LL Zane: Second Life News by Lora Constantine

PR: The “Pantheon SL” to open in sLiterary-Primtings

Posted in Uncategorized by Lora Constantine on November 1, 2010

The “Pantheon SL” opens in sLiterary-Primtings
Contact: Lora Constantine
Date: November 1, 2010

sLiterary and Primtings, Second Life—The Pantheon, “the most celebrated edifice in all the world,” in RL is now in 1000+ prim sculpted goodness on SL. Grand Opening on December 4, 2010 in the arts mecca 4-sims of sLiterary, the Pantheon SL hopes to serve as a virtual shrine—“to all the gods.” Straddling the borders of the sLiterary and Primtings sim, the “Pantheon SL” is directly east of the 4-sim SL Globe Theatre, with the portico on the southern border of sLiterary, and the rotunda on the northern border of Primtings.

Based on Antoine Desgodetz’s sketches from the Renaissance era, the Pantheon SL shows several historic features not on the modern restoration of the Pantheon RL in Rome. The attics have been ostensibly modified for SL, with easy fly-in entrances and fall-out exits. Visitors are given angel wings, and “encouraged to fly to the top of the rotunda, to the oculus and out, and in.” They also have a chance to donate to SL relics. According to Ina Centaur, executive director of Primtings and sLiterary, “For kicks, we’d also have a scripted ‘Bocca della Verita’, where those who hold weddings here can put their hands inside this stone lion’s mouth and risk having their hand chomped off if they’re lying… Due to limited space in the sims, we’re going to be putting other fun Italian-esque things here!”

Created by Daedalus Ferina as a rezday present for Ina Centaur, the building will be a permanent structure—“for as long as these four sims stand, before we can’t raise enough funds for SL tier and absolutely have to move off to OpenSim!” In a lighter air, Ina Centaur jubilantly declared, “This is one of the neatest two sim birthday cakes I’ve received yet!”

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mShakespeare’s: Twelfth Night, Act 2 – Open-Ended Run

Posted in Uncategorized by Lora Constantine on March 9, 2010

PRESS RELEASE
March 9, 2010
Contact: Lora Constantine (lora at mshakespeare dot com)

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 (PDT), and every Sunday at 1 PM SLT (PDT). 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 (PDT)
Sundays at 1 PM SLT (PDT)
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.

Website: http://mshakespeare.com
Press Center: http://mshakespeare.com/press
Blog: http://blog.mshakespeare.com
Playbills: http://playbills.mshakespeare.com
Programmes: http://programmes.mshakespeare.com

About sLiterary
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.

SL Shakespeare Company Changes Its Name to Metaverse Shakespeare Company

Posted in Uncategorized by Lora Constantine on February 23, 2010

PRESS RELEASE
February 22, 2010
Contact: Lora Constantine

SL Shakespeare Company Changes Its Name to Metaverse Shakespeare Company

Shakespeare, Second Life
— Feb 22, 2010 — The SL Shakespeare Company (SLSC) today has finalized its name change process, and will now officially be known as the Metaverse Shakespeare Company (MSC).

“In its three years, the SL Shakespeare Company has accomplished its goal of spreading Shakespeare throughout SL via reviving his theatre and architecture on SL, and promoting affiliate events, from discussion groups to Renaissance music to non-SLSC sims,” said Ina Centaur, Artistic Director of the Metaverse Shakespeare Company. “Our new brand name better reflects our expanded mission to take Shakespeare to the metaverse—beyond just Second Life, but also OpenSim, WOW, Entropia, and other multiuser virtual worlds. Moreover, it frees up the general name of ‘SL Shakespeare’ for others to use, to continue to imbue SL with that aqua vitae of Shakespeare.”

Centaur expounds on the achievements of the Metaverse Shakespeare Company, beyond Shakespeare, “We have created the nascent industry of virtual theatre as a professional medium, and we have also put on experimental plays, contemporary pieces and original works. Many of the techniques and methods we have exposed and developed in virtual theatre, while implemented on SL, extend to any virtual world. We have evolved beyond Second Life, into the metaverse.”

The old domain of slshakespeare.com will be retained, but mshakespeare.com is now in use, “There will inevitably be some legacy items that will retain the old name. For example, old playbills and programmes will retain the old SL Shakespeare Company name, but Metaverse Shakespeare is our new brand.”

The Metaverse Shakespeare Company will maintain its relation with the Virtual Shakespeare Consortium, as curator of the most historically accurate virtual architecture relating to William Shakespeare. The Metaverse Shakespeare Company is a fiscally sponsored project of sLiterary, Inc.

The SL inworld group SL Shakespeare Company has been renamed the Metaverse Shakespeare Company.

For a full list of changes effective due to this name change, please see http://blog.mshakespeare.com/.

About the Metaverse Shakespeare Company

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.

Website: http://mshakespeare.com
Press Center: http://mshakespeare.com/press
Blog: http://blog.mshakespeare.com
Playbills: http://playbills.mshakespeare.com
Programmes: http://programmes.mshakespeare.com

About the Virtual Shakespeare Consortium

The Virtual Shakespeare Consortium (vSC) is a network of individuals and organizations dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and Shakespearean culture to the Internet and beyond.

About sLiterary

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.

ADMIRE 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by Lora Constantine on July 27, 2009

PRESS RELEASE
July 27, 2009
Contact: Lora Constantine

Shakespeare, Second Life and Zevenaar, Netherlands—ADMIRE 2009, the guerilla-styled mixed reality media event that brings dozens of SL’s hottest musicians (and their audience members) to the same RL venue in the Netherlands to create and collaborate, will occur this coming weekend, from July 31 to August 2. Open to a global audience, this event will also be streamed live in an SL component headquartered in a skybox in Shakespeare, Second Life starting August 1 at noon PDT.

Over twenty-five of SL’s most well known musicians will be stationed in the Panhoven in Zevenaar, a camping and hostel-type accommodation, to create music and jam. Musicians include: XanderNichting Writer, Slim Warrior, Al Hoffman, Inchino Melson, Brad “JooZz” Monnett, Mar Biddle, Russell Eponym, Carah Nitely, Aurora Metaluna, Kaycee Drayman and Wannahave Ferraris, Blindboy Gumbo, Bara Jonson, and many more.

Starting from the thought that musicians might visit each other for social reasons, the idea spread and soon turned into a fantastic creative opportunity—to quote one anonymous musician, “Many have never met or collaborated before, so this will be even more of a super new experience!”

Some believe that music is a precursor to a universal understanding that may lead to world peace, as believed by one ADMIRE ‘09 coordinator EdDereDdE Laval, “For me this is an exciting proof of concept event prior to our global main event – World Peace Day – on 21st of September.”

Although the event is headed by a third party, Ina Centaur, executive director of sLiterary, explains the event’s relation to sLiterary, “sLiterary is excited to help foster such a globally collaborative and artistic event! It captures the spirit of live performance with a neat new-media mixed-reality edge. I look forward to it!”

About ADMIRE
ADMIRE 2009 is an annual mixed-reality event where SL musicians gather in a guerilla-hostel-style setting in RL to create new music and make new connections.

About sLiterary

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 ADMIRE nor sLiterary is affiliated with Linden Lab. Second Life is a trademark of Linden Lab. No infringement is intended.

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The World’s First Complete Reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Historic Blackfriars Theatre

Posted in Uncategorized by Lora Constantine on March 17, 2009

PRESS RELEASE
March 17, 2009
Contact: Lora Constantine

The World’s First Complete Reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Historic Blackfriars Theatre

Shakespeare, Second Life—On Saturday, Ina Centaur unveiled to a small gathering of SL Shakespeare Company patrons the most complete rendition of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre in the world. Built to see if “there are any insights to be gained from performing in a fully historicaly accurate ‘lost playhouse,’” Centaur’s reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Theatre is due to grand open to the public the weekend of March 21st.

This re-construction of the Blackfriars Theatre in Second Life is one of two working models in the world. But, Centaur notes that the “Blackfriars Playhouse” re-constructed in RL in Staunton, Virginia is just one interpretation of the interior, without taking into account the actual building the playhouse was built into, “Blackfriars, as the name implies, has quite a lot to do with friars. In fact, the original playhouse was ‘built’ inside a building in a centuries-old stone friary… Nowadays, we would consider [the playhouse] just interior decoration or remodeling.” Centaur explains that from the perspective of a reconstruction historian, “The interesting part in re-creating this would be figuring out how to fit a (presumably) largely wooden interior into a stone chapel or even cathedral-like structure.”

Centaur briefly outlines the research behind the meticulous construction, “I started researching for this project several years ago as a low-time budget hobby as an undergrad. I began by ransacking the books from several UC libraries and binging on interlibrary loans. I was disappointed then, as I am now, by the dearth of published materials specifically on the Blackfriars Theatre itself. But, it gave me a good excuse to read up on a whole lot more seemingly off-tangent stuff… The construction is largely based on Irwin Smith’s interpretation published in the 1960’s, though I’ve taken a somewhat obsessive care to finetune the details—the original structure no longer exists at all, so you can decipher only so little from foundations found in digs, the interior construction can really look like anything. Aside from the usual ‘guessimation’ from period structures that were actually sketched or described, there are letters and written accounts of expenses and other ‘everyday information’ about the Blackfriars that can aid in answering questions as specific as what kind of wood might have been used… It’s a very involved process, conceiving this construction… I will probably publish a paper on [the Blackfriars Theatre].”

Centaur hopes to stage theatrical performances in the virtual reconstruction of the Blackfriars Theatre. When asked what she thought of the significance of this historic theatre being built inside a building of religion, Centaur states, “Theatre is ultimately a very profoundly religious endeavor. I don’t mean this in the sense of any pre-ordained religion, but rather the general idea that there’s some sort of greater good or greater being that exists beyond what’s seen. Each performance is temporal and ephemeral; an actor might play out his best show and not realize it until he reaches the end of his mortal coil—and no one ‘real’ might even get to see it. But, the actor would have experienced it, and if they’re religious: they would believe that God saw it—and that it was good, and that’s all that matters… And, it’s not just symbolism… I think that the fact that this theatre is built inside the remains of a religious building basically makes the relation between actor and venue and back to actor again totally go full circle!”

Centaur, who is also the artistic director of the SL Shakespeare Company, has created several models of the Globe Theatre, as well as a meticulous rendition of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London—which is known as the SL Globe Theatre in Second Life. While Centaur is known for much more, she pays high respect to this endeavor, “Aside from the totally remodeled Skin City sim to be unveiled this summer, I think this is my favorite build on SL thus far. It’s brand new and unique.”

About the SL Shakespeare Company

Set in the virtual world of Second Life (SL), the SL Shakespeare Company (SLSC) is the flagship project of sLiterary’s Virtual Reality Shakespeare Initiative (VRSI). SLSC is a resident-funded and resident-supported professional theatre company that embraces the best of what Second Life (SL) has to offer. While it is primarily known to provide quality live Shakespearean theatre available to anyone in any location, SLSC is also the curator of Second Life’s most historically accurate theatres and architecture relating to William Shakespeare.

About sLiterary

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 SL Shakespeare Company nor sLiterary is affiliated with Linden Lab. Second Life is a trademark of Linden Lab. No infringement is intended.

Inachi Presents Avatar Nyotaimori on Second Life

Posted in Uncategorized by Lora Constantine on March 17, 2009

PRESS RELEASE
March 17, 2009
Contact: Lora Constantine

Inachi Presents Avatar Nyotaimori on Second Life

一拿吃的女化身壽司在第二世界上菜!

Shakespeare, Second Life and Skin City, Second Life—In the midst of a virtual reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Elizabethan England, an avant-garde virtual sushi restaurant named Inachi unveils its first gourmet dish. Dubbed “Nyotaimori,” the platter features an artistic arrangement of finely-priced sushi adorning the nude avatar body of virtual celebrity Codebastard Redgrave. The sum of sushi prices on this Nyotaimori reaches at about L$1,000,000; its purpose is to be dismantled by its audience as every “edible piece” of this virtual culinary sculpture is sold off in a single fundraiser to benefit the SL Shakespeare Company. The presentation opens to the public at 1 PM PDT on Saturday, March 21st at the Blackfriars Theatre.

Not surprisingly, the prolific Ina Centaur is both the founder and artist of Inachi and its Nyotaimori. As with many of Centaur’s projects, Inachi began as a hobby, “Inachi started out as a somewhat offbeat-obsessive project to document and semi-immortalize in virtual-world-3D, some of the sushi I’ve tasted. And then one day a friend showed me a picture of nyotaimori, or female body sushi. It all became clear to me that day—both the name ‘Inachi’ made sense, as well as how I might turn these sushi-Lego things I’ve created into… a feast for your eyes!”

Inachi in its most literal translation to Ina Centaur’s native Mandarin Chinese means “Ina, go eat!” But, since Centaur’s discovery of “female body sushi” last May, the translation, while still retaining its homonym, became 一拿吃 or, literally, “One Take Eat.” Centaur explains its significance, “The translation sounds flip, but I think it’s cool that the translation back to English also affords a theatrical pun. My SL Shakespeare Company project has been something I’ve been trying to raise funds for since its inception in 2007, and basically everything I do in virtual worlds goes to fund it. Also, I think the translation fits how we’ll manage to present nyotaimori as a viable artform in a very material and commercial virtual world: people will simply take (pay) and eat each piece of artful virtual sushi goodness.”

To Centaur, this Nyotaimori event is both art that represents Second Life, and a social experiment, “Art is essentially an interpretive representation of an object, in the general sense; in this case, the object is the virtual world of Second Life, and Nyotaimori is kind of like a satirical symbol of it. Inachi’s Nyotaimori recasts a nude female avatar into both culinary and ethnic art via an artistic arrangement of sushi. The individual pieces of sushi are cast in a state that will soon dissipate, as each piece is taken, just as the artful sims of Second Life are dismantled due to the decree of limited resource budgets. The avatar in this avatar body sushi presentation is famous and has media appeal, just like how Second Life has it. But, the art lives in the manifestation of its sushi, just like how Second Life wouldn’t be anything without its user-created content… The social experiment would be to see if people’d bite.” Despite its novelty and representation, Centaur is uncertain but hopeful about Nyotaimori as a means to fund inworld art, “Most of my fundraising attempts in virtual worlds have failed miserably. I hope this one is different enough to meet its goal!”

On a happier note, when asked to comment on her choice of designating Codebastard Redgrave as her maiden Nyotaimori, Centaur comments, “I think Codie is incredibly sexy, and Second Life might find it interesting to undress the sushi off her—literally!”

Venue: http://Blackfriars.SLshakespeare.com
Promo Poster: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ic-beauties/3362521222/
Event Details: http://secondlife.com/events/event.php?id=2484644&date=1237665600

About Inachi (一拿吃)

Inachi is a fictional restaurant set in the virtual world of Second Life. Ina Centaur, its founder and head chef-artist, serves hand-made virtual sushi with exquisite detail and care in performance art settings. Its main store is located in the underground metros of Skin City, Second Life.

Miss Virtual World 2009 Enterprise Salutes Content Creators on SL

Posted in Uncategorized by Lora Constantine on February 23, 2009

Miss Virtual World 2009 Enterprise Salutes Content Creators on SL

In a virtual world where beauty is not the product of genetics and upbringing, but publicly created by intelligent design and hype, a cast of 18 Miss Virtual World 2009 contestants preen in Second Life’s biggest beauty pageant of the year. Set in Patch Thibaud Auditorium, a glitz and grand glam 4-sim auditorium 3000 metres in the sky, and held by the BOSL “Best of SL” enterprises, Miss Virtual Worlds 2009 is as sensational as it is prodigal, and it is only appropriate that Frolic Mills, the owner and master of ceremonies of the enterprise, opens the event with biblical words, “In the beginning, there was only land… and the designers created Second Life.”

Running for six hours, Miss Virtual World 2009 opened with a dance from last year’s finalists Mui Mukerji and Willamina Fitzgerald. The 18 contestants of this year’s beauty pageant then took their place next to their country flags, as co-host Giela Delpaso introduced the ethnic nature of each dress design and allowed each model to introduce herself and her country.

Frolic Mills announced the judges and opened the swimsuit competition, where each model was flaunted in a metallic cylindrical capsule stage. The Changhigh Trinity sisters performed a dance routine in an intermission before the evening gown competition, where each model, once again, paraded to centerstage to give spotlight to the country she represented.

Beneath a gleam of haze, the virtual sweat of a half-rezzed face, the pageant models braved their way through lag on the stage, each giving a brief line through text chat, representing both her country and virtual self. Many of the models attribute their appearances to the designers who created their looks, and gave thanks to them. Of note are two models who specifically mention that if they win, they would become advocates against content theft (on SL). The assertions come from ZoeAnastasia Aeon, “If I am crowned Miss Virtual World this evening, I will support content creators in the following ways. First, during the rest of my time in SL, I will respect creators’ right of property; I will not buy or promote any copied or stolen item. Second, I would teach new people to understand the hard work and art that these content creators are bringing to SL and encourage them to respect that as well.”, and EmmZ Tzara, “Should I be fortunate enough to be crowned MISS VIRTUAL WORLD, I would use this opportunity to continue to fight against content theft, the single greatest threat to our designers, and continue and increase my RL and SL associations with charitable aims, such as the fight against Autism and Traumatic Brain Injuries.”

Chosen in the Crystal Ballroom dance last week, Miss Elegance is Haruka Kish, Miss Congenility, chosen by the models themselves, is Kate Stockholm.

The judges then announced five finalists, who were each subject to a single incisive question from a judge of their choice. The questions ranged from how a model would react to find out that this year’s Miss Virtual World is actually male in RL to whether a model were bothered by SL’s materialism and emphasis on outer appearance to what a model defined as elegance. Judge Raven Pennyfeather asked what model EmmZ Tzara would do if she had an opportunity to benefit “some sort of RL Situation using SL.” EmmZ Tzara, who works with special-needs children, especially Autistic children, hopes to fundraise for such charities in SL.  Judge Minnu Palen asked if a model would sacrifice their “moral, ethical, or religious beliefs in order to win the competition.” Model Sally Yachvii responded valiently with, “Never. I’m known in SL as a strong-personality person. I react in SL same as I would in RL… I would never do something that would interfere with my principles and beliefs as a real human.”

After some deliberation, the judges arrived at naming Mimmi Boa (Miss Italy) as Miss Virtual World 2009.

Though flaunting some of the most avant garde styles in the virtual world, many of the clothing items could not load under the conditions imposed by lag. Gray textures and un-rezzed sculpted parts cast the classic Second Life look on the scene, and yet the 200 avatar audience present in the four sims enjoyed the event. Indeed, Frolic Mills, also the owner of the Patch Thibaud Auditorium, looks forward to many events in the next year.

SL Shakespeare Company’s Twelfth Night, Act 1: The Open-Ended Run

Posted in Uncategorized by Lora Constantine on February 20, 2009

PRESS RELEASE
February 23, 2009
Contact: Lora Constantine

SL Shakespeare Company’s Twelfth Night, Act 1: The Open-Ended Run

Shakespeare, Second Life: The virtual worlds performance of Twelfth Night, Act 1 unabridged, live and direct from the first folio returns and will play on indefinitely—as you will it! The SL Shakespeare Company’s long-awaited open-ended run premiers Sunday, March 1 at 1 PM PST, and will continue indefinitely every Sunday at 1 PM PST and every Tuesday at 6 PM PST at the SL Globe Theatre.

Artistic Director Ina Centaur is directing this play with a new cast and a rare vision in Shakespearean productions, “This production attempts to be as true and pure to the play as possible… This is the only one of the Bard’s plays that is not under suspicion from various bad quartos editions, so there might be some insights to be divined if we try to dramatize it based on a close reading—independent of the shackles of any era interpretation.”

Although the play is rich with references to Elizabethan England, Centaur has chosen to let more intrinsic elements define the visuals, “Avoiding the extraneous notions of modernity, the play looks like it’s from the ‘generic past’… The visual elements aren’t bound to a particular era or interpretation—but serve to help embellish the intrinsic elements of the play.”

Starting in April, the troupe will be trying several possible “Variations,” including an all-female production, a switched-genders production, and several more. Artistic Director Ina Centaur explains that despite the changes, the “Variations” will be related by a certain “unmoving pivot,” “Twelfth Night, Act 1 is about the formation of love triangles… There’s a salient love triangle that evolves through the act, connecting Viola, Olivia and Orsino, and a subtle relationship triangle that forms between Maria, Andrew and Toby in Scene 3. That’s like the unmoving pivot that connects the ‘Variations.’ Our goal is to be able to vibrantly convey these archetypal relationships in both our main ‘traditional’ production as well as our ‘Variations.’”

When asked why the troupe is performing just a single act, Centaur asserts, “We’re doing it in obsessive detail step-by-step, since we plan to perform the play unabridged in a way that’s not only worth your time to see, but may also delight and even enlighten you. It’s a bite-sized chunk of goodness each time. Come see Act 1 to get a glimpse of the SL Shakespeare Company magic before we move onto Act 2 this summer!”

The play stars Caliban Jigsaw, Ixmal Supermarine, Kerry Takashi, KeyKey Underwood, Mokey Mokusei, and Sensuality Cordeaux.

Premiering March 1, the performances will be held Sundays at 1 PM SLT (GMT-8) and Tuesdays at 6 PM SLT (GMT-8) at the SL Globe Theatre, in the virtual world of Second Life, accessible anywhere in the world with an Internet-ready computer. http://visit.SLshakespeare.com

Subtitles will be provided in English, French, German, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese.

About Twelfth Night, Act 1

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is the story of a shipwrecked girl named Viola, who chooses to go incognito as a boy eunuch. Act 1 establishes the love triangle that Viola, Duke Orsino, and Olivia become entangled in, and also introduces some of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters—Malvolio and Feste. Unlike the Bard’s other plays, Twelfth Night exists only in the folio editions.

About the SL Shakespeare Company

Set in the virtual world of Second Life (SL), the SL Shakespeare Company (SLSC) is the flagship project of sLiterary’s Virtual Reality Shakespeare Initiative (VRSI). SLSC is a resident-funded and resident-supported professional theatre company that embraces the best of what Second Life (SL) has to offer. While it is primarily known to provide quality live Shakespearean theatre available to anyone in any location, SLSC is also the curator of Second Life’s most historically accurate theatres and architecture relating to William Shakespeare.

About sLiterary

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 SL Shakespeare Company nor sLiterary is affiliated with Linden Lab. Second Life is a trademark of Linden Lab. No infringement is intended.

Interview with Artistic Director Ina Centaur on Twelfth Night, Act 1—The Open-Ended Run

Posted in Uncategorized by Lora Constantine on February 20, 2009

Interview with Artistic Director Ina Centaur on Twelfth Night, Act 1—The Open-Ended Run
by Lora Constantine

What is your vision in directing the play?

“This production attempts to be as true and pure to the play as possible… This is the only one of the Bard’s plays that is not under suspicion from various bad quartos editions, so there might be some insights to be divined if we try to dramatize it based on a close reading—independent of the shackles of any era interpretation.”

What is your artistic vision for this production?

“The best metaphor to describe its visual appearance might be the phrase I conjured up for our Fall 2008 preview season: the play looks like it’s from the ‘generic past.’ This also avoids the politics and extraneous notions connected with modernity. In general, the seen elements aren’t bound to a particular era or interpretation—but serve to help embellish the intrinsic elements of the play.”

What do you mean?

“The characters basically look like their epithets, and the sets and props are designed to help flaunt and dramatize the intrinsic story and text, as well as the characte relations.”

How do the sets help dramatize the play?

“For example, in scenes where class and persona differences play a thematic role, multiple levels are created in the scenic design: Orsino’s balcony is clearly set off-access from Viola, who beseeches him as a servant on the main stage level, emphasizing both their different status and outlook—Orsino’s flamboyance and Viola’s incognito-as-a-servant ‘obedience’. Similarly, the set for Scene 5 also contains different levels, but has stairs within view, allowing for Viola to easily climb up to Olivia, and the other way around—and, indeed, in stark contrast to the Orsino-Viola scenes, something intimate is passed between Viola and Olivia in that scene.”

And, costuming?

“Costuming was chosen to convey archetypes of each of the play’s main characters. Orsino looks like a duke, but there’s a certain reckless abandon in him—he looks like a guy in love with the concept of love itself. Olivia is of gray eyes with flaxen hair, but there’s a sadness in her expression—yet she can look like one who would entertain an old clown ‘for want of other idleness,’ or a sister and daughter in mourning—a certain quintessential valley-girl-ism. Viola for Act 1 is portrayed as clever, though innocently naïve—what other kind of character would choose to go incognito as a boy without expecting such complications?”

What brought you to work with character archetypes instead of a traditional era interpretation?

“A duke in love with the concept of love itself, a shipwrecked girl incognito as a boy eunuch, and the fair but young Lady Olivia in mourning—they contrast sharply with the irreverent man-adolescent Sir Toby Belch, the arrogant but sulking Malvolio, and the scolding but lascivious busybody Maria. In the middle of all this in Act 1, you also have Feste, the fool-uncertain-of-his-wit, and the witless Sir Andrew Aguecheek. While you can put them in era outfits, these characters are timeless, and it’s really their personality and role, as created by Shakespeare’s text (and which I’ve tried to summarize in epithet-esque above), that makes them who they are.”

How would you keep the fans who come to every single show excited for the entire open-ended run?

“Those fans typically know that our plays evolve through the course of even a typical run. But, starting in April, we plan to show ‘Variations’ of the play—such as an all-female production and switched-gender productions. Same words, but played by very different people. We’ll see what happens!”

How do you plan to keep the “Variations” together? Would the “Variations” be telling the same story?

“Twelfth Night, Act 1 is about the formation of love triangles… There’s a salient love triangle that evolves through the act, connecting Viola, Olivia and Orsino, and a subtle relationship triangle that forms between Maria, Andrew and Toby in Scene 3. That’s like the unmoving pivot that connects the ‘Variations.’ Our goal is to be able to vibrantly convey these archetypal relationships in both our main ‘traditional’ production as well as our ‘Variations.’”

Do you believe the archetypes would carry through with each “Variation?”

“Totally. I don’t think gender would change a character’s essential essence in the play—if you speak Stanislavsky, we’re talking about his or her super-objective, and I think that would not be transient with gender. Of cousre, you might wonder in a reverse-gender situation, why Violio would choose to go under-cover as a girl Cesaria—but I think it would be for similar reasons; Violio is effeminate, and would rather not want to get beat up in this new land of Illyria, similar to how Viola would choose to go incognito as Cesario to avoid being the more helpless gender… I believe, at least, it’s realistic to have a duchess or countess in love with the concept of love itself—and with Second Life’s high population of Aspie’s [those with Asperger’s Syndrome], I’m sure, for some, the meaning will carry through to heart!”

Would you be changing the characters’ appearances for your “Variations”?

“I think we’ll just switch the voices around for the switched-genders Variation. But, it might be interesting if the characters were explicitly their other gender, with Lord Oliver and Violio incognito as Cesarina. We will be replacing the male avatars with distinctly female avatars (and slightly re-cast) for the all-female production. We’ll have Duchess Orsinia and Lady Andrea Auguecheek and Malvolia! It’s not just an exploration of the play’s famous androgyny… It’s also be fun!”

How long do you think the open-ended run might last?

“I don’t know! We’ll see, I guess!”

sLiterary: WoWA Returns with Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga

Posted in Uncategorized by Lora Constantine on January 25, 2009

sLiterary, Second Life—Beginning February 1, 2009, WoWA (“Works of Women Authors”) will be reading and discussing Stephenie Meyer’s epic #1 bestselling novel Twilight in conjunction with Twilight SL. All are invited to attend the group’s daily and weekly sessions: 7 PM SLT (GMT-8), Mondays thru Saturdays, and 3 PM SLT on Sundays. The discussions are tentatively held at the Long Discussion House, sLiterary or the Blackfriars Theatre, Shakespeare. Details will be posted at http://twilightsl.com

The discussions will progress at roughly a chapter a day on Mondays thru Saturdays, with a recap of the past week’s six chapters on Sundays, to finish the twenty-four chapters of Twilight in the twenty-eight days of February, 2009. Participants may wish to finish reading the novel before February to engage in more advanced discussions through the month.

While the discussions are designed to be informal, and the topics variable, the group hopes to critically analyze the novel to discover both insights in the saga itself, as well as the craft of fiction.

About WoWA

WoWA, a.k.a., “Works of Women Authors” is a sLiterary initiative with the purpose of bringing awareness to literary works written by female authors. WoWA events usually manifest in the form of a discussion group that meets on Second Life to (critically) discuss literary works written by women. The group has analyzed in depth over the period of several months the works of Ayn Rand, Virginia Woolf, and Mary Shelley. While the group has traditionally studied works by non-contemporary authors, the group is now venturing into contemporary authors.

About sLiterary

With humble beginnings as a literary magazine and discussion group formed in mid-2006, sLiterary is now a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering literary and artistic endeavors in Second Life and virtual worlds. In addition to sLiterary Magazine, a literary journal dedicated to “fiction set in the virtual world of Second Life”, sLiterary actively supports several major initiatives, notably the SL Shakespeare Company, the sLiterary Art & Writing Gallery, and Primtings Museum. Various literary and artistic events of note are held in the sLiterary sims.

About Twilight SL

Twilight SL is a new group on Second Life dedicated to connecting Twilight fans on Second Life to do Twilight-related things on SL! Planned activities include in-depth discussions of the Saga, RP, fan fiction creation and critique, machinima, photography, and more! Please join the Twilight SL group for updates. More info @ http://twilightSL.com !

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