The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0122 Thursday, 18 March 2010
Date: March 11, 2010 6:39:12 PM EST
Subject: Metaverse Shakespeare Twelfth Night, Act 2
Metaverse Shakespeare Company's 2010 Main Canon: Twelfth Night, Act 2 - Open-Ended Run
Shakespeare, Second Life-The Metaverse Shakespeare Company (MSC), formerly SL Shakespeare Company (SLSC), next Tuesday will open its long-awaited 2010 Main Canon production of Twelfth Night, Act 2-"As you will it!" in an open-ended run to occur every Tuesday at 6 PM SLT (PST), and every Sunday at 1 PM SLT (PST). Set to occur at the 4-sim SL Globe Theatre (http://visit.mshakespeare.com) in the virtual world of Second Life-this live theatrical performance, available anywhere with an Internet connection, continues the troupe's 2009 production of Twelfth Night, Act 1-but, with a fresher, riper take, and its own amalgam of the year's innovations in virtual theatre.
Artistic Director Ina Centaur has crafted an interpretation that conveys the topsy-turvy nature of the play and the era of its creation, without being bound by the constraints of a historically-accurate production, "Even though this production is set in a pre-modernity 'generic past,' there's still plenty of Elizabethan bawdry and notions... There's the presentation of class-crossing as a ridicule-prone absurdity, both directly, through a miasma of brooding, obsessive maliciousness as Maria and Co. plan their 'practical joke', and indirectly like when Sir Aguecheek... that ducat-flowing knave knight... impersonates a dog playing catch in Scene 3, with paupers Feste and Toby as his masters... And, then there's some intense visual portrayal of that heavily-cozy-explicit language-with a wild bit where a drunk-betimes Sir Toby Belch urinates live on-stage to "[fill] an unfill'd can (II.iii)." Says Centaur on the music of Twelfth Night and the spirit of the open-ended run, "We're providing sheet music and instrumental-only clips for all of our songs on the mShakespeare Blog, so that audience members can sing along with our live show (with their SL mic's off, in the privacy of their own home) or in their own Metaverse Shakespeare theatre-inspired karaoke events... For most shows, we're sticking with an orthodox interpretation and traditional songs, drawn from eras before and Shakespeare's contemporaries. But, this being an open-ended run, be braced for variations, and character metamorphosis-in both act and appearance."
This Open-Ended run of Twelfth Night, Act 2-"As you will it!", like Act 1, will evolve into a final form, per audience interaction on the play's progression. These interpretations are based on archetypes, grounded in the play's intrinsic elements, such as character relationships. In April, the troupe will begin weaving "Variations" to its main interpretation, where certain characters will undergo some dramatic metamorphoses. Antonio and Sebastian will oscillate between varying degrees of a close-friendship, from the orthodox interpretation of caring-companionship to, in the words of Artistic Director Ina Centaur, "a homo-erotic or quasi-masochistic relationship to finally settle down and arrive at the one that fits best!" Most curiously, Malvolio, that time-weathered face, will de-age, becoming, as described by an anonymous patron, "a complexion that e'en you may fancy", in the virtual world's take on new scholarship interpretations of Shakespeare's tragic villain-victim as a young man. For select shows, gender-experimentation interpretations will manifest in all-female or all-male or even switched-gender productions of the play. The troupe will once again show its April Fools "Super Spoof" edition in a special performance on Thursday, April 1, that will explore the character relations of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night via a medley of parodies inspired by popular modern shows.
While this will be the troupe's first production under its new name of Metaverse Shakespeare Company, Centaur asserts that the production continues to uphold the company's founding ideals of creating quality, memorable productions, while developing this nascent field of virtual theatre, "As with every Main Canon production, we spend about a thousand hours rehearsing and analyzing, building and designing, and also applying new technologies to virtual theatre... For Twelfth Night, Act 2, our three technological innovations include the usage of physics, moving automatons, and visual illusion on the virtual stage. You'll see physics on-stage, in both built-in and scripted forms in our apple catches in Scene 3, and wilting rose motif in Scene 4-and, in the crawlspace of Scene 3, you'd see prim-based automaton actors in the form of rats!"
Special to this production, the MSC introduces the concept of "crowdsourced interactive set design," which allows anyone to submit a graffiti message or poster/flyer idea to be plastered onto the "City Wall of Illyria" set in Act 2, Scene 1. More details at http://bit.ly/illyriangraffiti
The live show, presented via SL Voice, is also available in closed-captioning with live subtitles in English, Esperanto, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.
Starting March 2, shows occur
Tuesdays at 6 PM SLT (PST)
Sundays at 1 PM SLT (PST)
only at the SL Globe Theatre at Shakespeare (255,255,25), Second Life
All shows are free ("pay as you will"), except for VIP performances, occurring on the last Tuesday and Sunday of each performance month.
About Twelfth Night, Act 2:
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is a multiplot story with plentiful songs and bawdry topsy-turviness. On one hand it's the story of a shipwrecked girl named Viola, whose choice to go incognito as a boy eunuch results in myriad complications-including a gender-bending love triangle. On another, it chronicles the fallacious rise and tragic fall of a Puritanical steward named Malvolio, who becomes a victim of his too-lofty dream. Act 2 sets the basics for his downfall-his dysfunctional relationship with the other servants provokes a practical joke involving a certain forged letter, that would eventually ruin him-but, Act 2 sparks only of joviality; tragedy is due in a later act.
About the Metaverse Shakespeare Company (mShakespeare) Headquartered in the virtual world of Second Life (SL), the Metaverse Shakespeare Company (MSC) is the flagship project of sLiterary's Virtual Reality Shakespeare Initiative (VRSI). MSC is a professional virtual theatre company that embraces the best of what the metaverse has to offer. While it is primarily known to provide quality live Shakespearean theatre available to anyone in any location, MSC is also the curator of the most historically accurate theatres and architecture in virtual worlds relating to William Shakespeare.
Press Center: http://mshakespeare.com/press
sLiterary, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering literary and artistic endeavors in Second Life and other virtual worlds.
About Second Life:
Second Life is a free online virtual world imagined and created by its residents.
Neither the Metaverse Shakespeare Company nor sLiterary is affiliated with Linden Lab. Second Life is a trademark of Linden Lab. No infringement is intended.
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