Archive for January, 2020

Good gentles, Mistress Faye and Ollam Lanea have loved their tenure as the Queen’s and King’s bards, but we know we must help select someone to follow along when we step down at Twelfth Night.

Royal Bards 2019: Mistress Faye de Trees & Ollam Lanea inghean Ui Chiaragain with Royal Bard 2018, Master Richard Wynn and Their Majesties Atlantia

We cannot enjoy the rest of our tenure to the fullest if we do not help TRM Cuan and Signy select our replacements. Moreover, we want to give all of those interested in seeking a place in the august rolls of Atlantia’s Kingdom Bards plenty of time to prepare.

Thus, we present our challenge to the competitors:

We ask each competitor to prepare three pieces. One period piece, one piece that is new to the performer, and one that serves as a challenge or an inspiration to the performer. Each performer should limit their entire performance time to 15 minutes or less.

Documentation is required for the period piece. Documentation should cover information about the culture that produced the original, its place and date of composition/creation, and information about the author of the piece if possible. For pieces in languages other than English, translation into English is strongly encouraged. All documentation should be properly annotated and should include a bibliography documenting multiple sources researched by the performer. If documentation is also appropriate for other pieces, we would love to see and review it.

Competitors are encouraged to demonstrate their skills in multiple performance styles. Sing, recite poetry, play an instrument, demonstrate acting ability. Show us the breadth and depth of your talent. The broader your abilities, the higher your score.

Original pieces are encouraged as well. A competitor may pen an original translation of a period piece, write an original song or poem about a historical event, a myth, or an occurrence or aspect of SCA culture, compose an original instrumental piece, or produce some other bardic work that displays your talents as you see fit. The more creative and talented you are, the higher your score.

We encourage performers to be off book for all three pieces if possible. Memorization is important to both royal bards as a demonstration of personal investment in a piece. The better you know your pieces, the higher your score.

Participants are encouraged to fully embody a character during performance. Costuming, demeanor, acting ability, and a sense of maintaining “enchanted ground” during your performance can all gain you additional points.

Shakespeare In Germany?

Early Shakespeare Performances in Germany…Or “My Kingdom for a Copyright!”   (And fundraiser for The Trevor Project )

William Shakespeare 1564-1616

Shakespeare’s works were not translated into German then shipped to German actors for local production immediately upon the Bard’s completion of his plays. Rather, the English performing artists who benefitted from Shakespeare’s material slowly tiptoed their way into German audiences like a mountebank insideously slipping his way into an audience member’s better judgement.

During the SCA period, before 1600, pieces of Shakespeare’s material were performed by English actors for German audiences in a kind of “Coming Attractions” fashion. The Bard’s best, audience pleasing bits were selected and incorporated into German comedies for years before full Shakespeare plays were performed in Germany. English actors teased the German people with Shakespearean salsa before the whole enchilada was served.

Wealthy European nobles often paid foreign traveling troupes to perform in their homes for special occasions. One great example of this practice was the 1575 Commedia dell’Arte play performed at Trauznitz Castle in Landshut, Germany for the Duke of Bavaria upon the occasion of a wedding. This play is portrayed in a mural along a 6 story staircase still visible in the castle today as can be seen at this web page:
Performing troupes from Italian cities, France, Spain, and England were seen throughout Germany prior to 1600, just like the Trauznitz Commedia play of 1575.  Shakespeare’s material was used by English troupes in a smattering of skits, speeches, and stolen plots ensconced in comedy variety shows customized for the paying patron and his audience.

Here at Atlantia’s German Christmas Market (Atlantia’s Twelfth Night event for 2020), our little English troupe of actors will recreate a version of what German audiences could possibly have seen before 1600 when Shakespeare’s works were just starting to infiltrate the continent. 

Our local business contact, Herrin Genefe Wölfelin, has done wonders by getting us gigs at the houses of rich nobles during this exciting Christmas season. When we take some time to explore performing in the street at her local Christmas market, we hope to discover which of our favorite Shakespeare pieces appeals best to the German audiences. Will it be the comedies as our fellow English actors have reported back in London? Will it be the passionate war speeches? Will the performance by women be accepted? Come help us with medieval market research for Shakespeare’s works in Germany!

Our little English troupe of actors includes the following brave souls:

  • Herrin Genefe Wölfelin
  • Lady Meriorie Matheson
  • Baron Manus MacDhai
  • Baroness Sophia the Orange
  • Lord Charles Fleming
  • Lady Odile de Strasbourg
  • Natanyel Violette
  • Lord Owyn Wolfe

Preliminary research used to inform our presentation will be provided in hard copy at Twelfth Night. Many thanks to Natanyel and Lady Gwenhwyfar Weale for help researching Shakespeare in Germany!

We WILL pass the hat at the end of the performance with all proceeds going towards The Trevor Project, a non profit organization supporting LGBTQ+ youth:

It may be presented in the performance that we are collecting money for “bail” because one of our English actors got arrested for violating some crazy German law, but really the hat pass money is going to be donated to The Trevor Project.

The Royal Players of Atlantia is a program started in 2016, during Royal Court at Pennsic, with the blessing and support of Queen Thora and King Detrich of Atlantia.

Lady Scholastica Joycors – Storyteller and Pennsic Performing Arts Department Dean

It is a team of Performer-Administrators with the mission of creating more opportunities for performing arts to happen at SCA events.
Each teammate is skilled in at least one kind of performing art and also performs administration tasks. Their understanding of both what performers need and what admin tasks are necessary help them to serve the performers of Atlantia. They are also, as a team, spread geographically throughout Atlantia. The team has ranged from 10-13 members over the 4 years of the team’s existence.

Lord Alfarin Valison as Arlecchino

The initial idea for this program was given to us by Master Ruaidhri an Cu in the early spring of 2016. He was serving as one of two Royal Bards for that year. The idea was for a team of people to help fulfill the needs of the entire performing arts community throughout the kingdom. Creating opportunities for performers of all kinds – singers, actors, instrumentalists, soloists and ensembles, poets, storytellers, dancers, magicians, and more – throughout the entire kingdom was a goal that could only benefit from more people working towards it.

Former Royal Player Mistress Azza and Current Royal Player Lady Rhiannon of Raven’s Cove

While the renown and honor of winning our annual kingdom-wide Bardic competition is reserved for the Royal Bards of Atlantia, the Royal Players add to the mission of supporting all performing arts in Atlantia by creating opportunities for all kinds of performers. The Royal Players also support performing arts by modeling excellence in performing with their chosen art.

Lady Rhiannon of Raven’s Cove

This team is informal and open to any performer in Atlantia. If you wish to perform administrative tasks supporting performers, and if you also have some skill and understanding of a performing art, you are welcome to sign up for the team. The team membership is open for new members during July and is announced during Royal Court at Pennsic. The Atlantian Crown traditionally offers a blessing in support of the team to continue their work.

Examples of the opportunities created by Royal Players include and is not limited to the following:
–Bardic Circles
–Instrumental ensembles
–Dance Bands
–Instrumental Ensemble Practice Sessions
–Bardic Competitions
–Long Storytelling Competitions
–European Dance Balls
–Middle Eastern Dance Haflas
–Middle Eastern Drumming Circles
–Performance Dances
–Scripted Theater Plays & Skits
–Improvised Commedia dell’ Arte Plays & Skits
–Magic acts
–Background instrumental music during feast
–General Performing Arts Tents
–Invitational or Open Sign-Up Concerts
–Organizing the Performing Arts Track at Atlantia University
–Teaching Classes, classes, classes!

Royal Players also keep track of their accomplishments. Each royal reign, a report is given to the Atlantian Crown to report on the progress made by the Royal Players team. Annually, at Pennsic, the summary of that report is announced to the populace during court.

Lady Jeane Kilmeny – Bard and Guildmistress of the Atlantia Performing Arts Guild

The Royal Players Team for Year #4, Pennsic 48-49, is as follows:

  • Lady Iselda de Narbonne – Poetry, harp, and vocal performance
  • Lord Ciaran mac Breandain – Instrumental guitar and vocal performance
  • Baroness Machteld Cleine – Singing and Theater
  • Lady Nicolosa d’Isenfir – European Dance
  • Lord Alfarin Valison – Commedia dell’ Arte, vocal performance
  • Mistress Fevronia Murometsa – Harp and vocal performance
  • Lady Rhiannon of Raven’s Cove – Singing, multi-instrumental, European and Middle Eastern Dance
  • Lady Jeane Kilmeny – Vocal Performance and Atlantia Performing Arts Guildmistress
  • Lady Scholastica Joycours – Storytelling and vocal performance, and Pennsic Performing Arts Department Dean for Pennsic 47-50
  • Baroness Sophia the Orange – Commedia dell’ Arte, instrumental dance band music, cello and vocal performance, Royal Players Administrator

If you are interested in signing up to serve as a Royal Player, watch this space and Facebook for the announcement of the opening of the sign up list in July.