Date: 09 September 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Maedin Tureaud
Beginning this Friday, September 12, the Second Life Shakespeare Company (SLSC) presents a modern play to open their Autumn 2008 season. The play, One’s a Pawn of Time, is a fast-paced and clever one-act play about relationship drama that may arise through hasty time travel. Written by Mike Dederian, the play is directed by Rob Knop (Prospero Frobozz in SL) and will feature the voice actors of Second Life residents Jeremy Jester, Lorne Harlequin, Kinji Lockjaw, and Maedin Tureaud.
Performed in Second Life, most of the shows will be free to attend, and audience members will be required to turn on the voice feature in order to hear the dialogue, though microphones must be strictly turned off. Two of the shows, promoted as “very low-lag”, will require a ticket fee to limit the audience size. Set in the confluence of 4 island simulators, the SL Globe theatre is ideally situated to accommodate large audiences and stage performances that are as low-lag as possible. In keeping with SLSC convention, the set, costumes, and avatars are custom-made for the play. Ina Centaur, artistic director at SLSC, confirms the tailoring of details: “The set for the production continues the RL tradition of preserving the structure of the Globe stage in set design and also our SL tradition of extravagance in visuals.”
The custom features of the set continues with innovative on-stage advertising. As this is the first non-Shakespearean play produced by the SLSC, it has provided them a unique opportunity to experiment with interactive and dynamic advertising. Centaur also says, “The set is filled with details and interactive ‘incognito’ advertisements blended into the stage in the form of fake movie and rock band posters, newspapers, books, photos, and magazines, to amuse and inform those who zoom around and explore as only a virtual audience might.” To arrange in-set advertising, contact Ina Centaur directly.
Director Rob Knop has directed in RL, but this will be his directorial debut in Second Life. He has been active in the Hamlet and Twelfth Night productions and got a taste for the possibilites available. He’s also very keen on his choice of play, too: “This play bears some philosophical similarities to Second Life. Second Life combines game-like elements with social interaction and potential for serious creative discourse of real life. The play is light entertainment, with humorous dialog and a somewhat absurd situation, but being about time travel it challenges our assumptions about the linearity of reality… just as having our lives partly in Second Life challenges traditional assumptions about the single-threaded nature of our real-life identities.”
Knop has more than just the actors to prepare; he will also be responsible for immersing the audience in the play. For audience members who choose to participate, he will be able to dynamically direct and move their cameras, real time, following the action as it unfolds. This allows the audience a “hands-free” experience, their view zooming around the stage and focusing on actors and events as necessary. Knop is encouraged by all of the innovative ways in which theatre in SL is expanding and becoming viable entertainment.
Maedin Tureaud, who will play Lucy for several performances, is excited by the prospect of seeing theatre in SL become prominent and well-attended events, and is enthusiastic about the possibilities available. “Theatre in SL is a unique and exciting opportunity to simultaneously reach audiences all over the world, specifically those people who are unwilling or unable to attend real life productions. The virtual stage presents engaging challenges, and this new platform for cultural and artistic events is bound to capture imagination and harness talent in the future as the virtual universe becomes ubiquitous.”
Kinji Lockjaw, who also plays Lucy, is happy to admit that the biggest challenge for her is the fact that it’s her first SL play. She remains positive though, and states, “I’m very excited about […] getting to work under the direction of Prospero and working with such great actors,” a sentiment expressed by the other three actors, as well. The fast-paced dialogue in the play ensures that the actors have achieved a good rapport with each other and will be able to generate energy on the SL stage, a crucial aspect of the real world stage, too.
Opening night performance of One’s a Pawn of Time begins at 7pm SLT on Friday, September 12. Subsequent performances are:
* Saturday, Sept 13 at 11am
* Sunday, Sept 14 at 3pm
* Tuesday, Sept 16, at 1pm
* Fri, Sept 19, at 7pm #
* Sat, Sept 20 at 11am #
* Sun, Sept 21 at 3pm
#Ticket fee assessed
For more information on this and future productions, join the SL Shakespeare Company group in-world.