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Blog by Ina Centaur » shakespeare

 

Our Magic and Our Passing – Goodbye from the SL Shakespeare Company, Primtings, and sLiterary

Written by ina on Saturday, 22 of October , 2011 at 4:06 pm
Tags: , , , ,


Our Magic and Our Passing – Goodbye from the SL Shakespeare Company, Primtings, and sLiterary


We begin this letter with our thanks for those patrons who could no longer be with us. The resounding spirit has always been that the 4-sim SL Globe Theatre would fight to be around — and, there are many who donated and have passed away, hoping that they might survive through their contributions to SL Shakespeare or Primtings.

Since our time of passing is due to be in the same month as that of a major RL luminary, our Artistic Director Ina Centaur, has an anecdote to share:


“Once upon a time, after one of those fundraising rounds, the avatar of someone rich and famous in RL contacted me. The patron criticized me for paying too much for SL and attempting to do everything myself, but helped donate enough (through several alt’s) to help save the Shakespeare and Primtings sims.

“In early 2009, I received a mysterious package by mail in RL — an iPhone 3G. It was rather anonymized, but I thanked the patron by IM — and, he told me that that was what I should be putting my time into. He also said that he created iTunes so that independent creators could share their creations and even turn it into a viable business — something that could exist without being dependent on donations.   

“Was it really Steve Jobs? I kept to our policy of respecting the privacy of our patrons, so I did not inquire further. Instead, I wanted to discover this from the other side — to be able to meet him in RL, of my own accord, for having done something great on iOS. I didn’t get to do that yet, but I knew two weeks ago, when he passed away, that this SL dream was over… But, it was beautiful while it lasted.”


There’s always the mystery and the hope that what we do here would reach out and change the lives of our audience – whomever they are, whether rich and famous or a moviestar or just yourself.

For a while, we held onto the odd notion that the creations in Second Life might get to live on beyond its usual time. It’s a childlike wish best summarized by the parable from E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web – it’s hope that Wilbur the Pig might survive, as the world sees its wonder and magic via the brilliance of one small spider’s web.

But, all things come to an end, and it’s only in fairy tales that one small spider like Charlotte could manage to convey her message and save Wilbur before her death. In Second Life, our ventures have survived many passings – from patrons to founders to prospective actors. But, we simply do not have the significant reach to be saved.

The Shakespeare Primtings sLiterary and Skin City sims will go down on Oct 29 or thereabouts. The process in which sims are deactivated is not usually punctual – we aren’t sure exactly when the executioners would finally pull the plug, but when they do, it will be the end of our Second Life.

We thank you for having witnessed the short duration of this virtual miracle. Adieu.

RIP.
    sLiterary, 2007-2011
         Primtings, 2008-2011
               The 4-Sim SL Globe Theatre and the SL Shakespeare Company – 2008 to 2011

And, if you wish, here’s the other notecard with details about what happened and why Ina Centaur chose to quit:  

 

 

 

Dear sLiterary, SL Shakespeare and Primtings patron:

 

I realize no one likes reading a long letter, but I am going to try writing something that addresses all the questions that everyone has been asking. I am also going to try showing to you that a lot of thought went through in coming to my final decision. And, it wasn’t an easy one, emotionally, but the facts make it so that there really is only one decision I could make.

 

  1. Many of you are aware of Linden Lab’s inability to properly communicate with its customers – they simply don’t take us seriously. Unfortunately, this communications issue happens not only with support officials, but also with Linden Lab executives, and even among Linden Lab employees as well! We all have stories to share about how their outsourced customer support has made the SL experience horrible, but it’s really something when you find epic miscommunication or even conspiracy among the employees of Linden Lab.

    1. May/June 2011 - An executive makes a promise, gets fired, then no one is willing to take responsibility: In May/June, I was in contact with LL marketing executive Amanda Linden (Amanda Van Nuys). Amanda had good news on saving the 4-sim Globe Theatre. And then, all of a sudden, in June, Amanda got fired. The 4-sims went down (I am told this was apparently because they were under her protection, and at the time they fired her, they took down everything tied to her account). Chaos. Rod and Customer Support did not respond until I filed two RL complaints for Linden Lab’s early termination of prepaid sims. Without any explanation or anyone taking responsibility for Amanda’s efforts, they offered to keep my sims up until expiration, plus a random amount of time more for their mistake in taking them down. The d-date was October 29. They stopped responding to me after that.

    2. 2008-2011 - Long story short of the SL Shakespeare Company’s relation with LL Marketing: I have been contacted by many LL marketing/website folks since the SL Shakespeare Company put on its first show in early 2008 – this was the first time we finally had the #1 in the marketing department directly reach out to us. When lower-ranked LL marketing contacts you, it is usually because they want to use your imagery (for free), but since we were paying for four island sims to keep this running at a grandeur fit for Shakespeare, we naturally asked for in-kind support – tier amnesty for usage of our imagery. The lower-ranked LL marketing folks can’t help with that, of course, so it usually ends there… until, yet, another marketing drone comes along with the same request…

    3. April 2011 - Convo with Rod at a Game Developer’s Event: Second Life’s dear leader Rod is a celebrity of sorts in the gaming industry, so I more or less bump into him in RL several times each year. I caught him at a symposium in April, and I expressed to him that, just as how AAA games are defined by their imagery, it’s the same with SL, but… Second Life’s “imagery” to mainstream RL media is a bunch of DIY strip malls – something with timeless poise like Shakespeare would really help offset that. I also mentioned the issue with how lower-ranked marketing people have been asking to use our imagery, but simply don’t have enough power to help. I played ball (egahds!), and said that we’d be willing to fully comply and help if we could receive tier amnesty. Rod mentioned that he’d bring it up to the board with marketing. It was a good ten or fifteen minutes sitting on the loveseat with Rod. We shook hands. But…

    4. September 2011 - Convo with Rod at Google:rootaccess Event: After some casual convo on what he thought of the event, Rod denied everything he said in April. (He sounded like he was ill, though.) It was very eerie when Rod proudly said he was invited … just as myself and the other 50 or so attendees from early-stage startup’s. I noticed he was dressed better than at the gaming symposium, with his hair done. In hindsight, I suppose he thought his day had come when he could be rid of all this, when Google would actually buy Linden Lab. It’s unlikely that Larry would make such a myopic move, but, still, Rod’s drop in expectations at the event must have been epic. It was a ridiculous premise to begin with, as it’s about ten years too late for Linden Lab to be considered an early-stage startup – despite still being a buggy platform, they’ve received some significant series of funding, and yet, in Google’s rolodeck, they are still inching along. Anyway, back to Rod and SL Shakespeare. We agreed that it was best that Shakespeare and Primtings leave SL (actually, he offered no comment, when I asked him what I should do, and could not cite a successful comparable case of a nonprofit or arts enterprise surviving on SL). I told him that I did not appreciate the discontinuity in communication at Linden Lab – that even an executive’s word could not be trusted. I also said I did not appreciate that he would fire Amanda for trying to help save Shakespeare. We parted with that understanding.

    5. Summary of Followup to Amanda’s Gesture that would have saved Shakespeare: Even though Linden Lab has basically fired most of the Linden’s that us old customers knew way back when, I always try to know a few more – across the corporate ladder, just in case. I was surprised that Amanda finally contacted me, but I was not totally surprised. A few weeks before Amanda said she would save the Globe, two Linden Lab employees individually contacted me inferring that I should expect something like that. Rod, in April, had said he’d bring it up with marketing. So, it made sense – Amanda’s offer seemed valid. It’s just a pity that they had to fire Amanda for trying to save Shakespeare. And then, being Linden Lab, they had to pretend like it never happened.

    6. Is it conspiracy or just miscommunication? It’s discordance among Linden Lab employees, and the changing faces of Linden Lab employees – and executives. It’s the fact that even talking with Linden Lab executives could be as much of a waste of time as their outsourced customer support. How can you do anything big with a company like this?

  2. The Broken Content System of Second Life

    1. Second Life has been around since 2002, but the content pipeline is still as broken as ever. There are many more issues, but these are the ones closest to heart:

      1. Random Inventory Deletion – what’s in your inventory might be missing the next time you check.

      2. Permission bugs – an object you created might one day end up with no permissions.

      3. Collaboration issues – while it’s fun to collaborate on builds in SL, but if your collaborator set the perms wrong, and the thing got transferred, your entire build could end up with limited perms. Irreversibly.

      4. No way to export without incomplete third party tools, resulting in missing prims, broken scripts, fuddled textures (even if everything is yours/created by you)

      5. Megaprim bans even on private islands and irreversible megaprim deletion that ruin entire builds. Lack of proper inworld build tools – and mesh?

    2. Nepotic DMCA enforcement” - For those of you wondering why Merchant X selling the stolen skins of Merchant Y is still in business, the truth is that if a LL employee likes Merchant Y, Merchant X (if they’re not big enough) can’t do anything about it. On balance, if a LL employee does not like you, then they will delete your content just for the heck of it, as I discovered in 2009 – after our 2009 S4 Shakespeare Parody, when Darth Maul was deleted due to being a freebie and LL not making any money off it (see here and here). Linden Lab logs into your account without your permission, giving you a notification right around the time they make an unauthorized login to your account to delete your inventory. It’s sad that they don’t have more powerful admin-side systems to prevent having to log onto a client’s account. On that issue – one of the most prevalent DMCA issues is on texture theft, and there’s an easy solution for that: The least Linden Lab could do is implement a random pixel scanner that checks for duplicates. It’s minimal processing nowadays, and startup’s like Face.com are already doing way more image processing. Such an impartial enforcer would, of course, rid them of their selective favortism for Merchant X. Then again, Second Life wouldn’t be Second Life anymore if that were to happen…

  3. Unstable platform, borked tech – even 10 years later

    1. Second Life is still beta-level software - For old residents, this is something like Second Life culture. For newer ones, it’s frustrating, and when the sim or client crashes, they leave.

    2. Nothing more than chat for a local group of 50+ - when you have a bunch of people in a sim, gray textures, prims that won’t load, and lag ruin everything so that basically, all you can use SL for is chat. Why are we burning processor time for this, when Skype or Google Talk could do the same?

      Brain Drain and Disrespect of Major SL Contributors - Yes, I’m still not over why Linden Lab fired Qarl! He made sculpties possible on SL, and mesh SL as well. He was deeply hurt by LL suddenly firing him. I guess Linden Lab and Second Life will just continue to disrespect anyone who tries doing anything majorly good for them.

  4. $295 x 4 ~ US$1200/month – this is a lot of RL money here, and can’t be my personal project forever, and has to be run as a business. How can you do that with the above?

  5. Many of you would cite the fashion empires of SL as successful, and they never ask for “donations.” We could take such a strategy, but doing so viably would force us to resort to commercialism like this:

    1. Weekly “sale” emails/IM’s (as opposed to bi-yearly or per-production campaigns)

    2. Charging RL prices for tickets – L$10,000 or more for a single ticket (as opposed to “pay as you will” or our L$500 VIP Showings)

    3. Focus on fashion instead of our usual (focusing our talents on creating merchandise to manufacture, it’d be hard to find time to put on a show – and it already is)

    4. Aggressively market and charge ridiculous rent for everything (as opposed to free spacing for anyone who wants to hold an event)

    5. Get rid of Shakespeare for the Strip Mall…

  6. The more time you put into it, the more you become a slave of tier and the mismanaged company known as Linden Lab. You realize this early on, but you can’t accept it – just as how most of us would stick our necks out as free PR against anyone who bashes SL. The truth is that too many of you have put your trust in me, and I want to be able to make this something that’s more stable than SL – that actually has a future, and can persist by itself…

  7. It’s the end in SL because of all that and more above, but mShakespeare and Primtings on mobile is the future. I’ve been invited to major Apple, Google, and RIM/Blackberry events – and spoke with their executives. These people have kept their word to me so far, and have even implemented my suggestions. It’s a huge breath of fresh air when people just make sense – it’s not SL anymore, but RL. Yes, it’s a big wide, world out there beyond SL, but there’s nowhere for me to go but there! Stay tuned to @InaCentaur on twitter for updates – or http://blog.primtings.com or http://blog.mshakespeare.com

     

     

    Additional Q&A

    1) How much did you actually fundraise inworld? Did that cover for everything? - We only fundraised L$5 million, and I put in the other L$10 million myself through SL-related contracting projects, such as creating custom buildings for people, custom avatar and avatar accessory designs, and even some amount of RegAPI and SL-related web infrastructure support. Overall, I put in a lot of time, made very little in comparison to RL, but tried what I could to continue a naive dream. From nothing, I tried to make something, and now it’s back to nothing - we paid it all back through tier.

    2) Are you seeking shelter in other OpenSim or other SL sim establishments? - The issue with moving is that there is no easy way to transport builds on multi-sims without losing prims or prim drift or even texture issues. Moving from SL to OpenSim will probably mean that all your scripts won’t work. It’s horrible. Our scenic design mechanisms and the interactivity in builds is all due to custom scripts.

    3) We have a theatre/performance space at __ sim, and we’d love to have you. Will you come? - No, because you’ve never seen any of our shows. If you have, you’d know not to ask this question. There are lots of performance groups on SL, but the way we do things is comprehensive - the scenic design is customized to the theatre and the surroundings, and the entire wardrobe is also custom designed. and then we spend over a month rehearsing for just a single production. It’s a lot of work, a lot of time, and we’ve basically just been told all this work is worthless by Linden Lab, so we’re through with performing on Second Life.

     

Category: Projects

Blackfriars Museum (Repost)

Written by ina on Tuesday, 5 of May , 2009 at 1:57 am
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Reposting an article I wrote on Bard’s Birthday 2009 on SLSC Blog:

As announced, the Blackfriars Museum (a.k.a. the Blackfriars Theatre Museum) grand opens TODAY on the Bard’s Birthday 2009! The museum is a humble shack adjacent to the north end of the Blackfriars Theatre, as such it’s more of a mini-exhibit, but should give you a good overview of the historic elements behind the construction of the world’s only complete replica of Shakespeare’s indoor playhouse, the Blackfriars Theatre in Shakespeare, Second Life.

While creating this exhibit (the sketches are modified from Irwin Smith and the Public Domain; the text is mine), I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between a cathedral floorplan and that of a theatre, and so here’s my sort of “pet paradigm”:

Blackfriars Theatre Museum - Of Theatres and Cathedrals copy

The above, in context, is displayed on a wall in the Blackfriars Museum, unedited SL photos as shown below. (Clicking on the “Cathedral in a Theatre” panel inworld also gives you a free inworld info HUD so that you can take these three panels home–or anywhere on SL–with you!)

The Museum illuminates the historical basis for the construction of the Blackfriars Theatre, which was actually built within a building inside a lavishly *rich* Dominican Monastery (hence the name Black Friars — the Dominicans wore a black cloak over their habits). Conjectural diagrams of the monastery are shown, although only the building segment housing the Blackfriars is built (due to funding shortages — I can’t afford to buy another sim for my pet projects anymore :-( but, if you’re crazy enough to fund a sim dedicated to a build of the *complete* Dominican priory that the Blackfriars Theatre was set in, give me a poke!). In addition to… yet more diagrams… the museum also shows a scaled-down version of the roof structure, explaining for its historical basis. Faux-original documents, such as Piers Plowman and diagrams/photos from archaeological digs are also displayed in context (emphasis on faux-original — admittedly, they’re made to look da-Vinci-Code-esque, i.e., Hollywood style imitations of ori doc’s).

Theatre-Cathedral Analogue Wall
Blackfriars Museum Main Wall Blackfriars Museum Roof Explanation
blackfriars museum original docs - parchment book piers plowman panel 1 blackfriars museum original docs - parchment book piers plowman panel 2
blackfriars digs

For the detail-pious, just a note of excitement to look forward to in the next few months: The Blackfriars Theatre will have both rushes and candlelight installed for our summer staged reading series in preparation for our 2010 production of Henry VIII (and stage stools!). We’ll also make use of the rear-stage, and trap-doors as well even though it’s a staged reading series! Last year, we tried a costumed staged reading series, but this year, we’ll try a staged reading series with (perhaps?) some basic blocking. For sure, we will be going for an Tudor-accurate production of Henry VIII, when we start showing the full ensemble performances in 2010!

As future Challenge Productions, we also hope to try out a couple (at least?) of the many historic play manuscripts with explicit blocking for the Blackfriars!

But, for now, I bid thee check out the Blackfriars Museum! And, happy birthday Shakespeare!

Category: Builds, Designs, Projects, theatre

Lately…

Written by ina on Monday, 6 of April , 2009 at 7:11 pm
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I’ve been rather quiet on my blog lately, but very, very busy… (Then again, much of I do never makes it here.)

Last night, I finally forced myself to finish Inachi’s Nyotaimori I info website, which documents my nyotaimori performance art event and experiment last month.

Recently, I’ve put together a Portfolio website, which attempts to both introduce my complicated self along with some things I’ve done in the past two or three years in virtual worlds.

I’m currently trying to apply to my first grant as an independent artist. I’m musing on doing something with action painting, fractal analysis, bear-baiting, Shakespeare, and theatre in Second Life.

I’m also trying to finish a novella and get it sent off before the postmark expires… and getting back into director-mode for the upcoming open auditions and rehearsals I’d be holding.

Category: Daily Sumly, Projects

A SL Shakespeare Production with respect to Scansion, Semi-Close Reading

Written by ina on Sunday, 1 of February , 2009 at 1:55 am
Tags: ,

This upcoming production of Twelfth Night will be totally erudite. I’m directing the entire thing. Hoo!!!

Category: Projects

Queen Elizabeth I Rainbow Portrait Dress Auction

Written by ina on Thursday, 18 of December , 2008 at 9:36 am
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Queen Elizabeth Rainbow Portrait One of a Kind Auction

Naergilien Wunderlich has created a “One of a Kind” dress that is a meticulous Second Life reconstruction of Queen Elizabeth I’s Rainbow Portrait dress.

This dress can be obtained through a silent auction that ends at 4 PM SL Time on Winter Solstice December 21, 2008.

The bid is currently at L$10,600. IM and notecard Naergilien Wunderlich directly with your bid.

Proceeds benefit the SL Shakespeare Company in their SOS “Save Our Sims” Campaign.

Closeup Image:

Queen Elizabeth I Closeup

Here are a few more shots (click for big pic):

queen elizabeth presiding at the Globe - Gloriana SixpenceQueen Elizabeth on the rink (facial closeup) - Gloriana SixpenceGloriana is... Ready on Ice - Gloriana SixpenceQueen Elizabeth Rainbow Portrait Attire @ Mary Arden House - Gloriana Sixpence

Unedited “Direct-from-SL” shots of the two main ad photos above are here (click for big pic):

Queen Elizabeth Rainbow Portrait Gown - Gloriana Sixpence Queen Elizabeth Rainbow Portrait Revived @ SLSC APA - Gloriana Sixpence

These photos are taken direct from SL with “Atmospheric Shaders” turned off in Edit > Preferences:

Avatar Photography Trick: Atmospheric Shaders OFF - Gloriana Sixpence

This dress is also available in “3d preview” at Wunderlich’s Garb Mainstore and at the Shakespeare Island sim. More details here on Wunderlich’s original post.

Queen Elizabeth I will be making an appearance as Gloriana Sixpence in the SL Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare on Ice to premiere on December 21, 2008.

Category: Daily Sumly, Lists, Projects, Reviews

SL Shakespeare Company’s Twelfth Night: Act 1

Written by ina on Tuesday, 11 of November , 2008 at 3:16 pm
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SLSC Twelfth Night Act 1 Playbill I

The SL Shakespeare Company Returns to Shakespeare with Twelfth Night:
In Their Usual Trademarked Extravagance…

Shakespeare, Second Life: The SL Shakespeare Company (SLSC) will perform a full ensemble performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: Act 1 in a special short-run advance miniseason as part of their Fall Season 2008 repertoire. Opening on SLSC Thursday, November 13th (following a “sneak peek” on November 12th), the full-length Act 1 is the first part of the culmination of a summer’s worth of rehearsal-performances in SLSC’s tag-team staged reading series of Twelfth Night.

Maintaining their tradition of visual and theatrical extravagance, the miniproduction also introduces the usage of multiple rotating sets, incognito animation preloading, global lighting and weather control to SLSC stagecraft technologies. Live dynamic camera control by a director finetunes the performance with a cinematic appeal, while international subtitles, the SLSC’s “Pay as you Will” philosophy, and the play’s location in the confluence of four island simulators of the SL Globe Theatre make the performance accessible to as many as possible.

Directed by Ina Centaur and Voice Directed by Enniv Zarf, the production stars MadameThespian Underhill, Joff Fassnacht, Prospero Frobozz, Ludo Merit, Maedin Tureaud, and Lorne Harlequin, and also a motley cast of “silent actors” who create a different variation of a background crowd each time.

Miniseason schedule (All times SLT or GMT-8):
Wednesday, Nov 12 - 11 am “sneak peek”
Thursday, Nov 13 - high noon
Friday, Nov 14 - 1 PM
Saturday, Nov 15 - 2 pm - (ticketed)*
Sunday - no show
Monday, Nov 17 - high noon

*Most of our shows at the SL Globe Theatre are free, but VIP/ticketed shows charge a nominal admissions fee of L$500. The smaller audience may entice.

ABOUT The Company: <<<
The SL Shakespeare Company (SLSC) is a resident-funded and resident- supported professional theatre company that embraces the best of what Second Life (SL) has to offer. Since 2007, we have been making history by providing extravagant and unforgettable theatrical performances on Second Life. With each show, we continue to shape the field by developing and releasing a new technology for virtual theatre on Second Life. Our vision is to make live Shakespearean theatre available to anyone anywhere with a computer to create new possibilities in entertainment, culture, and commerce for residents of a diverse, unbounded geosphere. Those are the side effects of our mission: to make Shakespeare cool again! Latest News: http://blog.SLshakespeare.com

ABOUT The SL Globe Theatre <<<
SL Globe Theatre, sLiterary is a virtual reconstruction of the Original Globe Theatre that historians conjecture stood in Shakespeare’s days. It is meticulously adapted as a functioning theatre in the massively multiuser virtual world of Second Life. The SL Globe Theatre is the most historically accurate rendition of the Globe Theatre on the Internet. Its SL rendition is set in the confluence of 4 island simulators - thus allowing for the maximal number of local audience members. Web preview: http://visit.SLshakespeare.com

Drop by a free show (or a VIP-ticketed one), take photos, post to the group, and win! Drop by the SL Globe Theatre anytime before the show for a sneak peek of the sets.

SL Globe Theatre Pit entrance: http://SLurl.com/secondlife/Shakespeare/255/255/25
SL Globe Theatre Main entrance: http://SLurl.com/secondlife/sLiterary/23/13/23

Category: Builds, Designs, Projects, machinima

NEH Grant Done!

Written by ina on Wednesday, 8 of October , 2008 at 8:10 pm
Tags: ,

The NEH recently switched from the icky PureView form (which actually requires a Windows 98 machine to use!) to Acrobat form packages. It’s interesting the pdf is made to emulate the old PureView form interface. After about half a dozen submissions errors (Error: Intake servlet is unable to save the data. Error message:: Broken pipe), I finally get a grantor-received email, so I guess I’m FINALLY done. Yippee!

Your application has been retrieved by the Grantor agency and is currently being reviewed.

Type: GRANT
Grants.gov Tracking Number: GRANT10084248

We will notify you via email when your Grantor agency has assigned an Agency Tracking Number to your application.

Category: Projects

Pillar #1: Ransom for the SL Shakespeare Company & SL Globe Theatre

Written by ina on Tuesday, 15 of July , 2008 at 9:37 am
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SLSC and SL Globe Theatre HELD HOSTAGE

Pillar #1: Ransom for the SL Shakespeare Company & SL Globe Theatre

 

Shakespeare, Second Life: The SL Shakespeare Company last month announced its Fourteen Pillars Fundraising Campaign, whose goal is to fill up all fourteen pillars to raise L$14 million, L$1 million per pillar. On Friday, July 18, to kick start the closing weekend of its month-long Twelfth Night staged reading series, the troupe plans to hold a “Twelfth Night MegaFundundraiser” in attempt to fill up the first pillar.

 

At 1 pm on Friday the 18th, seven actors will be jailed for their acting crimes by “an evil director,” likely Enniv Zarf, producer and director of the Twelfth Night staged reading series. Each actor’s bail will be set to L$100,000. Their goal is to woo the audience with only improv acting and their wits. Enniv Zarf explains, “The practical point is to get all of them out by 7 PM so that we can give the encore performance at our previously scheduled time.”

 

For the remaining L$300,000, the Company also plans to turn the SL Globe Theatre into a true black box theatre—“black, black, and nothing else”—in the historic first ransom of a virtual building.

 

Ina Centaur, artistic director and executive producer, comments, “We are truly what we say we are—a group of thespians and other professionals dedicated to our craft, bound together by Shakespeare, and way-too-excited to wait for outside funding before beginning something truly spectacular within the virtual world of Second Life. Furthermore, beyond the fact that we are trying to be Shakespeare’s analogue in live virtual theatre (the man was the foundation of modern theatre; we aim to establish the foundation of virtual theatre), we are also trying to create good within and for the audience of a virtual world that has more often been associated with the bad. In turn, though the money would be raised to create the good within, we believe this good will flow out of Second Life through the positive impact of the experience we create.”

 

Centaur has also been involved with numerous fundraisers based in Second Life, most notably her recent notable contributions in the Second Life Relay for Life campaigns. Despite her success she holds uncertainty in this upcoming fundraiser, “While my RFL teams together have raised over L$3 million through passive efforts and huge bursts through short-term events, we had the relatively easy job of campaigning for an existing and well-established charity for a direct health-related cause. Albeit The SL Shakespeare Company is known to be a source of good in Second Life, the concept of campaigning for major funding for a good within Second Life may be too revolutionary for others to get. We’ve got some tough mileage ahead, both with the technology and production mechanics, and also with convincing people of our ideas… We’ll just have to see what happens.”

  

Category: Projects

SLSC: Fourteen Pillars Fundraising Campaign

Written by ina on Tuesday, 15 of July , 2008 at 9:35 am
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Shakespeare, Second Life: In June 2008, the SL Shakespeare Company (SLSC) announced the “Fourteen Pillars Fundraising Campaign” to help raise capital for its highly anticipated full-length full-ensemble production of Hamlet and other Shakespearean works. The goal is to raise L$14 million to fill up all 14 currently-empty pillars of the Campaign.

 

In a backstage private presentation given to VIP and members of the 1300+ member SL Shakespeare Company group on Second Life, executive producer and artistic director Ina Centaur gave a brief recounting of the various Globe Theatres she had built on Second Life and other virtual realities, and also the Second Life land problems the Company had to face, which ultimately forced her to invest in purchasing four island simulators for the Theatre. She then explained the Company’s goals and revealed its financial status, “We’re not funded by any external agency other than our own passion for the endeavor—and that’s really also internal… And it is so rare to see that in a humanities project, but we have it! We’ve already done what other projects with hundreds of thousands of real US dollars could not do. But, to maintain it for any longer, we will need your help…”

 

The problem arose in April from the Company’s all-too-sensational, but all-too-sudden miniproduction of Hamlet: The Mousetrap, which featured a cast of a baker’s dozen live actors and introduced the faces of the play’s main characters, including Hamlet, Ophelia, Claudius, Polonius and Gertrude. Centaur explained the miniproduction’s major problem, “We tried our best to work the schedule based on the actor’s availabilities; but having Second Life as a second or third or fourth or lower priority simply won’t do for a full-ensemble full-length production.” Managing director Sabina Stenvaag stated, “Scheduling was chaos, and we’ve even had to deal with some last minute re-casting before a show opened.” Co-executive producer and director Enniv Zarf agreed that, “The only way a full-length full-everything production would work is if we had everyone taking Second Life seriously, take their roles as a full time first life job for a month.”

 

“We’re going to continue no matter what. We hadn’t planned to ‘demote’ our productions to staged readings, but we had to do so due to funding and because we wanted to be able to continue to perform,” said Enniv Zarf.

 

Ina Centaur explained, “Outside institutes and funding agencies do not seem to understand what we’re doing, and that perhaps explains for their reluctance in funding. We’re new and we’ve got a sprakling new idea. For the past eleven months, I have been spending a huge chunk of my time in both finding and fostering the SLSC. The theatre prides itself in its professional productions and large-scale venue—but those come at a cost. Practically everything I have done on Second Life is in attempt to break even and make the theatre self-sufficient within Second Life.”

 

The Campaign’s characteristic donation kiosk is a self-updating posterboard, which visually represents the fourteen empty pillars as printed woodcuts on aged parchment. As the funds accumulate, the pillars will appear “filled.” Currently, two kiosks are placed in the SL Globe Theatre. They will soon be dispersed on the walls of upcoming builds in the Shakespeare island simulator as “Elizabethan graffiti”.

Category: Projects

SL Forced-Downtime & SQLzoo Fun Part II

Written by ina on Tuesday, 13 of May , 2008 at 12:27 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I get so much done when SL is offline.

Finished makeup editions for Kassia and Dria, and also finally pdf2tga’ed the SL Shakespeare Company programme!

And now for more SQL fun @ SQLzoo

Two Table Join

1b. Show the who and the color of the medal for the medal winners from ‘Sweden’

SELECT who,color FROM ttms JOIN country ON (ttms.country=country.id) WHERE country.name=’Sweden’

1c. Show the years in which ‘China’ won a ‘gold’ medal.

SELECT games FROM ttms x JOIN country y ON (x.country=y.id) WHERE y.name=’China’ AND x.color=’gold’

2b. Show which city ‘Jing Chen’ won medals. Show the city and the medal color

SELECT city, color FROM games JOIN ttws ON (ttws.games=games.yr) WHERE who=’Jing Chen’

2c. Show who won the gold medal and the city.

SELECT who, city FROM games x JOIN ttws y ON (x.yr=y.games) WHERE color=’gold’

3a. Show the games and color of the medal won by the team that includes ‘Yan Sen’.

SELECT games,color FROM ttmd JOIN team on (ttmd.team=team.id) WHERE team.name=’Yan Sen’

3b. Show the ‘gold’ medal winners in 2004.

SELECT name from team JOIN ttmd ON (ttmd.team=team.id) WHERE ttmd.games=2004 AND ttmd.color=’gold’

3c. Show the name of each medal winner country ‘FRA’.

SELECT name FROM team JOIN ttmd on (ttmd.team=team.id) WHERE ttmd.country=’FRA’

Category: Amusing, Daily Sumly, Designs, Projects

Who is Ina Centaur?

A 25-year old American polymath of Taiwanese ancestry pretending to be old and Caucasian in Second Life. Semi-retired independent scholar also dabbling as an independent artist in new media, particularly theatre and the humanities—notably Shakespeare. Programmer, playwright and novelist. Formal academic background in http://portfolio.inacentaur.com/ina/scientist, philosophy, and bioengineering.

This is largely a personal blog which isn't always up-to-date. There's no one definitive way to stalk me ;-).