The Theatre de l'Ange Fou and the International School of Corporeal Mime (formerly known as the Ecole de Mime Corporel Dramatique) were created in Paris in 1984 by Steven Wasson and Corinne Soum, the last assistants of "the father of Modern Mime" Etienne Decroux, and relocated to London in 1995. The International School of Corporeal Mime is devoted to the development of the technique, growing Repertoire and dramaturgy of Corporeal Mime, and offers a full range of professional training programmes.
The company, the Theatre de l'Ange Fou, has toured throughout Europe, Russia, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and the Middle East. The Theatre de l'Ange Fou has created over 20 original plays, devised pieces, as well as adaptations, ranging from duets to large ensemble works: The Little Dictator - parts I & II, Beyond the Garden, Crusade, Entangled Lives, The Government Inspector and their latest, The Orpheus Complex... revealing different aspects of the spiritual and human quest, portraying the fraility and complexity of relationships between individuals longing for love.
Impressions of the mind, the absurdity of life and the resulting questions are a constant source of inspiration for both the directors and the actors. Using Corporeal Mime as the base of their creative work, the dramaturgical construction of their plays takes the form of a voyage where the characters traverse varied landscapes and lifetimes, some real, some imaginary.
The world of the Theatre de l'Ange Fou, this visionary world of contrasting light and darkness, of metamorphosis, is populated by a family of invented archetypes in unkown yet familiar settings. Throughout their various productions, the Theatre de l'Ange Fou explores the infinite possibilities of the interaction between the corporeal score and the spoken text, music and film.
Alongside this personal artistic development, Steven Wasson and Corinne Soum, in 1992, took up the challenge of re-introducing to the public the Repertoire of Etienne Decroux with their reconstruction, and performances by the Theatre de l'Ange Fou, of most of his major pieces (including La Meditation, Les Arbres, L'Usine...) in The Man Who Preferred to Stand, and more recently, Passage of Man on Earth and Resonance. This was the beginning of the transmission process that is today the base of the teaching in the International School of Corporeal Mime.
WHAT IS CORPOREAL MIME
The quote on the right defines the guiding spirit of Corporeal Mime. It is about taking action and giving structure to ideas and emotions. It is learning how the human spirit might find the ultimate fulfilment in physical form. It is giving the actor the ability to do what he wants and not just what he can.
Corporeal Mime is a technique which allows the practitioner to learn, through a unique vocabulary how to express theatrically human behaviour from its most practical aspects to its more abstract and spiritual ones. It is the art of the thinking body.
Born in France (1956), Corinne Soum is the co-director of the Theatre de l'Ange Fou and the International School of Corporeal Mime in London, and of the newly created in Wisconsin, USA. She studied corporeal mime with Etienne Decroux, and became his assistant, sharing in his research, teaching and creations.
Decroux created three pieces on Corinne: La Femme Oiseau, Le Fauteuil de l'Absent and Le Duo dans le Parc St. Cloud, and re-worked numerous classic pieces for her from his repertoire. She studied classical dance with Yves Casati of the Opera Comique, modern dance with Jeanne Jolly, graduated from the Ecole Irene Popard in gymnastics and contemporary dance, and studied voice with Georges Roiron.
Corinne taught corporeal mime at the National Theatre School in Amsterdam.
Corinne has a long collaboration with Steven Wasson in directing, creating and playing many leading roles for their company. She was the professor of Corporeal Mime at the Ecole de Mimodrame Marcel Marceau for seven years, and travels throughout the world as an invited performer, lecturer and writer on Etienne Decroux and corporeal mime.
Born in the United States (1950), Steven Wasson is the director of the Theatre de l'Ange Fou, and the International School of Corporeal Mime in London, and of the newly created White Church THEATRE Project in Wisconsin, USA. He studied literature and drama at the University of Northern Colorado with Dr. Lloyd Norton, and mime with Dr. E Reid Gilbert at the Valley Studio near Madison, Wisconsin, and with Thomas Leabhart as a member of The Corporeal Mime Theatre.
Coming to Paris, he was a student of Etienne Decroux and later became his assistant, participating in Etienne Decroux's teaching, research and creations. Decroux created two pieces on Steven: Le Prophete and Le Duo dans le Parc St. Cloud, and re-worked a number of his classic repertoire pieces for him. Steven studied voice in Paris with Georges Roiron. Steven has created and directed all of the plays for the Theatre de l'Ange Fou, and has performed in many of them.
He has worked as an actor in film, TV and live radio in the U.S. and France notably with award winning documentary director Dominique Benechetti and Oscar winning filmaker Serge Bourguignon. Steven taught corporeal mime at the National Theatre School of Amsterdam in 1981. In 1989, his play "Le Petit Dictateur" was awarded the 'Label of the Revolution' in France. In 1996, Steven reconstructed and directed the mime scenes for Simon Callow's Royal Shakespeare Company production of Les Enfants du Paradis. Steven has acted, written and directed for the Avatar Meher Baba Theatre in India, and has led workshops in mime and physical theatre throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia and the Middle East for thirty years.
He is the in house film director for the Theatre de l'Ange Fou creating artistic and pedagogical films for the company and the school.