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Although our main canon of Twelfth Night is set in the “generic past,” this particular production of “Actus Primus, Scoena Tertia (Act 1, Scene 3)” is set in the Elizabethan era… from costumes to theatre to skin. (Yup! Maria has stubble – she’s played by a guy!)
With this light offshoot from our main production, we introduce a new branch of the SL Shakespeare Company, the SL Shakespeare Repertory Players… in this first performance in the Blackfriars Theatre – bare stage, as the Elizabethans might have done it – and with a dog hidden behind a column on stage left o.O.
Ladies & Gents, the SL Shakespeare Company’s long-awaited open-ended run of Twelfth Night, Act 1 premiers this coming Sunday, March 1 at 1 PM PST! Subsequently, performances will be occurring weekly every Sundays at 1 PM PST, and every Tuesdays at 6 PM PST, at the SL Globe Theatre, sLiterary. For further details, please check out Lora Constantine’s press release.
P.S. We are going to announce a photography contest with L$100,000 in prizes – soon!
P.P.S. See Twelfth Night Playbills here!
Continuing our tradition in producing several plays, but focusing on just one Shakespearean play per year, to make it the *best* that it can be – this year, we hope to present a full length Twelfth Night, entertaining and educating – worth *every* minute of your time.
If you’re in the SL Shakespeare Company group inworld, check group notices archive for a HoloLight attached in the latest group notice. Or… visit the SL Globe Theatre to grab a free copy of the 2009 Edition of the SL Shakespeare Company HoloLight. Last year, we had the Ghost from Hamlet. This year, we’ve got Feste the Clown! Rez & click to find out the next show date!
The SOS Campaign status has jumped nearly 2% in the last 24 hours. Thank you to everyone who’s contributed – and we’re getting closer to our goal, but your continued help would be greatly appreciated!
If you have seen any of our productions, you’ll see that we not only bring quality arts and culture to Second Life, we also create and utilize new technologies to expand and evolve the medium.
Below is a very brief summary of each of our main productions from 2008. In addition to supporting more productions of similar caliber for 2009, the SOS Campaign would also help support the Primtings, Shakespeare, and sLiterary sims.
- Feb 28, 2008: In our inaugural live performance of “Hamlet 1-1 Extended,” we presented the first four-island sim performance of a play in SL. Anticipating the large audience, we used a variety of preloading techniques and minimal texturing, but still showed off our trademark visual excellence—with photorealistic skins and sculpted talking faces based on the RL actor’s faces. While there was some debate on whether we should perform the entire play, we stuck with quality over quantity and showed off the scene the best we could. Care was taken in both costume and set design to create the historically-accurate Elizabethan atmosphere you saw live at the SL Globe Theatre stage. In addition, we also established standards for HUD-based multi-lingual subtitle support. (Progamme Booklet.)
- Apr 23, 2008: As part of the Shakespeare 24, international 24 hour celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday in RL, we performed the famous play within a play–”Hamlet 3-2: The Mousetrap.” We managed to rehearse and bring to the virtual stage a cast of nearly twenty actors from around the world to give life to the actor avatars, dressed in historically accurate Elizabethan attire. The performance consulted Shakespeare scholars from around the world to present what Socrates might call “an examined” interpretation of the scene. This was the first ever usage of a recorded period music segment played using SL voice, as “piped” by an avatar. Our continued usage of actor alt’s helped the audience easily find the voice sliders in SL voice to tune into the performance. (Programm Booklet.)
- Jun 20, 2008: We took a break from Hamlet to pursue a non-era specific costumed staged reading series of the full length Twelfth Night, but in bite-sized pieces, presenting roughly a scene per week in the days between June and July. Devoid of “the sound of motion,” the costumed staged reading actors were distinctly grayscale. The performance was done with a moving cast, which sometimes enlisted audience members from the last week; this was the first tag-team performance of a Shakespearean play in the world–in both RL and SL.
- Sept 12, 2008: Continuing our hiatus from the Elizabethan era, we brought to the virtual world a modern science fiction play by a published/performed playwright. One’s A Pawn of Time was our first full-length performance of a one act play. “Seamless advertisements” were woven into the set, where great care was taken to simulate a stereotypically impoverished apartment of a physics grad student’s. The box set, whose dimensions adhered to the stage’s characteristic twin pillars, did not modify the existing elements of the Globe Theatre’s thrust stage. This is one of the first plays on SL where the director controlled the audience view through real time dynamic camera controls.
- Nov 13, 2008: This November production of “Twelfth Night: Act 1” continued our tradition of performing full-length unedited first folio Shakespearean pieces. We decided to take an indefinite hiatus from Hamlet due to the costs and time required to create the many Elizabethan historically-accurate costumes. Twelfth Night was performed without era limitations; fewer custom costumes were created, which allowed for the creation of custom sets for each of Act 1′s five scenes. Memorably, we brought a real storm to the Globe Theatre thrust stage. Special care was taken to make the performance as lag-free as possible: the sets were placed without the usage of rezzors, seamlessly loaded. We continued the usage of real time dynamic camera controls. This was the first play on SL where global lighting was changed for each scene. Programme Booklet.
- Dec 21, 2008: On Winter Solstice, when many actors were safe snoozing in bed or otherwise, on the coldest day of the year, we brought to ice a cast of a baker’s dozen “self-powered” avatars controlled by scripts and bots–who zoomed around on ice skates in Shakespeare on Ice.
All of that was accomplished without the aid of any grants or external support. It is all because of you.
We can’t do this again this year without your continued help. Please donate. Every $L counts, and every dollar counts – to help bring us closer to our SOS “Save our Sims” Campaign goal!
Donations are accepted in either RL or SL currency – please help us raise our SOS Campaign goal, so that we would not have to worry about land tier fees for either 6 months (50% goal) or 1 year (100% goal).
Naergilien Wunderlich has created a “One of a Kind” dress that is a meticulous Second Life reconstruction of Queen Elizabeth I’s Rainbow Portrait dress. (See blog entry.)
This dress can be obtained through a silent auction that ends at 4 PM SL Time on Winter Solstice December 21, 2008.
The bid is currently at L$10,600. IM and notecard Naergilien Wunderlich directly with your bid.
Proceeds benefit the SL Shakespeare Company in their SOS “Save Our Sims” Campaign.
The press release is here.
CONTACT: ENNIV ZARF
For detailed information visit our SLSC-APA page.
We are pleased to offer the following courses:
>> Spring Session 2009-A/B
1) Working on Voice in Second Life
~ 6 weeks intensive course – 2 hours per week/12 hours total
~ Class A1: Saturday January 10, 17, 24, 31, Feb 7, 14, 2009 9amSLT to 11amSLT
Teacher: Enniv Zarf – RL Paul Kwo
2) Voice-Over Acting for Theatrical Work with an emphasis in Second Life
~ 6 weeks intensive course – 2 hours per week/12 hours total
~ Class B1: Saturday March 7, 14, 21, 28, April 4, 11, 2009 9amSLT to 11amSLT
Teacher: Enniv Zarf – RL Paul Kwo
3) Scenic Design in Virtual Worlds: Second Life
~ 8 weeks intensive course with lab sessions – 2 lectures a week/16 hours total lecture time
~ Labs typically take 3 hours per week to complete
Teacher: Ina Centaur
4) Designing a Virtual Cast of Characters: Seminar
~ 1 Lecture
~ 1 “Shopping” Lab sessions
Teacher: Ina Centaur
For detailed information visit our SLSC-APA page.
For more information about our voice teacher Enniv Zarf, visit his RL hompage or his blogs – PK Blog & Enniv Zarf Me Blog
For more information about our visual teacher Ina Centaur, google her up.
The Characterization of a SL production creates the image and visual character of the players. Since, there are basically no limitations in appearances in Second Life (lag allowing), it typically involves considering both the original character, as well as whom you have available. It’s also akin to playing God by breathing life into the avatar representation of a play’s character –or, at the very least, it’s making the PR images look pretty. Artistic Director’s notes on each character below:
- Cesario: “Shakespeare’s Mulan, except her battle is in finding her fate and identity in the land she becomes shipwrecked in.” ~age 14, in that awkward interface between boy and man, young enough to be a “squash before a peascod or a Codling almost an Apple, his mother’s milk scarce out of him”. Youthful and naive, such that she’d choose to serve Olivia just because of their common loss of a brother to Elysium, but chooses to serve the Duke–as an eunuch, not bothering to think much over the problems that course of action may lead to; of upper class parentage, and of wealth as evidenced in her attitude with money–prone to give it for good words, and prone to reject it out of honor. Though she’s Viola in disguise, she can still make it as a cute young boy. Yet, there’s sadness in her eyes, for like the Lady Olivia she is assigned to woo, she, too, mourns the loss of a brother. But, that doesn’t stop her from attempting to do the best of what she can at her job–she’s young, outgoing and optimistic, direct and yet very delicate: “very comptible, even to the least sinister usage.”
- Interestingly, as the Duke’s messenger, she seems to echo the basic meaning of one of the Bard’s sonnets, especially in her inquiry to Lady Olivia that her seclusion-in-mourning is an undue cruelness to the world, which would be without her beauty, “Lady, you are the cruel’st she alive, if you will lead these graces to the grave, and leave the world no copy.”
- Feste: “The embodiment of comic relief, his words often dispense some very perceptive insights on characters.” He’s an old clown, and as wit dwindles with age, perhaps he’s less wanted by the haughty Olivia. But, though he invokes the fancy-sounding but essentially no-namer Quinapalus in trying to justify a point, he beseeches the Lady Olivia: “Cucullus non facit monachum,” or “Don’t judge a monk by his cloak,” and goes on to prove her wrong, by making fun of her mourning (were Olivia less valley-girl-ish, she might have taken this as a grave insult). Yet, it’s interesting how he so-easily shows Olivia’s fickleness; she’s angry, at him, and calls for people to take him away, but he soon changes her perspective (perhaps foreshadowing her change when Cesario comes in), “Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou
speakst well of fools!”
- Why was he gone for so long, and for how long? Seven years missing, like the Bard himself?
- In S5, Feste takes out the drunk madman and leaves Act 1. Goes with Feste’s theory of draughts in explaining what a drunk man’s like:
“Like a drowned man, a fool and a mad man: / One draught above heat makes him a fool; / the second mads him; and a third drowns him.”
- Duke Orsino: “The man in power in love with the concept of love itself.” Duke of Illyria, but not fettered with political matters, he’s greatly trusting, such that he’ll bestow the fruit of love itself to music and this new young eunuch, which a native Captain of the land introduces to him. Love is a distraction he’s willing to binge on — for him to avoid a melancholy of uncertain origins, that causes him to realize in the midst of a great speech praising the sweetness of love that it’s all too fleeting. In age, he’s the opposite of Cesario–of a venerable age for dukedom, and perhaps that’s why he casts favor on Cesario over Valentine, “a nuncio of more grave aspect.”
- Might the actor who played Olivia also have been the one who played Orsino? He never seems to speak directly and in person to Olivia. O…
- Olivia: “As her name implies olive, or Homer’s ‘liquid gold,’ she is the female embodiment of the alchemist’s gold–for Orsino, the perfect vision of love, whom he sends envoys to but never gets to know–but like liquid mercury in how she changes her affections.” Of noble birth and of a decent inheritance, shallow in her fleeting obsession with mourning her lost brother–or perhaps she merely brings up on the seven years of eye-offending brine to ward off Valentine and Orsino. Stereotypical upper class who’d listen to an old clown or an unknown embassy for want of something more interesting to do. Beautiful by most standards, and yet Cesario/Viola should stand out. Arrogant enough to disregard her own beauty into an inventory list. Appearance: Fair, blonde, gray-eyes. In mourning clothing (black – as this is not an era-specific production), even if her attitude changes from mourning to loving at the end of act 1. Mischievous, with the coin trick, but not as much as Maria in Act 2.
- Her name is nearly an anagram of Viola, but sans i.
- Malvolio: Bitter and infinitely envious of others, arrogant, wishes to be the spotlight himself. Act 1 does not reveal that much of Malvolio’s character yet, but the way he responds to Feste the Fool in Scene 5 with Olivia shows an undue meanness, the words of which at such a moment may be enough for Feste to seriously hate him enough to pull the cruel prank on him in later scenes. (Feste is trying to convince Olivia to re-hire him, and this is the worst time for Malvolio’s deprecating words.) About him, there’s the quintessential insolence of a butler, who sometimes believes he’s the lord of the house.
- Toby: The Sot of Illyria! ~age 25, but appearing literally a teenager in both self and form (in this interpretation). He’s clever, and makes me laugh more than Feste (at least in Act 1). But, why does a man–a noble–resort to drinking and staying drunk all the time? It’s escapism of a liquid sort, to dull one’s consciousness into a constant stream of drunken euphoria, avoiding a deep and bitter melancholy. Money, perchance? Sir Toby inherits the title of a noble, and yet no money, such that he’s reduced to flattering (and using) the better-endowed Sir Andrew for need of his 3000 ducats a year. Would it be too strange for him to marry the venerable-aged Maria? “Nay, but what’s a drunken man like?”
- Maria: Just an old servant woman who complains a lot until we get to Act 2. But, you do see a bit of her cleverness manifest even in Act 1, in her response to Feste’s “two points,” “That if one breaks, the other will hold; or if both breaks, your gaskins will fall.” and also her potential cruelness, when she snickers condescendingly at the young bare-peascod Cesario, all alone beneath the the house right balcony in Olivia’s house. (It’s all latent in her coyote-hazel eyes.) Does she look like Gertrude from Hamlet — perhaps they’re blood, but she’s just a servants woman in Illyria for this show! (What’s that hting with Toby and Maria, though?)
- Andrew: “The Tall Tale of a Man, and yet not really…” – rich but vulnerable and comic relief by himself. Clueless but with fine-breeding from ample education, money and class. Loves revels and masques, sometimes both at once. Believes in dirty accost-ing. 3000 ducats a year, and he can be manipulated and brown-nosed by a certain Falstaffian sot. Tall (or at least as tall as Toby or his top hat). Hair fine and thin as if from a distaff, un-frizzled at all.
- Captain: Though he appears only in a single scene, his role in introducing Cesario as an eunuch to land Viola her job with the Duke Orsino is crucial in moving the story along. He connects this shipwrecked squash-before-a-peascode with a means to go about a way in Illyria. In that respect, this character should look distinctly familiar. Thus, his face is the splitting image of the Ghost in Hamlet (SL Shakespeare Company’s inaugural production), although his body is more towards the bulkier side, being a well-fed ship-captain and all.
- Valentine: “The original embassy of love to Olivia from Orsino. And yet this Valentine of sorts is a graver nuncio [than Viola-Cesario].” Moor by birth (director’s interpretation), but loyal to his Duke, and carries out his commands. Yet, though once young, he’s already a man by age, and, perhaps that gets the lesser of him, especially when a new young eunuch comes to replace him. But, he’s honorable and does give Cesario good advice. Dress – similar to Cesario’s, but perhaps in less vibrant colors.
- Curio: “The Duke’s Young Cousin” Other interpretations have taken Curio as a lord who takes Orsino’s words as less serious and lofty, and perhaps a bit in low jest — the hunt and the hart as double entendres. Due to casting, my interpretation is to just have him be either a young-ish cousin of the Duke’s, who’s staying there and enjoying the feast of a hart, and anxious that his uncle go out hunting to replenish the feast. His words are thus nothing but the literal. He’s a chubby little boy with a gruff-ish voice who just wants more hart! Hark, the boy wants hart, the food! The music can be there or not, he cares not for the heart!
- Viola: “Shipwrecked, lost, but determined to find her way.” Shipwrecked, her brother gone, lost in the strange land of Illyria. A quintessential sadness in her eyes, as well as face capable of conveying the ample spirit needed to find her way in this new land. Her facial bone shape should be easy to masquerade as a young boy, with or without the obvious length of hair. Ideally, dressed in a tattered purple dress–color of royalty or great wealth, but marred by a shipwreck, now mayhaps to suffer the fate of a commoner. (See Cesario)
The SL Shakespeare Company presents its third miniproduction – or, our first Act Production (AP1) – the entire unabridged first act of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. It’s the culmination of our summer training through the tag-team staged reading series of the full length Twelfth Night, now adapted to take advantage of all that SL has to offer — from multiple custom sets to changes in global lighting to international subtitles, providing closed captioning for all.
2008 Miniseason Showtimes:
Wednesday, Nov 12 – 11 am “sneak peek”
Thursday, Nov 13 – high noon
Friday, Nov 14 – 1 PM
Saturday, Nov 15 – 2 pm – (ticketed)
Sunday – no show
Monday, Nov 17 – high noon
The SL Shakespeare Company’s Twelfth Night opens in exactly 1 month from today on SLSC Thursday, November 13, 2008.
First glimpse of our play – Feste, shown above in one of several playbills for… our extravagant rendition of a full animations, set, costume, blocking version of Twelfth Night, Act 1, performed on Second Life… in 1 month.