Bill Bowers works as a professional mime. He will be coming to LCC from May 27 to May 30 and will be taking part in a Q & A, a workshop and a performance.
Photo: contributed by Bill Bowers
Bill Bowers works as a professional mime. He will be coming to LCC from May 27 to May 30 and will be taking part in a Q & A, a workshop and a performance.Photo: contributed by Bill Bowers

Bill Bowers works as a professional mime. He will be coming to LCC from May 27 to May 30 and will be taking part in a Q & A, a workshop and a performance.
Photo: contributed by Bill Bowers

Employing a mixture of mime, music, and monologues, Broadway actor and mime Bill Bowers participates in an ongoing investigation of the silence surrounding matters of gender in today’s culture. He draws his characters from life and explores how men are socialized into modern culture from boyhood.
Lane’s Student Production Association is presenting several opportunities for Lane students and community members to experience his work.
Bowers says that this investigation began shortly after his mother died. While going through her possessions he discovered a poem titled “What is a boy?” He learned from his sisters that his mother brought the poem home with her when he was born.
He carried the poem with him for years while entertaining questions about what it means to be a boy or a man. He then had a son and this inquiry deepened.
Bowers lives with his husband and two lesbian women. While using colored pencils, his son commented that the pink pencil is the color for girls. Bowers and his family have no contractual agreements regarding what his son will be exposed to. However, they are very conscious about how they are raising him. The boy does not watch television and didn’t learn to associate pink with girls at home. Bowers said that gender socialization runs deeper than we realize.
Visual storytelling through mime is a way to reach people emotionally, Bowers said. It’s not just about humor. He said that when he’s on stage, he remains aware of the audience and that people are following him. If he senses that they aren’t, he makes sure he is being clear in what he is conveying.
Finding Marcel Marceau
Bowers’ mother took him to see Marcel Marceau when he was 17 years old. Years later, when he learned that Marceau was touring to celebrate his 80th birthday, Bowers sought him out and became his student. Marceau died one year later.
Audiences, particularly in America, have a limited and even negative perspective on mime, according to Bowers. People fear that they won’t understand it or enjoy it, he said. He incorporates other art forms, using some music and speech and finds that audiences appreciate and enjoy the different elements that he brings to the mime art form.
“I try to make my stories very accessible and personable, and through that, universal,” Bowers said. People comment that they do understand it and are unexpectedly moved and entertained.
“I’ve never been busier and I take that as a good sign,” he said. “I feel like I’m in the right place doing exactly what I want to do.”
Mime isn’t just about humor. It can evoke strong emotions in people. “One of the strengths of the mime art form is that it allows the audience to participate in terms of the imaginary world and it invites the audience to feel,” Bowers added. “It invites people to participate in the story, and I think that’s what opens people up.”
Acclaim for Bowers’ one-man show:
New York Times: “Fascinating. Affecting. Engaging to the eye and ear.”
Dallas Arts Examiner: “Beyond Words” is one of the most poignant, fresh, absorbing, empathic, hilarious, and ingenious pieces I’ve ever seen. Bowers transforms the stage into a realm of revelation and transfiguring.”
New York Post: “He presents a portrait of small-town America filtered through his own experiences that’s both moving and funny. Bowers effortlessly brings us to laughter and tears, often at the same time.”
Blue Door Theatre:
Free and open to the public:
“Movement for the actor” workshop Wednesday, May 27 – 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Dress to move.
Q&A session: Thursday, May 28 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Reserve space: Brian Haimbach: haimbachb@lanecc.edu.
Ragozzino Performance Hall:
One man show “Beyond Words:” Saturday, May 30 at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: Students and seniors $10.00
General admission $20.00
High school students free.
Purchase: lanecc.edu/tickets or 541-463-5648 or pay at the door.
SPA is offering a “pay what you can” at the door for anyone who would like to attend.
Information about Bowers and the show can be found at: www.Bill-Bowers.com

In addition to mime, Bowers also uses speech in his show. He finds the audience appreciates the different elements in his performance.Photo: contributed by Bill Bowers

In addition to mime, Bowers also uses speech in his show. He finds the audience appreciates the different elements in his performance.
Photo: contributed by Bill Bowers
Bowers incorporates a mixture of music, monologue and mime in his performances.Photo: contributed by Bill Bowers

Bowers incorporates a mixture of music, monologue and mime in his performances.
Photo: contributed by Bill Bowers