Either Or (Part 1)

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Either / Or [1]
In The Dark
Original Broadcast Date
Arthur Miller, Maude Davis, Joe Frank
Improv Actors, Scripted Actors, Mock Interview, 25 minutes
Preceded by: Soul Mate
Followed by: Either / Or (Part 2)

This is Joe Frank, I'm here at the Bellflower Hotel.

Either / Or (Part 1) is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series In The Dark. It was originally broadcast in 1994.


Sound of police sirens, people making love.

Joe interviews famous mime Bertram Fields (Arthur Miller) in a hotel room at the Bellflower. Joe, concerned about the couple next door's loud passionate love-making, bangs on the wall.

1:30: Joe says Fields will be appearing at Carnegie Hall next Thursday. Fields points out that it's the first time in 35 years that a mime has performed there. Fields claims that Marcel Marceau and he studied at l'École du mime[1] with Étienne Decroux Fields thinks Marceau has hurt mime by playing a clown.

4:30: Joe doubts that mime can express complex emotions. Fields disagrees, says mime can be more eloquent than words. Fields cites his mime performance of Macbeth in Berlin in '64.

7:30: Joe worries that the sound of people making love next door will ruin his recording of the interview. Fields calls the desk. The woman at the desk is a mime fan. She calls the couple next door, but they don't pick up, just get more passionate.

11:00: Joe asks Fields why he went into mime. Fields says that he got into fights as a child. Injuries to his nose and palate made his voice sound funny so he stopped speaking. Even after his voice returned to normal he kept the habit of expressing himself silently.

13:40: Joe asks about the future of mime. Fields tells about psychic mime and mime performed behind blinds so the audience can't see the performance. Fields mentions recording mime performances on audio disks. Joe wonders if performers really do their best work if it can't be seen; Fields assures him they do, perhaps even better.

19:10: Joe's concerned about the couple next door again.

19:50: The couple next door gets a solo.

20:40: Joe returns to the interview, asks about performing in different venues, especially stadiums. Fields expatiates on the power of subtlety, that even slight gestures, well-rendered, can have a great effect. He says Decroux emphasized, repeatedly, that 'less is more' - 'moins est plus!'

23:50: Joe asks about his upcoming performance. Fields says he's composed 'Existential dilemma' based on Kierkegaard's Either/Or.

Legacy Synopsis

Mock interview of a mime in a hotel room next to a passionate couple who won't stop. Marcel Marceau the sellout, communicating complex idea via mime, Shakespeare in mime, becoming a mime because of having a strange voice as a child, statuary mimes who don't move, blind mimery, mime in huge theaters with props, less is more. A radio performance of the mime piece Either / Or. Becoming a nurse instead of a mime. radio performance of the piece Nothing Happened: an idyllic picnic with a strange woman, obsessions with her brother, an artist who read the Magna Carta during dinner and suffered a breakdown, her brother disappears, finding meaning while being forced to dress as a woman and dance in class. Monologue: I've always hated mime, the mime defense based on murder after a mime performance. One side of a bizarre telephone conversation. Monologue: I want what you just heard to dwell within you, an academic paper on it.


This is an incomplete record of the music in this program. If you can add more information, please do.

Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "[P]erformed by Arthur Miller, Joe Frank, and Maude Davis. The story editor was Farley Ziegler. Recorded and mixed by Jerry Summers. Special thanks to Jennifer Ferro."


  1. I can't find this; Marceau started École Internationale de Mime in 1969.