Sunday, December 21, 2008

SOS! Save our Shakespeare!

One of the great designers in Designers in Seclusion is Ina Centaur. You read her interview here. She works with the Globe Theatre of SL, producing Shakespeare's great plays in a virtual world. With Linden Labs lovely little OpenSim debaucle, The Globe Theatre needs some help. I immediately decided that Ina needed some book shoes to sell to help out! These have morphed into Shakespeare Book Boot Skates!

ALL the money from these skates goes to the Globe Theatre. Every Last BIT! I refused to take a cut of the money, because we need to keep things like the Globe Theatre in SL. The Arts are just as important as businesses. I URGE you to head over to the theatre, and watch today's production of Shakespeare on ICE. Check the giftshop, buy something! Heck, just donate a few Lindens.
Here's the Official Press Release

Date: Dec 20, 2008
Contact: Lora Constantine

Shakespeare, Second Life: On Winter Solstice 2008 (Dec 21), the SL
Shakespeare Company endeavors on a last production of the year, a
24-hour ongoing festival of 'Shakespeare on Ice', to occur on the
Shakespeare Island sim, with a purpose of entertaining and educating.

The festival revives salient plots and character relations from past
SL Shakespeare Company productions, as well as new ones created just
for this, in the form of displays that replay through the brief
segments persistently. Managing Director Complex Infinity states,
"We're using bots since scheduling is too painful in this season, and
also, this is a chance for everyone to—literally—drop by and get a
glimpse of us at any time." Artistic Director Ina Centaur explains the
purpose of this production, "It's a light production, and we actually
have it labeled as a SLBP—'Super Low Budget Production.' The 'scenes'
or displays are set up somewhat like museum exhibits, where the
audience can explore each one on their own. [Although no new
animations and very few assets were created for this production,]
We're maintaining our trademark for visual excellence while trying to
give everyone a chance to see what we're about—even during these hard
times as we attempt to raise funding to keep our islands." Though
admissions is free, Centaur mentions that several relevant
merchandises will also be available for the audience to purchase to
help support the Company financially, "All proceeds for purchases of
the skins of each character will help support our current SOS 'Save
Our Sims' Fundraising Campaign. Also, we will be displaying a
'one-of-a-kind' photorealistic virtual gown based on Queen Elizabeth's
Rainbow Portrait—the silent auction for this item would end at 4 PM on
Sunday the 21st."

Centaur explains the reason behind each display, "Each exhibit is
self-sufficient and does not refer to a particular scene, explicitly,
but is true to the relations among the characters in the world of
[that] play. They're basically a 'single-instance interpretation' or a
caricature-like 'capture' of part of the essence of each play." The
Company's Hamlet is back in the unlikely form: Hamlet is revived and
stalking Lucianus down a path, leaving him with "what became of Romeo
and Juliet", then coming back to pursue Claudius who had been arguing
with both Polonius and Gertrude; Ophelia looks at the scene in a
frozen expression of horror, and the Ghost loiters about. Although
such script-programmed behaviors have not been used in a major
theatrical production on Second Life before, Centaur waves off the
technological innovation of this production, "We're really just
digging through the attic and showing off some very old toys we didn't
have to use before."

And, of characters not yet seen in past productions: Both Queen
Elizabeth (incognito, dressed informally in her Rainbow Portrait gown,
as Gloriana) and Henry VIII will make their appearance while roaming
about on skates on ice paths on the Shakespeare island. New
'productions' created especially for this display include a
"single-instance interpretation" of Kate, the female lead from The
Taming of the Shrew, and the triangular relationship of Romeo, Juliet,
and the Apothecary. Kate is shown psyching out on ice (but the ice
never breaks); Romeo and Juliet, dressed as ice skaters, are circling
around a stooping and unmoving Apothecary, with a dagger to the heart
protruding from Juliet's blood-stained body, and Romeo binging on a
vial of poison potion.

Ina Centaur jokingly names the exhibit of "Romeo and Juliet (and the
Apothecary)" as a tribute to virtual economist Edward Castronova, "We
weren't lucky enough to get any external funding for our projects, so
we had to do everything [referring to this particular display] with
just L$250. Ed got a US$250,000 grant to create a Shakespeare world in
Second Life, where people could 'learn' about Shakespearean plays
presumably through such Disneyland-esque methods. But he didn't
actually get to make his project on Second Life, so—not that I
particularly cherish the theatrics of this one—we dedicate this
display to his idea!"

So GO! Go Now! Save Our Shakespeare!


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