© 2018 Bill Bowers

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Credentials

Hailed by critics as the most accomplished and renowned mime of his generation, Bill Bowers currently performs and teaches the art of physical storytelling throughout the world.  His methods and exploration of universal truths transcend the spoken word to educate and touch audiences in countries as varied as Poland, The Netherlands, Scotland, Japan, Macedonia, Romania, Italy, Germany, Norway, Germany and Austria.

 

An award-winning actor, Bowers has also performed in all 50 United States and Puerto Rico appearing on the stages of Broadway, The Kennedy Center, The White House, Steppenwolf, LaMaMa, Theatre for a New Audience, St. Anne’s Warehouse, Urban Stages, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Radio City Music Hall, HERE, and the New York International Fringe Festival. His Broadway credits include Zazu in The Lion King and Leggett in The Scarlet Pimpernel.   He has also portrayed the great silent clowns:  Charlie Chaplin in the world premiere of Little Tramp, Pierrot in the world premiere of Beethoven N Pierrot, and Petruchka with The Colorado Symphony.     

 

A passionate student and educator, Bowers studied with the legendary Marcel Marceau and currently serves on the faculties of New York University, Stella Adler Conservatory, and William Esper Studios. He is also presently a Visiting Professor at Williams College. He holds an MFA from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, and an Honorary PhD from Rocky Mountain College. 

Background & Approach

Bowers was born and raised in the wilds of one of the quietest places on earth, “Big Sky Country” Montana.  Growing up before the advent of Facebook, Glee or the Oprah Winfrey Show, his childhood was surrounded by circles of silence and conformity.   For Bowers, coming to terms with being gay in a small western town also meant keeping secrets in order to survive.  This mix of inaudible mayhem, humanity and beauty led him to explore and love the meanings and physicality of the unspoken.  At a young age, he would find his way to the art of mime.

 

Today, the opportunity to make the ancient art form of mime accessible to a contemporary audience drives his professional artistry.  Bowers is a mime who also talks, deftly interspersing narrative with stunning visual portraits.  He marries classical aspects with contemporary sound effects and music, poses present-day considerations through physical tapestries, and invites a wholly transformative look at the humor, pain and beauty of our humanity through simplicity and grace.

 

UNDER A MONTANA MOON (2000)

A collection of silent stories that all occur under a Western Sky and look at the experiences of being silenced, remaining silent and silencing someone else. The germinal stage of this play began while Bowers was in residence at Harvard University as part of Anna Deavere Smith’s

Institute for Arts and Civic Dialogue.

Original Works

In 2013, Bowers garnered 5-star accolades across the board at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for his solo show, It Goes Without Saying. He has been creating theatrical works and performing them in Off Broadway venues and theaters around the world for over twenty years.  His writings draw from a mix of autobiographical anecdotes, literature, current events and other people’s life experiences.   In particular, his is a growing anthology of stories that are hard to put into words, or that are rarely, if ever, expressed:

 

Other Projects

Bill has been commissioned by the New York City Children’s Theatre to create an original mime play for young audiences that will premiere in NYC in 2018. It is currenty titled BIVOUAC. He is the Movement Director for FINDING HOME at NYU Steinhardt School of Music, a devised musical production about asylum seekers and the refugee experience. 

 

In 2015, Bowers completed residencies in Northeastern Montana performing and teaching in underserved communities, funded in part by WESTAF (Western Arts Foundation), and also as a teaching artist for the Hurricane Sandy Arts Initiative/ Arts as Healing.   Bowers was in residency for a month at the elementary school in Lavallette New Jersey, a community devastated by the hurricane.  With the students, he devised an evening of Mime and Storytelling entitled Lavallette: Then and Now.

 

Other Projects

Bill has been commissioned by the New York City Children’s Theatre to create an original mime play for young audiences that will premiere in NYC in 2018. It is currenty titled BIVOUAC. He is the Movement Director for FINDING HOME at NYU Steinhardt School of Music, a devised musical production about asylum seekers and the refugee experience. 

 

In 2015, Bowers completed residencies in Northeastern Montana performing and teaching in underserved communities, funded in part by WESTAF (Western Arts Foundation), and also as a teaching artist for the Hurricane Sandy Arts Initiative/ Arts as Healing.   Bowers was in residency for a month at the elementary school in Lavallette New Jersey, a community devastated by the hurricane.  With the students, he devised an evening of Mime and Storytelling entitled Lavallette: Then and Now.

INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCES & RESIDENCIES

  • Festival of Nature, Jeju South Korea

  • Acansa Festival, Little Rock Arkansas

  • Phantomfest, Serbia

  • International Thespis Festival, Kiel Germany (Grand Prix winner)

  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe 

  • International Festival of the Caribbean (2 times)

  • Soulo Festival, Toronto

  • Monomafia Festival, Parnu Estonia

  • NonStop Festival, Moss Norway (2 times)

  • Mercadente Theatre, Naples Italy

  • Accademia Del Arte, Arezzo Italy

  • Panphys Festival, Skopje Macedonia

  • Paradijs Theatre, The Hague The Netherlands (2 times)

  • United Solo Europe, Warsaw Poland (2 times)

  • United Solo Festival, NYC (3 times)

  • International Fresh Fruit Festival, NYC (2 times)

  • All For One Festival, NYC

  • Out of the Loop Festival, Dallas TX (3 times)

  • American School of Shanghai

  • International School of Beijing

  • International School of Bangkok

  • American School of Singapore

  • American School of The Hague

  • International School of Dusseldorf

  • International School of The Hague

  • International School of Vienna

  • International Community School of Amsterdam

  • International School of Bucharest, Romania

  • International School of Tokyo, Japan

  • International School of Dresden, Germany

  • International School of Brussels

  • International School of Geneva

  • International School of Wiesbaden

  • Institut Le Rosey, Rolle Switzerland

 
 
“TO WATCH BILL BOWERS… IS TO SEE THE TECHNICAL ELEMENTS OF A STYLE THAT BRINGS MARCEL MARCEAU READILY TO MIND, JOINED TO THE AMERICAN WEST. MIME CAN BE WONDERFUL - THE AIR BETWEEN HIM AND US IS HIS PALETTE.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES