Alum Barbara LaMorticella: A Woman of Her Words

Monday, March 04, 2019

OREGON ARTS WATCH (PORTLAND, OREGON) -- “I always liked poetry,” she said. “I remember having long, long conversations in high school about e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot.” Later she took a poetry class at San Francisco State University from Stan Rice, the Vampire Chronicles novelist Anne Rice’s husband, and a two-week workshop with Robert Bly, and later yet, in Oregon, with William Stafford.

But to begin, she and Robert were early members of the liberatingly creative political theater company the San Francisco Mime Troupe, from 1965 through 1968. “MEEM Troupe,” she said. “We called it the Meem Troupe. And that’s because Ronnie Davis, who was the founder, studied with Marcel Marceau, so it was the Meem Troupe.” Later, she added, after she and Robert had left and after what she termed an insurrection in which Davis was kicked out of the company, the pronunciation became “mime.”