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Atlantia maintains a group of Royal Players to help create time and space at SCA events for performing arts to happen. The administrative work performed by these performers supports all kinds of performing arts throughout the entire Kingdom of Atlantia. When you need a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on a Performing Arts topic, these folks are ready and excited to share with you what they know and how to make the magic happen. Please reach out to them for help bringing Performing Arts of all kinds to your event!

This article offers a short biography on each of Year 4’s players. Let’s begin with the cast of characters:

  1. Baroness Fevronia Murometsa, O.L.
  2. Lady Jeane Kilmeny
  3. Lady Scholastica Joycors
  4. Lady Nicolosa d’Isenfir
  5. Lord Ciaran Mac Breandain
  6. Lady Iselda de Narbonne
  7. Lord Alfarinn Valison
  8. Jonkvrouwe Machteld Cleine
  9. Lady Rhiannon of Raven’s Cove
  10. Baroness Sophia the Orange (me), Administrative Support
Fevronia singing and playing harp – CoFounder of the Annual Performer’s Revel – photo by Andrea Nichols

SCA Name: Baroness Fevronia Murometsa, O.L.

Modern Name: Kathleen Sobansky

Home group: Barony of Storvik 

Primary performing arts skills: Singing solo and in groups, playing harp, bohdran, creating space for performers at events.

She is well known for hosting an annual function going back many years called the Performer’s Revel. Hosting this function with her husband Igor in their home, they welcome performers of all kinds to share their arts, eat, drink, and be merry for a whole day. Singing, dancing, acting, and camaraderie are the focus of this annual activity. Fevronia can often be seen under a large tent she’s set up at an event just for the purpose of inviting performers to share their art.

Lady Jeane Kilmeny – Bard and Guildmistress of the Atlantia Performing Arts Guild – photo by Andrea Nichols

SCA Name: Lady Jeane Kilmeny

Modern Name: Dominica Campbell

Home group: Barony of Caer Mear 

Primary performing arts skills: Singing solo and in groups, storytelling, Irish Culture, and cat herding as the Guildmistress of the Atlantia Performing Arts Guild.

At Atlantia University February 2019, Kilmeny took on the monumental task of creating support for all performers in Atlantia by agreeing to lead the Performing Arts Guild. The guild was first chartered by TRMs Atlantia in 2002 under the leadership of Master Corun Macandra. The guild primarily creates opportunities for networking and sharing resources – like the blog you’re reading right now! Kilmeny sings and tells stories whenever she gets the chance after organizing things like the PA Guild, Gem Joust, and dozens of other organizing tasks.

Lady Scholastica – Dean of the Pennsic Performing Arts Department, Pennsics 47-50 – photo by Baron Bardulf

SCA Name: Lady Scholastica Joycors

Modern Name: Mylinda Butterworth

Homegroup: Barony of Lochmere

Primary performing arts skills: Storytelling with a touch of singing, wordplay, theater, theater games, emcee, foolishness, and organizing events.

“I am a teller of tales old and new. I like to mix various forms of performance i.e., a story with a song interspersed or doing a paper cutting while I tell a story. I am a past Royal Bard and am the current Dean of Performing Arts at Pennsic University. I have an undergraduate degree in theater education and a Masters degree in Storytelling.

I am passionate about the performing arts, I want to SEE and HEAR more of them and not be shoved out into the dark smoky night or trying to be heard over a noisy feast hall. I would like to see more opportunities to spotlight performances beyond bardic circles as entertainment. Perhaps performances before court begins to draw people in or a short performance to take some time while everyone clears away to congratulate new peers or a bit of shenanigans between the royal court and baronial court. I am out to bring performing arts into the light.”

Lady Nicolosa d’Isenfir – Chancellor of the Atlantia Academy de la Dance

SCA Name: Lady Nicolosa d’Isenfir

Modern Name: Kendra Schmid

Home group: Shire of Isenfir

Primary performing arts skills:  European Renaissance dance – all styles – ECD, Italian, Gresley, everything!  Teaching, running balls, anything dance related

“Dance is Fun!  My goal is to share the love of dance around the Kingdom!  Making space for all participatory and performing arts benefits us all.

Other: I am also the Chancellor of the Atlantian Academie of Dance. I organize dance tracks, competitions, run our youtube channel, hold advanced dance practices and more!”

Dance is Fun!

Lord Ciaran Mac Breandain – Founder of the Atlantia Music Ensemble

SCA Name: Lord Ciaran mac Breandain

Modern Name: David Gunter

Home group: Barony of Windmaster’s Hill

Primary performing arts skills:  Instrumental performance.  Singing if necessary 😁

I believe the more opportunities for engaging performing arts, the better.  Specifically, I want to see more opportunities for instrumental musicians both in concert and competition.  I would like to see us create a group of performers who could provide music for court, feast, or other situations where background music could add an air of authenticity.  

I do transcription of medieval musical manuscripts into modern notation so as to make them available for performance.  I also compose music when I get the chance. Also, I’m a relatively decent brewer.

Lady Iselda de Narbonne – Poeta Atlantia 2019- 2020

SCA Name: Lady Iselda de Narbonne

Modern Name: Alix Evans

Home group: Shire of Roxbury Mill

Primary performing arts skills:  Poetry, singing, harp

“Currently the Poeta Atlantiae. I’d like to help create more and better venues for performance at events, including by better incorporating performance into A&S competitions and displays. I’m hoping to a) encourage and help people running competitions to arrange time, space, and judges for performance entries so that performers don’t have to scramble to do it themselves day-of when they’re already jangling with nerves, and b) to make sure that the space set aside for performances of any type is quiet enough to accommodate a range of performances, from loud and brash to delicate and tender.

In my experience so far, performers are often asked to perform in noisy venues, and it seems to me that we’re missing out on a lot of wonderful performances as a result.  As performers, we should be able to express the length and breadth of the human experience, and that includes tenderness, reverence, beauty that should not be shouted. Some of the most magical moments happen when care is taken to create a welcoming space for performers (such as at the most recent Royal Bard competition).  I would like to continue to help carve out such welcoming spaces for ALL performances, not just the loud show-stoppers.

I’ll be looking for more and more opportunities to create these spaces, so if you have an event or competition coming up and you’d like help making it happen, please let me know!  I’d gladly be your partner in crime. 🙂 Best, Iselda”

Lord Alfarinn Valason as Arlecchino

SCA Name: Lord Alfarinn Valason

Modern Name: Nancy Kramer

Home group: iFirenzi in the Barony of Windmasters’ Hill

Primary performing arts skills: Primarily commedia and beginning ventures into singing

“Commedia dell’Arte has been such a joyous adventure for me!  It took me a while to get over my stagefright, but once I did I branched out from the straight-laced “safe” role of The Servetta into Arlecchino – the consummate fool. This let’s me explore and express the jester / fool / clown parts that don’t have permission to come out and play in any other aspect of daily life. Physical comedy involves letting all the repressed actions come out – it is immensely freeing. I’m excited to be directing my first show at KASF 2020.”

Jonkvrouwe Machteld Cleine, Baroness of the Court

SCA Name: Baroness Machteld Cleine

Modern Name: Eva Bogaerts

Home group: Barony of Nottinghill Coill

Primary performing arts skills: Theater and storytelling, teaching, history, repertoire, and singing

“I believe I am really good at encouraging people. I am an engaging teacher and I love performances. I especially love to figure out what would be available and desirable in which setting. I love theater especially, I have my masters in theater, film and TV studies, with an emphasis on Theater and the place of community theater, as well as a bachelors in social and cultural work, with an emphasis on cultural work, especially the theater.

I love to touch people’s hearts and minds when performing. I’ve written a few pieces for the SCA, and am trying to write and translate more.”

Lady Rhiannon of Raven’s Cove – Co-Founder with Mistress Azza of the Atlantia Dance Band

SCA Name: Lady Rhiannon of Raven’s Cove

Modern Name: Lauren Smith

Home group: Barony of Hawkwood

Primary performing arts skills:  Instrumental (recorders, flute, guitar, and more!) and Singing

“With music (as with everything else) in the SCA, the more the merrier!  I love encouraging folks to explore vocal and instrumental music within the society, and work to create an atmosphere where even those who haven’t picked up an instrument since high school feel comfortable trying out music in the SCA, and playing with groups such as the dance band.”

Baroness Sophia the Orange doing administrative support

SCA Name: Baroness Sophia the Orange

Modern Name: Lara Coutinho

Home group: Barony of Windmasters’ Hill; Canton of Elvegast

Primary performing arts skills: Commedia dell’ Arte, theater arts, dance, dance music, cello, improvisation comedy, puppets, stilt walking, juggling, and organizing performing arts.

I created the Royal Players team to encourage performers to create more opportunities for themselves to have time and space at SCA events for performing arts. It was originally an idea of Master Ruaidhri an Cu’s in Spring of 2016. Then Queen Thora blessed the idea and encouraged me to try it. I had the blessing of help from Mistress Dervila for the first two years. It has been successful since Pennsic of 2016 in creating time and space for performing arts to happen more in Atlantia.

I love performing, and I know there is great administrative work necessary to create time and space for performing to happen at SCA events. Schedules need to be managed, space needs to be found and committed, and numerous people who are not performers need to be engaged for a performance space to be made available. I believe that I need to “put my money where my mouth is” and devote service to creating performance opportunities in my community before I can take that opportunity for myself to perform.

For those people who like teamwork and believe that pitching in on making the administrative work of performing arts happen, this team is very supportive. I hope it continues for many years to encourage excellence in performing arts and the admin work needed to allow performances to happen.

To contact any of the Royal Players at any time, if you don’t already have their email address or Facebook contacts, please post a request for what you need to our public Facebook group here:

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
https://www.thetrevorproject.org/ )

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: https://www.burg-trausnitz.de/englisch/castle/narren.htm
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.

How Do I Find Atlantia Performers At Pennsic?

Atlantia performers kick it up another notch this year!  Here’s where you can see Atlantia Performers, and there are some job aids for tracking performing arts throughout Pennsic below. All shows are at the Performing Arts Tent (PAT), the big stage in the middle of Pennsic University.

Friday 8/3 – 5:00-6:00 PM – Iron Commedia – directed by Lady Avelina del Dolce

Sunday 8/5- 5:30 – 6:00 PM – Master Ruaidhri An Cu

Sunday 8/5 -8:00 – 9:30 PM – Efenwealt Wystle, Minstrel and his Rock Star Wife, Aenor!

Monday 8/6 – 7:00 – 8:00 PM – Lady Lanea Verch Kerrigan

Monday 8/6 – 8:00 – 9:30 PM – Not Your Typical Atlantian Thugs – a Bardic Collection from Atlantia!

Monday 8/6 – 6:30 – 7:00 PM – Stupid Songs with Uncle Efenwealt (Amphitheater, not PAT)

Wednesday 8/8 – 4:00 – 5:00 PM – Atlansteorran bards Ermagerd and Grimolfr

Thursday 8/9 – 9:30 – 11:00 PM – Commedia All-Stars with Sophia the Orange, Manus MacDhai, Genefe Wolfelin, and Avelina del Dolce (and 6 other interkingdom Commedians!)

Friday 8/10 – 8:00 – 10:30 PM – Known World Players performance of “Hector of Troy” with Ruiadhri an Cu and a handful of other Atlantians


There is a new track in the Performing Arts Department this year – Theater! Commedia is in it’s own Commedia-only track and the other Theatrical Arts are in a separate track. The Theater Track includes scripted theater opportunities, improv classes with a variety of focus topics, and deep dives into juggling, foolery, magic, and loads of other topics.

Click on this pic to see the whole Theater Track schedule in a larger size

This year also marks the return of the Fool’s School program for kids of all ages with a Graduation Performance on Wednesday evening at 6:00pm.

This is the second year for the Youth Theater workshop where kids can rehearse a play all week and perform it on the final Friday!

The coordinator of the Youth Performing Arts track, Lady Sæhildr Barngòór, has compiled all the track’s activities on this Google Calendar : https://tinyurl.com/PennsicYouthPA

So, I don’t know exactly whom, but I’m pretty sure some Atlantia youngsters are going to be performing at Pennsic! Youth Theater and Youth Commedia performances are both Friday afternoon.

If you have any questions at all about the Pennsic Performing Arts Department, please reach to the new Leader of the department, Atlantia’s own Lady Scholastica Joycours!  Her email address for Pennsic business is scholastica.ppa@gmail.com.

Not part of Pennsic University’s Performing Arts department, but you can rock with Atlantia at the big bardic circle, on middle Sunday night, in Atlantia Royal Camp (N41) hosted by Atlantia’s own Kingdom Bard, Master Richard Muti!  He said on facebook that the circle would start at “darkish” and end “when they kick us out” so you’ll have to check with him for details. 😉

Rock on Atlantia!

Last summer, our beloved Queen Thora approved and blessed a new experiment by the Atlantia Performing Arts Guild – the Royal Players program! This is a program where a team of experienced performers is gathered to represent a wide variety of performing arts and geographic locations throughout Atlantia. This team has the mission to create time and space for Performing Arts activities at events throughout the kingdom and model excellence in performing. The Royal Players team is presented and approved by Their Majesties of Atlantia and presented to the populace at Pennsic. They serve a one year term, then they have the option to continue or opt out. New members can be recommended and invited by the team.

The Royal Players for our first (experimental) year have been outstanding in their support of Performing Arts! They have proven that this is a program that works. Here are their accomplishments from the past year:

  • Hosted 26 bardic circles
  • Performed 9 times for background music
  • Hosted 8 competitions
  • Taught 35 classes
  • Performed 9 concerts
  • Performed music for dancing 9 times
  • Created 7 dance balls or haflas
  • Performed administrative duties to support Performing Arts programs at 14 events
  • Wrote 4 articles or white papers on Performing Arts

Altogether, the Royal Players team created 121 activities in support of Performing Arts this year. They attended 26 events over the past year, not including rehearsals and practices.

Additional accomplishments of this team includes:

  • Lady Harper an Cu was selected to be Kingdom Bard
  • Johann von Solothurn was elevated to the Order of the Laurel
  • Mistress Kisaya kicked off and expanded the Atlantia Middle Eastern Guild
  • Mistress Azza has created a system for the Atlantia Dance Band to get organized. She posts the play list with links to sheet music and recordings of her playing the pieces. It’s an excellent way to support musicians and dancers.
  • Lady Nicolosa d’Isenfir was selected as the new Chancellor of the Atlantia Academy of Dance

Royal Players Year 1 at 12th Night 2017

The Royal Players for the year of Pennsic 45-46 includes these fine performers:

  • Lady Scholastica Joycors – storytelling
  • Lady Harper an Cu – instrumental and vocal music
  • Lady Meriorie Matheson – theater
  • Lord Hákon Erfikvaethiskald – solo and ensemble singing
  • Mistress Fevronia Murometsa – instrumental and vocal music
  • Lady Reynsa Keyferin – vocal and ensemble music
  • Mistress Azza al Shirazi – instrumental music, specialty in dance band music
  • Mistress Kisaiya Zingara – middle eastern music, dance, and culture
  • Lady Nicolosa d’Isenfir – European dance
  • Master Johann von Solothurn – instrumental and vocal music
  • Mistress Dervila Ni Leanon and Baroness Sophia the Orange – administrative support

Here are some more pics of the Royal Players in action this past year:

Meriorie running a Shakespeare competition at 12th Night 2017

Royal Players Year 1 at War of the Wings 2016

Royal Players Year 1 with Spike at War of the Wings 2016

Mistress Azza rehearsing with the dance band at WoW 2016

Next year’s Royal Players team is currently in the hands of Their Majesties, Cuan and Signy, awaiting approval. The announcement for approval and names of the team members will be made at Atlantia Royal Court at Pennsic, starting at 6:00pm on War week Wednesday.

Great Vivants to the Royal Players of Atlantia!! Great job everyone!!!

With great appreciation and applause,

Baroness Sophia the Orange,

Guildmistress of the Atlantia Performing Arts Guild

Did you know that Atlantia is home to an extraordinary group of performing artists, the Laydes Fayre vocal ensemble?  Under the direction of Mistress Arianna Morgan, for over 16 years, these singers of all levels and backgrounds have come together to produce beautiful period music!  Read the introduction to the group below written by Mistress Arianna, and watch for their performances in the northern half of the kingdom! – Sophia the Orange

laydesfayre 11 sep 2010

Laydes Fayre is an inter-baronial  women’s vocal music ensemble dedicated to the performance of pre-17th century European polyphonic music.  The ensemble was formed by the Director, Mistress Arianna Morgan, in 1999 to provide women in northern Atlantia with additional opportunities to sing period choral music.   Laydes Fayre currently has members from Lochmere, Dun Carraig, Ponte Alto, Storvik, and Roxbury Mill.  Members come from a variety of musical backgrounds and experiences.

Laydes Fayre averages about 5 to 6 performances per year at SCA events, most of which are local.   The Laydes have performed in a variety of SCA settings.  They have provided processional/recessional music for Coronations, Investitures, and peerage elevations; performing arts showcases and concerts; during feast, and before court.   Several years ago, the group recorded a CD (Here’s to the Laydes).  The CD features a variety of well-known and not so well known pieces of the 16th century.  The CD also includes some original pieces composed by Mistress Arianna. (Email her directly to buy a copy of the CD.)

Mistress Arianna considers a number of factors when selecting music for the group including audience appeal; variety of tempos, genres, and languages; voicing, and appropriate level of complexity.    The complexity of the music is varied so that the more experienced members won’t get bored and the less experienced members increase their skill level.

The group works hard to learn their music and has fun in the process!  After each rehearsal, the Laydes enjoy baked goods and conversation.  Even members’ birthdays are celebrated with cake and candles!  Occasionally, the group takes a break from rehearsals to have a girls’ night out.

The group typically rehearses twice a month on Friday nights from 7:45 p.m. – 9:15 p.m.  in Tracys Landing, Maryland,  just 20 minutes south of the Washington, D.C.  Beltway.  Each voice part also has a “sectional” rehearsal every third month.  Performance and rehearsal schedules are provided well in advance and music is provided to members at no cost.
Laydes Fayre is always welcoming new members for all voice parts:  Soprano I, Soprano II, Alto I, and Alto II.   (Most music performed is for SSA, SSAA, or SAT voicing.)    Music reading skills and choral experience are helpful, but not required.  Learning by rote is perfectly acceptable.   Music memorization is never required.

There are no formal auditions.  However, members are expected to be able to sing in tune in a choral setting, follow direction, attend rehearsals and performances regularly, and work and play well with others.  If you are interested and/or have questions, please contact Mistress Arianna via e-mail at   chrissings AT juno DOT com    or via telephone at (410) 533-4535.  If sending an e-mail message, please use “Laydes Fayre Interest” as your subject line.

Have you ever seen performers having fun on stage and craved joining in? Well, now you can! And not just “throw them in and hope they float” Nononono….. We will actually *teach* you something before making you face the terrifying stares of an expectant audience! (WARNING: All shows at War of the Wings are BYOChair!  There will NOT be enough chairs for everyone, so BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR PLEASE!)  And don’t worry about the deadline to register for classes… just show up if you haven’t registered and we’ll make room for you! No class size limits on Performing Arts Classes!


1) Who’s Line Doth It Be?   Improvisation Skills class and Show 1:00 – 3:00pm

Have you ever seen the TV show “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” either the American version hosted by Drew Cary or the original on BBC? We’re going to run a mini-version of that show ourselves at WoW based on the version die hard performing arts geeks at Pennsic have been doing for many years.

But before that, a class will be taught in Improvisation Skills. You must take the class if you want to be in the show, but you can take the class and not perform in the show.  The class will run through six basic rules of improvisation that can help you in everyday conversation, living in persona at SCA events, better performance during SCA court schtick, and also performing improvised commedia dell’ arte. We will also learn the short form improv theater games that will serve as the structure of our Who’s Line Doth It Be Show.

Improvisation Skills Class runs from 1:00 – 2:00pm. Who’s Line Doth It Be show runs from 2:00 – 3:00pm.

2) European Dance Pick Up Band:  Rehearsal 12:00 – 3:00pm;  Performance 7:00 – 10:00pm (both Friday and Saturday)

Any and all musicians are welcome to join in a new kind of pick up band! To sign up, click here!

A lovely new professional music teacher and band director has joined the Barony of Nottinghill Coil a couple years ago and brings with her a passion for period music! Our new best friend,  milady Reynsa, will lead volunteer musicians through a rehearsal with Pennsic Pile sheet music from 12:00 noon to 3:00pm on Friday and Saturday to prep for playing for the balls on both Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7:00pm.  Click here for details including links to the sheet music, dance list, and recordings:   http://warofthewings.com/details/pick_up_band.html

3) Middle Eastern Dance:  Band Rehearsals Thursday – Saturday

Middle Eastern Dance Band will Rehearse on Thursday 2-3:00, Friday 3-4:00, and Saturday 2-3:00, then play for a Hofla dance party starting at 8:30pm Saturday night!

Three classes are also offered for learning middle eastern dance.

See the Dance page for details: http://warofthewings.com/details/dancing.html


1) European Dance: 10:00 – 11:00am

The ball on Friday night is a practice ball, so all the dances will be taught then, but more dances will be taught Saturday morning in this class (New Yere, Bel Fiore, Petite Vriens, and some bransles). The ball Saturday night will also have some teaching time.  For more details about learning and performing European dance, click here: http://warofthewings.com/details/dancing.html

2) Commedia dell’ Arte: Intro class and Iron Commedia show 12:00 noon – 5:00pm

Learn the basics of Commedia dell’ Arte, the Italian improvised comedy play style that was very popular throughout Europe in the 16th century.  Intro to commedia class runs from 12:00 – 1:00pm.

Then whoever is ready for an intense creative thrill… we will run an Iron Commedia session from 1:00 to 4:00pm where we will write a commedia scenario based on who shows up and what characters people want to play. We will rehearse until 4:00, then we will put on our short play in the half hour before court as pre-court entertainment!  (Court starts at 5:00pm) Anyone who wants a part in the play gets one, but you have to have taken the Intro to Commedia class either that day or some other day to join in. Once we start writing the scenario at 1:00pm, the process takes off like a rocket!

3) Bardic Madness: Challenges and Performances  12:00 – 2:00pm

The Challenges put forth by Lady Scholastica Joycors, Kingdom Bard of 2014, are set forth as “Fyts of Madness” which will challenge bards to create material either ahead of time or in the moment.  Bards will then also have the opportunity to perform their material right there in the midst of madness!  Depending on how many participants show up, bards can exchange critique and improve on their works, discuss, challenge each other more, and let the madness lead them.

4) Bardic 101 & 102:  A class in all things Bardic 2:00 – 3:00pm

Lord Johann von Solothurn, the current Kingdom Bard, will help you get started in becoming a bard and/or help you take your bardic lifestyle to the next level based on who shows up to the class and what questions they bring.

5) Research for Performers:  A multi-purpose performers class 3:00 – 4:00pm

Lord Johann von Solothurn continues to spread the wisdom by offering resources for research for all kinds of performers.

6) Bards and Brewers Concert at the White Phoenix Inn – Starting at 9:00pm in Vingulf Hall

On Saturday evening, after you’ve had all this great instruction on performing all day Friday and Saturday, you can put it to good use if you signed up ahead of time to claim a 10 minute performing slot during the Saturday night concert!  Now, the Saturday night performances will begin with the Inter-Baronial Bardic Champions Competition starting at 9:00pm where those performers who have earned the honor of serving as their barony’s Champion in a performing art will compete for glory, honor, and spiffy prizes.  AFTER, the Champions have competed, the regular concert will commence with a lineup of performers who only had to sign up ahead of time.  Did you sign up ahead of time on the Google Form here?  If you miss signing up, you just move to the end of the line and a sign up sheet will be posted in Vingulf Hall so the organized concert can devolve into an all-night jam if performers show up who wish to share the space.

To sign up for a 10 minute performance slot in the Bards and Brewers Concert on Saturday night, click here!

The Kingdom’s Royal Brewer is leading his fellow brewers in gathering in the same space as the concert in Vingulf Hall on Saturday night starting at 9:00pm to share the fruits of their labor. So, no need to sign up, just bring your brewed creations to share!  Rumor has it that a special friend from the Barony of Windmasters’ Hill is also bringing a supply of Savory Toasted Cheese, so the evening will be full of brews, cheese, and song!

Stay tuned for two more blog posts covering the rest of the extensive Performing Arts Program at War of the Wings!  http://warofthewings.com/performing_arts.html 

Sincerely Yours,

Lady Sophia the Orange

War of the Wings, Deputy Village Steward for Performing Arts

Kingdom of Atlantia, Minister of Arts and Sciences, Deputy for Performing Arts

Capocomico, i Firenzi

Fan of Anything That Comes To Life On Stage!


By Lady Sophia the Orange

There are just so many activities under the scope of Performing Arts at Pennsic, I am tempted to use interpretive dance instead of words to describe them. But there is no time… let me sum up.

There are three general ways to enjoy the performing arts at Pennsic: 1) Watch them, 2) Do them, 3) Learn about them. Expect overlap.

1) WATCHING:  To discover which entertainments fit your schedule, mood, and age/maturity requirements when you want to be the audience, consult the following resources:   Pennsic Book Performing Arts Schedule for the Performing Arts Tent, the Amphitheater, and other random performance places.  Those random places include spots like Runestone hill where the Practice Safe Bardic Safe Practice Circle is on Saturday afternoon or the Enchanted Ground where they hold an in-persona bardic circle almost every night.  The “Bards By Day/Bards By Night” book is one additional place where those performances plus some unofficial performances and open bardic circles can be tracked. If you happen to have internet access, use this link (https://sites.google.com/site/pennsicbbdbbn ) and a paper copy is often available on site at Mystic Mail.

Regular trends you can count on as an audience member include the following:

  • Daily, starting on Saturday of middle weekend, in the Performing Arts Tent, from 2-5:00pm, an Exposition for a specific performing art is held: European Music, Commedia, Bardic, Middle Eastern Dance, Harp, and Storytelling. Audience members are welcome to drift in and out at their leisure.
  • Nightly, Saturday through Thursday, there are performances of Commedia dell’ Arte plays which tend to be for mature audiences.
  • Wandering performers lurk the streets of Pennsic seeking mugs decorated with ribbons hanging from camp entryways. If you wish to sit in your camp and let the entertainers come to you, go ahead and hang a mug with ribbons from your camp entrance and be hospitable. Mugs with ribbons = a ready audience for any polite performer.

2) DOING: Performers can watch for performance opportunities by watching the following resources:

  • See the PA Schedule in the Book for open join-ins like: Recorder Jam Session, Iron Commedia, Open Stage Shakespeare Night on the Green, Who’s Line Doth It Be Auditions, Fool’s Parade, and Mini Bardic Madness.
  • Daily Expositions with open sign ups at the Performing Arts Tent prior to 2:00pm that day (not the “Tri-Kingdom Bardic Exhibition” which is invitation only)
  • The Bards By Day / Bards By Night book is as close as there is to a schedule for open bardic circles, but your best bet is to find an experienced fire-hopping bard and offer to be their water bearer.
  • The Known World Players hold auditions for next year’s play, “The Alchemist” by Ben Johnson, on Wednesday, Aug.5, 4:00 – 6:00pm, in the Performing Arts Rehearsal Tent next to the Amphitheater.
  • Mugs decorated with ribbons hanging from camp entrances are invitations for polite entertainers to come into a camp and perform for the audience there.

*NB: The Performing Arts Tent staff can always use additional volunteers especially from performers who have enjoyed the use of the stage when it comes time to STRIKE the stage on Friday night at 10:00pm! Please come help STRIKE THE STAGE!

3) LEARNING:  Students of the performing arts can watch the class list in the Pennsic Book, but take special note of the following resources:

  • Very rare classes start as early as Thursday of Peace Week, so plan your schedule early!
  • The Bardic Collegium is daily Sunday-Friday (but Monday is the Bardic Expo instead) from 3:00 – 5:00 with a different topic every day presented by experienced Pennsic bards.
  • “Learn by doing” classes include: Iron Commedia, Youth Commedia, numerous kinds of improvisation classes for theater, storytelling, and music, Fool’s School, and the Sing We and Chant It Jam (with optional rehearsal).

Some performances stand out this year as Not To Be Missed from this writer’s perspective:

  • Love Will Return – The Story of Héloïse &  Abélard by Mistress Dervila ni Leanon & Master Efenwealt Wystle: Tuesday 7:30- 9:00 PAT  Mistress Dervila rewrote her previous telling of this story to include 113 additional love letters she discovered from a new source. Master Efenwealt may have done a little work too on some music to go with it. 😉 This performance is the product of two experienced masters of their craft doing a 4 month remake of one of their favorite pieces with a new exciting resource. Magic will happen.
  • Drake Oranwood – Singing Minstrel: Sunday 6:00 – 7:00 PAT Drake’s first CD just came out and all proceeds go to a children’s education charity, but to see him in person sharing his joy of music with you… you will believe in the SCA all over again.
  • Youth Commedia Performance: Friday 5:00 – 6:00 PAT If you want to see kids pull off something impressive you never thought possible, come see this show. During last year’s inaugural voyage, the Pennsic Youth Commedia program under Lady Cael O’Conail proved that teens and kids can improvise comedy just like the pros! You *will* laugh your socks off!
  • Open Stage Shakespeare Night On The Green: Middle Saturday 6:30 – 8:30 Amphitheater  It’s open mike night for Shakespeare geeks at the Amphitheater! Miss that not!


There is NO excuse to be bored at Pennsic even if you think “nothing’s going on in my camp.”  No need for a party invitation or required inebriation.  Mug your gate or take your mug to the Performing Arts Tent and see what’s coming to life on the stage!