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1924 Very Rare: The University of Michigan Mimes' Production Program - $30 (west of Ann Arbor)

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condition: fair
make / manufacturer: University of Michigan
model name / number: Mimes
size / dimensions: 10 x 7 inches
The Mimes were an extension of the Michigan Union Opera that began in 1908, which emerged from the many musical comedy acts in Michigan county fair shows. Shows that featured the Mimes made a lot of money, and proceeds were directly responsible for keeping the Michigan Union afloat. The group helped purchase the land on which the Union now stands.

By the 1920s, the Mimes were a big deal. As noted in the book, The University of Michigan, an Encyclopedic Survey, pt. 1, "In the 1920s, five hundred students tried out each year for the cast...". Since all of the actors were men, males had to play women's roles.

In 1912, the Mimes officially organized and performed until 1929, when--during a performance in NYC--a blizzard hit and the Mimes wound up with an empty theater and no proceeds. The Great Depression that soon followed was the death knell.

Actors performed musical comedies that poked fun at local prominent figures and situations local to Michigan. The group performed mostly in the Midwest and hit its heyday in 1923. Aside from Ann Arbor, some of the Michigan venues included Grand Rapids, Detroit, Bay City, Flint, and Saginaw. The group would typically do seven Ann Arbor performances and fifteen out-of-town performances yearly, with out-of-town performances scheduled on the students' academic breaks.

This program, featuring the musical comedy "Tickled to Death," was from a 1924 performance held in Saginaw.

The program measures

The cover and inside page has separated from the the stapled spine, but they’re both in great shape. On the bottom of the front page are some pencil marks, which I did not try to erase. Most of the ads are from the Saginaw area. On page nine, there is some upside down writing that says: "Hoo's Hoo In the Movies," probably a reference to a Mime production.

As noted in the program, "The story is of a party of American archaeologists crossing China..." and the comedy that ensues from a culture clash. It features many stock American characters and stereotyped Chinese characters.

The program has some really neat ads from a 100 years ago: Lincoln, Grinnell Brothers, and various local ads from Saginaw since this performance was held there.

I’ve been around quite a long time, and I certainly haven't seen it all, but I doubt if a handful of these programs exist any more..

post id: 7745463008

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