherit the Wind and our current production of Cabaret.
Before Mimes, I had no theatre experience other than performing. Now, I feel comfortable running an entire tech department. I understand how to use a light board and the intricacy that goes into focusing and cueing lights for a musical. I even learned how to use power tools (which is terrifying. And I’m awful at using them. But I know how to which is more important). But most importantly, I have gained a family here at Fordham. The people I have performed and worked with are the Meredith Greys’ to my Christina Yang – we laugh and cry together, we hate each other one day and hug and make up the next, and most importantly, we have spontaneous dance parties at 2am when we’re still in Collins during Tech Weekend and the lights are no longer doing the light thing. While giving one of the most unique collegiate performance opportunities in the country, the Mimes and Mummers at Fordham University also provide an incredible family that makes college one of the best experiences of my life.
To learn more about The Mimes and Mummers, please visit www.themimesandmummers.com!
Michelle Corr (CB South ’13) is a junior at Fordham University studying Journalism and New Media. Besides performing with the Mimes, she is an intern at Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, head of social media for the Institute for American Musical Theatre, and working towards her goal of performing on Broadway. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @themichellecorr.