The earlier post on the AP2 playscript is actually slightly flawed–done in haste, prior to a full close-reading. Here’s the actually updated *good* playscript–with most of the blocking we’d use, and more! pdf here and celtx here.
Analysis aside, here are some neat effects and such to look for:
Continuing our tradition of introducing a new technological innovation with each show —
- we will showcase physically accurate effects onstage…
- whizzing urine a la Sir Toby Belch;
- classic apple physics, but with a bout of booze, a broadsword and a bit of bondage…
- on-stage a flower whose petals slowly fall, even as it wilts
- a grandiose shadow AO – befitting a self-smitten Malvolio;
- avatar shape changes during a show to vividly change expressions
- and, moving hair! – in Scene 4, Orsino’s hair turns skittish, as it blows/moves in the sea wind.
That and more, all revealed in the playscript above! For further details, see my Director’s Notes.
Twelfth Night, Act 2 is finally in the works… and a draft of the working playscript containing stage directions is available here: (celtx | pdf | txt)
A “MiniPrompt Sheet” that summarizes sets, props, special effects and more is here.
Scheduling is still TBD… (alas, the complications of working with an international cast with everyone in their own countries!)
Continuing our tradition of introducing a new technological innovation with each show — we will showcase physically accurate effects onstage… such as whizzing urine a la Sir Toby Belch; a grandiose shadow AO – befitting a self-smitten Malvolio; and the classic apple physics, but with a bout of booze, a broadsword and a bit of bondage… That and more, all revealed in the playscript above!
We also hope to test out Aussie timing — tentatively 10 PM SLT. Aussies, is that a good time?
Also… We are rebranding! Name to be revealed soon. Stay tuned!
For those who’ve seen a vanilla performance of our current Open-Ended Run (if not, do drop by on Sundays @ 1 PM PT), one of the things you might note is the meticulous analysis that was put into creating the dramatic interpretation behind the acting. Methods in directing on the virtual theatrical stage vary–but, I prefer it such that the character’s personality can be cogently presented through voice only, and the rest, the visual adornments, merely help embellish the role.
In general, I ask actors who make the cast to spend some time analyzing the playscript, especially with regards to scansion and their own close reading. We use several versions of the playscript through the production, starting with a version with emphasis on language and interpretation (one for the actors to mark up themselves, and one with my own interpretation), before finally moving onto the final script, paginated at a page per minute with stage directions. A well-rehearsed role is not merely a reading, but an enactment, where you’re living through the life of your character via your unique portrayal of the script.
I also post some supplementary notes on the blog. Here they are for each Scene of Twelfth Night, Act 1:
- Orsino, Valentine, Curio.
- Captain and Viola
- Toby & Maria | Toby, Maria & Andrew | Maria & Andrew
- Orsino & Cesario
- Feste & Maria | Feste & Olivia | Malvolio, Feste, and Olivia | Malvolio and Olivia on Announcement of Cesario | Cesario & Olivia | Malvolio & Olivia Reprise
The point is to have you gain an understanding of the character that is coherent with as much of the play as possible.
The Super Spoof plays @ 5 PM on April 1. ONE DAY ONLY. We are going to multi-parody a whole bunch of things from 2008, and see if they flow with Twelfth Night–that is, this is our “Twelfth Night – Popular Culture Analogues” Edition.
Everything summarized by the playbill above. Please feel free to link. This is a strictly unofficial fan production; our SPOOF-esque version of Twelfth Night just for April Fools Day 2009 – join us at the SL Globe Theatre at 5 PM PST (GMT-8).
Please note that we do have a L$100,000 koinup photography contest going on in conjunction with our open-ended run of Twelfth Night. We also have a special contest category JUST FOR today’s show. In this mini-contest for this show, there’s over L$5000 worth of cash and prizes up for grabs for your winning photo. Drop by the show. Take pictures. AND WIN!
Draft 1 of MultiParody 2009 Playscript is here.
For reference, the playscripts we are using for OEP1: Twelfth Night, Act 1 are available below in different formats. The main script is from the first folio, of course.
The scansion playscript with syllable count linemarkers: (pdf) (docx)
Director’s scansion with copious interpretation notes: pdf
Director’s notes & interp on each character: Orsino | Valentine | Curio | Viola | Captain | Toby | Maria | Andrew | Feste | Olivia | Malvolio
The OEP1 playscript : (pdf) (celtx)
The OEP1 playscript and (highlighted)
Act 1 introduces the main characters (as well as their quirky personalities) and sets the conflict to be resolved in the play; it has 5 scenes. (Due to lack of an external budget,) We aren’t committed to a perfectly-accurate era production this time, and thus the clothing and sets are of the “generic past”; no one’s dressed in modern clothing, per se, but this makes the visuals easier, as fewer new items need to be made (better for budget), and most items already exist and can be purchased. Here are my notes — my thoughts and interpretations for each. My character interpretations are here.
- Begin with music and a memorable feast that literally embodies the food of love, playing on in an Illyrian palace with sunlight streaming through its windows, and a multimedia-projector-esque device projects moving images in the upper level corridors, to make the palace appear more staffed. Musicians play a song, as Curio eats a hart. Music stops dramatically and in deference to the Duke Orsino as he enters from his balcony entrance; and, as he waves his hand, it continues (symbolically: the man’s word galvanizes the concept of love). Orsino’s speech sounds “ample fickle”, and indeed, he does tell the musicians to stop feeding him this food of love, that he grows so sick of (he did command them to give him too much of it that he gets sick of it). Curio (in this interpretation) is his cousin from the countryside, who is apparently more obsessed with the feast of hart than in Orsino’s heart. When Orsino doesn’t give him a positive on the hunting question, he leaves with a “hmmph” thinking Orsino a fool (for turning himself into a hart!). Valentine enters, and reports on his progress with Olivia–that Olivia would hide herself from view for seven years to mourn her brother. Orsino doesn’t take this as a setback; he’s so obsessed with this concept of love of his fantasized version of Olivia, that he believes this part of her character that would pay the “debt of love / but to a brother” would make her a better lover. In this interpretation, his “dying fall” really occurs (though he doesn’t die – that would break the plot!), and he starts climbing the balcony at the end of his ending speech, and jumps into the “sweet beds of flowers” on “canopied with bowers.”
- This is actually my favorite scene in this SL production — in fact, I was galvanized to produce this just due to the prospect of converting the Globe Theatre’s characteristic double pillars on-stage into palm trees, and covering the garage-roof-like proscenium arch of the Globe with a mess of storm clouds. The added effect of the rainstorm and lightning and sounds came later. I had imagined Viola and the Captain, at first, separated by a huge distance, each sitting beneath their own palm tree. Adding the storm made the exchange make more sense–they’re trying to wait it out, each beneath a palm tree after the storm ends (although, in movies, you recall shipwrecked people who make it to shore to wake up after the storm’s over), and the storm sound effects is another reason why they’re shouting. At the start, Viola is alone beneath her own palm tree, as is the Captain, who perhaps is used to the every-man-is-his-own-island. They shout through the storm, and when the Captain mentions that there might be hope for her brother yet, she takes a fondness to him and offers him gold just for saying it – she braves through the storm and crosses the gap between them. But, of course, she’s offering her gold as a beacon of trust, and proceeds to asking him for guidance in this new land. You can get a grasp of Viola’s young age by her naïvity, her quick decision to be concealed as a boy.
- Toby and Maria open the scene, but enter from very different doors. Maria enters from the back porch door of Olivia’s house, which on this side, at least, is next to The Taurus Tavern. Toby stumbles out of the Tavern, and Maria starts scolding him about his late hours. Toby attempts to justify himself, as well as Andrew. In this production, Toby and Andrew are of about the same height, though Toby attempts to make Andrew seem taller (thinking himself as tall). Also, Toby is in appearance and behavior little older than a teenager (in part due to casting). Andrew enters after Toby; even though they both emerge drunkenly from the same tavern, he’s actually delayed a bit for having to pay for Toby’s revels. He’s drunk, so that doesn’t matter, and the big bottle of Castiliano Vulgo helps make this clear. The conversation that follows may require a feat of SL navigational luck. As Andrew enters, he verbally greets Toby, but stumbles towards Maria (recall that he’s drunk!), who takes a huge step back from her previous confrontational distance next to Toby. Toby greets him mockingly, Andrew turns to face Toby, though he’s next to Maria (he’s drunk and the sense of direction and who’s who is a bit a miss!). When Toby tells him to “accost,” he walks over to him, confused, “What’s that?” Toby objectifies Maria, “My niece’s chambermaid.” Andrew then faces Maria (he’s currently standing near Toby), and greets her as “Mistress Accost.” Maria states curtly, “My name is Mary, sir.” Andrew, who is still a bit out of it, greets her again as “Mary Accost,” and Toby immediately attempts to clarify himself, elaborating on what he meant by “accost.” Andrew, who is actually more drunk than we realize, bring up the other (sexual) meaning of “accost,” and mentions the ludicrous meaning of accost in that sense, “By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company!” Maria, who has had enough of this, and who had already made up her mind on Andrew’s lacking intelligence, leaves. Andrew, after being told by Toby that if he lets her parts so easily can’t really slap people off with gauntlets anymore, rushes over to her and beseeches her to stay. He then tries doing a hand-exchange thing, which is a small feat in SL interface navigation by itself. He tries taking Maria’s hand, and then Maria pushes the bottle on him, to beseech him to drink and let go of her hand-but he keeps on trying to take her hand. “Dry” and “barren” as she lets go of his hand for the last time and leaves. Andrew then sinks down to an emo sit on the porch steps, while Toby tries cheering him up. At first, Toby sort of looms over him, as the sot of greater intelligence. Andrew then says something totally offbeat, mentioning that he’s a great eater of meat and that does do harm to his wit; in response, Toby should sound like he’s rolling his eyes, “(uh huh) no question.” When Andrew threatens to leave, Toby then sits down next to him, and seriously attempts to cheer him up . Curly hair is more in-style than straight hair, the kind that Andrew has, and, true, as they muse about his hair-like-flax-on-a-distaff, Andrew does pull a clump of his own hair out to wonder about it. Cup of canary can be obtained if they were to caper off into the Tavern again, but ironically, there’s a canary in a cage next to them (symbolizing this trapped tendency to imbide in canary). The subsequent capering in galliards and carrantos cheer them up, and they do head off back to the tavern, to being born under Taurus!
- Valentine and Cesario are/will both (be) sent as messengers of the Duke’s love, but Valentine is Cesario’s predecessor, and so it is significant when he defers his status to Cesario — they exchange this on a sort of raised stairway halfway between main stage level and the balcony. The Duke then enters from his balcony, and goes onto beseeching Cesario, a less “graver nuncio”, to be adamant in showing his love. But, although the words are intimate, the Duke and Cesario are separated by a distance, in this case, represented by stage levels–Cesario is at a level below, and the Duke is still standing up on his balcony.
- Maria and Feste enter through the door on the main stage level, and Maria goes about her slurry of complaints in Act 1, chastising Feste for being gone for so long. As Feste hangs himself, Maria ends up beating him in the joke, but leaves hurriedly when Olivia enters. Feste climbs the stairs and bows in a mock flourish to Olivia. Olivia, who starts with the command to take Feste away, ends up allowing him to stay after just a few words between the two (foreshadowing her fleeting change from deep-in-mourning to piqued by a love interest when she meets Cesario). It does seem that Cesario’s arriving causes quite a stir in Olivia’s house, as every single member seems to come to Olivia to mention his(her) arrival. Now, for this SL production, there is a chance that the actor who plays Toby might not make it (he’d been missing several rehearsals, and may tend on a similar schedule as an actual Toby), so in that case, Toby’s role in this scene will be played by a silent actor who lurches in and falls as a totally drunken sot of a Toby. Feste’s exit then finely shoves him away, off through the door on the main stage level. When Olivia calls for her veil, Maria bustles up the stairs and gives it to Olivia, who becomes veiled. Cesario enters from the main stage door and is looking up at Olivia, until the part where she tells everyone to leave and takes off her veil. They are then on equal levels. In the end, Olivia descends the stairs to give her brief soliloquy.
That is more or less the plan! Except, we don’t have a dedicated animation team, and mostly have actors making their own, some using animation creation software for the first time. Not all animations may work as expected. Not much of a budget for costume, anyway. The sets are possible with your dear director working for free for a couple hundred of hours designing and building/assembling them.
Incidentally, all of the above sets were built *for* the Globe Theatre, especially its characteristic two columns, and back wall doors. The set elements cover the parts when not needed, fitting like a tailored hat! This is the empty/bare SL Globe Theatre Stage:
When you’re working on a virtually non-existent budget, you have to be pretty sharp with things. Though our costumed tag-team staged reading series this summer did cast more actors than we’d need (as well as the upcoming audio book and act-along-karoke versions), not all actors are available for the show this season. In case we don’t have a Toby, we might just cut out his few lines of “letcherie” in Twelfth Night, Act 1 Scene 5. We’ll just have a silent actor “step in” while appearing “drunk” and collapse. The skip will start from after Olivia’s “By mine honor half drunk” and end at “Toby’s Well, it’s all one (inclusive)”, to omit Toby’s voice parts and yet appear seamless. Olivia and Feste can still have their little aside on drunkenness, and Feste can still leave escorting Toby out. (In which case, Feste’s voice will likely also be the voice for Toby.)
SL Shakespeare Company’s full-length Twelfth Night, Act 1.
The scansion playscript (with syllable counts: (pdf) (docx)
Director’s scansion: TBA
The OEP1 playscript: (pdf) (celtx)
The OEP1 playscript (highlighted)
The AP1 playscript: (pdf) (celtx)
“MiniPrompt book (OEP1)”: (pdf) (celtx)
“MiniPrompt book (MP3)”: (pdf) (celtx)
I’m happy to announce that a new year has launched – the SL Shakespeare Company is moving onto its second year, and the play we will focus on bringing to Second Life is Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
But, as you know, we do more than just Shakespeare, and we sometimes take breaks from the year’s production. Last year, we stuck with Hamlet until we got sick of him, and took a bit of a hiatus with a month-long production of a tag-team costumed staged reading series of Twelfth Night, and also, we performed our first non-Shakespearean play just last month with One’s a Pawn of Time. Our goal this year is to be able to present the complete Twelfth Night play to you, in our usual extravagance. Production items for Twelfth Night will be in the !Twelfth Night category, and production blog items for non-Shakespearean productions will be in the !Challenge category.
This will be our production blog for the entire year.
It’s an entirely new look and different color scheme – Each entry is now marked by a large month/date bullet, which works well for a production blog. Since the blog is meant for just this year (the year of Twelfth Night), the theme also has a hint of the sea and parchment messages in bottles. It also comes with a neat accessibility feature. On the top right hand corner there’s a little widget you can click on to easily up or down the font size!