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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Inside Story of Movement Theatre International's Mime and Clown Festivals is a work of non-fiction focusing on dramatic art forms. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Michael Pedretti, whose experiences working alongside mime and clown artists are lovingly recalled in this explorative work. The book is filled with exciting photos and engaging history to track the formation of a ground-breaking movement in the theater during the late twentieth century, and Pedretti displays his dedication and involvement to the art form, which seeks to produce emotive and joyful performances that touch the souls of their audiences and redefine what it means to perform.
This was an absolutely fascinating read from cover to cover, and although this is a world I’ve seen many times as a spectator, it was a total revelation to see the ideas, impetus, and inspiration behind the art form. Author Michael Pedretti goes beyond this expansive history lesson to also give a lot of himself to this work, from his lovingly detailed, friendly narrative style to his insider scoop on non-profit formation and management, as well as dealings with the press and the world of finance. It’s a testament to how much work goes into these kinds of festivals and the movements which they represent, and a testament to how important the arts are, not just as an entertainment form, but as a means by which we can reconnect with our own emotions and see human nature reflected back to us through performance art. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Inside Story of Movement Theatre International's Mime and Clown Festivals for those with an interest in the art form, but perhaps especially for those who are total newcomers wanting to see things from a new perspective.