The Virtual Shakespeare Consortium


OEP2 Twelfth Night Malvolio A2S5

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 (PT),
and every Sunday at 1 PM SLT (PT). 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
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

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.

The play stars Alestria Corryong, Caliban Jigsaw, Constantine Paulino, Ina Centaur, Kerry Takashi, and Pipsqueak Albatros, with additional guest
actors to appear in select shows.

Starting March 2, shows occur
Tuesdays at 6 PM SLT (PT)
Sundays at 1 PM SLT (PT)
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

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.

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