Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bard on the Beach

By DrFran Babcock

On Sunday August 25, 2013 the Annual Bard on the Beach was held on the Nowhereville sim. Over 40 audience members watched in delight as several avatars read pieces, comic and tragic, from the works of William Shakespeare.

Many of the performers were from the Avatar Repertory Theater (ART) group who have provided years of Shakespeare productions in Second Life™. The event itself was part of Storyfests SL and Stories Unlimited. The offerings were diverse, and even included a scene from The Merchant of Venice performed in Spanish.

Crap Mariner, who owns the Nowhereville sim, provided a Stratford-on-Avon based stage, and the seating was arranged by Mr. Mariner and Cale (Caledonia Skytower). The audience had been told to silence all noisy gestures, to sit, and to remove HUDS, etc. The amazing thing was how well-behaved and respectful the crowd was. I have been to hundreds of SL events, and there is always someone who disturbs the calm, but not at Bard on the Beach.

A lot of the credit for this goes to the organizer and Emcee Cale, for setting the tone, appearing in a lovely gown, and role modeling the reverence towards the players. Her leadership had us all sitting on the edge of our pillows, listening and learning.

Freda Frostbite provided a Sonnet Break twice, with selections of some of the more well known poems, and some more obscure. Of course, she recited Sonnet 18: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” in honor of it being August.

Crap was the finale, with a serious and superb reading of Prospero’s soliloquy from The Tempest. He then suggested a Sonnet Challenge in which the audience called out numbers of sonnets to perform. Members of the company did their readings of the requested sonnets. The “Sonnet Smackdown” was excellent fun. Cale suggested that it be a weekly event, and be entitled: The Challenge of the Hams. The crowd was unable to pick a winner, because they all were so good, but finally settled on the honey-voiced Corwyn Allen after a sudden-death reading of Sonnet 151 against the other finalist, Crap Mariner.

Speaking of Crap: He read his Prospero monologue like the pro he is, but couldn’t help bringing the Angel of Death and Elvis on stage while he performed in the Sonnet Challenge.

Good, wholesome culture, and great fun.

Here is what was on the menu I hope you can make it next year:

Scenes from The Merry Wives of Windsor (Act II, Scene 1) and King John (Act II, Scene 1):  with Ada Radius and Avajean Westland

 Sonnet Break!:  with Freda Frostbite

 "The Duke of Bridgewater presents his interpretation of Hamlet's Soliloquy" from Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn:  with BigRed Coyote

 A Midsummer Night's Dream (Act II, Scene 1):  with Ada Radius and Avajean Westland

 The Merchant of Venice (Act I, Scene 2):  with Ada Radius and Avajean Westland

 The Merchant of Venice (Act I, Scene 3): with Yunus Nyn (In Spanish, English translation provided)

 Sonnet Break!:  with Freda Frostbite

 Titus Andronicus (Act III, Scene 1): with Kayden Oconnell

 Hamlet (Act III, Scene 3): with Caledonia Skytower and Em Jannings
 As You Like It (Act 3, Scene 2): with Bhelanna Blaze and Roderic Unplugged

MacBeth (Act I, Scene 7): with Gyro Muggins

 Scenes from Much Ado About Nothing "How Two Wayward Wits Fall in Love":  with Caledonia Skytower and Kayden Oconnell

 Selection from The Tempest Prospero’s sililoquy: with Crap Mariner


Children of War: The charity for the event.

DrFran Babcock

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