Silent Witness Mime Troupe


Silent Witness was started in August of 1997 by Jonathan Bennett, with the help of his then fianceé Nicole, as a way to teach youth excellence in the art of Mime, and allow an outlet for ministry for those youth.

and then there were five

For the next several years, the troupe maintained a steady membership of around 13. Performances were mainly at Mt. Zion, and although the technical skills of the members may not have been phenomenal, they were tight with their cues and performed well. After getting initial training from Mimeistry International in the summer of 2000, the leaders brought more technique to the pieces, and the skill level increased. Troupe membership eventually dwindled, as time and life went on, and eventually there were only five members left.

Far from being a sad time in troupe history however, this was a time of building leaders, and truly one of the times when the troupe had the highest quality both choreographically and technically. One of the five members (Joanna Adams) went on to attend Mimeistry (Now Innovo Physical Theatre)'s school of mime and two of the others (Stephanie and Kristina Powell) have taken multiple workshops from Mimeistry/Innovo, and are currently co-leading, organizing, and scheduling the troupe.

In July of 2005, Mt Zion (our home church) held a youth camp called CYMA (Children and Youth in Ministry through the Arts). Twenty-five of the youth involved took part in the Mime elective, and 10 of them (between the ages of 10 and 13) joined the troupe afterwards. By the end of the following spring we were up to 18 members, and beginning to deal with size issues we had never had before. With each successive year CYMA has occurred we have continued to get some new members, as well as friends and siblings of other members. Innovo has also become a friend of the troupe, with a hosted workshop almost every other year, and various troupe leaders having close friendships with the leadership of Innovo.

Through the ensuing years the troupe has performed at numerous churches throughout the VA, MD, PA area with a variety of purposeful continued storyline concerts as well as assemblages of pieces, and have had the privilege to give the younger members valuable experiences in flexibility performing on the road.

Troupe membership continues to fluctuate, but the energy level and excitement for the ministry and the art are a blessing to see.