Phoebe

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The Mrs. Hawking drinking game

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Oh, look, it’s time for the ballroom scene!

When writing a serialized adventure story, you tend to develop some signature features, both of the associated genres and for this particular continuity itself. It helps build the series’s unique identity and gives it a recognizable character. But as we rehearse the shows and continue to develop more, there’s always the challenge of maintaining that signature identity and not falling into formula.

As such, we like to joke about how “now it’s time for the ballroom scene!” or how “now Mrs. Hawking is mean to the client!” It helps us not take ourselves too seriously and have fun in rehearsal. But it’s always a useful reminder to not fall too much into patterns. As I work on part 4, I need to remember to vary from the expectations to keep things original and fresh.

So, in the spirit of fun and keeping all this in mind, I present to you the Mrs. Hawking Drinking Game! For your enjoyment as you get to know the stories better:

The story begins by finishing up another case – 1 drink!

Mary tries to get some positive feedback from Mrs. Hawking – 1 drink!
– Mrs. Hawking grudgingly gives it – 1 drink!
– She balances it out with criticism because God forbid they get too comfy – 2 drinks!

The client withholds some information from Mrs. Hawking – 1 drink!

The team discusses the case – 1 drink!
– The team discusses how they’ve reached a roadblock in the case – 1 drink!

There is an action scene – 1 drink!
– Mary beats someone up – 1 drink!
– Mary beats someone up a fireplace poker – 2 drinks!

They have to attend a ball to investigate the case – 1 drink!
– Mrs. Hawking finds some way to avoid having to show up in a gown – 1 drink!

The team does detective work – 1 drink!

Someone has to make up a clever lie or story on the spot – 1 drink!
– It’s not Nathaniel – 2 drinks!

The team knows who their enemy is – 1 drink!
– The team does NOT know who their enemy is – 2 drinks!

We meet a new member of the Hawking family – 1 drink!

People talk about Mrs. Hawking when she isn’t there – TINY SIP GO IT EASY ON THIS ONE
– People complain about Mrs. Hawking when she isn’t there – 1 drink!
– People make fun of Mrs. Hawking when she isn’t there – FINISH THAT SUCKER

Nathaniel goes to extreme length to win scraps of Mrs. Hawking’s approval – 1 drink!

A small detail is mentioned in an earlier play that is built upon in a later play – 1 drink!

Mrs. Hawking shakes down her own client – 1 drink!

Nathaniel is made to look ridiculous just for trying to help – 1 drink!
– And by the end of the scene, everyone’s mad at him for it – 1 drink!
– Including someone he’s trying to help – 2 drinks!

Mrs. Hawking is an emotionally closed off jerk – 1 drink!
– Mary can’t take it any more and calls her on it – 1 drink!
– Nathaniel can’t take it any more and calls her on it – 2 drinks!

The team has a tender bonding moment – 1 drink!
– Nathaniel bursts in at exactly the right time to ruin somebody else’s moment – 1 drink!
– Mrs. Hawking thinks things are a little too cozy and ruins it – 2 drinks!

The team springs a trap to catch their quarry – 1 drink!
– Arthur comes in to play cleanup – 1 drink!

The team has a wrap-up meeting with the client – 1 drink!

Mrs. Hawking gets a badass finisher line – 1 drink!

Feel free to play along with us at our next productions in Waltham on May 13th! But maybe don’t use alcohol, as you might not make it all the way through the shows.

Vivat Regina and Base Instruments by Phoebe Roberts will be performed at 2PM and 6PM respectively at 274 Moody Street in Waltham, MA as part of the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2017.

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On the Geek Down podcast this evening on 4/10

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Interested in Boston local geeky podcasts? Tonight I will be joining Melissa Honig in making a guest appearance on The Geek Down podcast to talk about the upcoming Watch City Steampunk Festival happening in Waltham this May, which will host our next performances of Mrs. Hawking parts II and III, Vivat Regina and Base Instruments.

If you’d like to listen in, the show will be broadcast live here and also here. So tune in at 9PM tonight on April 10th to hear Melissa and I talk about the Steampunk Festival, and maybe I’ll get in a word or two about Mrs. Hawking.

You can even download the episode tomorrow on SoundCloud, Instagram, and itTunes at /thegeekdown.

Vivat Regina and Base Instruments by Phoebe Roberts will be performed at 2PM and 6PM respectively at 274 Moody Street in Waltham, MA as part of the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2017.

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Our performance space for Vivat Regina and Base Instruments at the Watch City Festival 2017

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Going to be in Waltham in the next few weeks, specifically hanging out or driving down Moody Street? If so, you should check out the Mrs. Hawking window display in our performance space!

Our performances of Vivat Regina and Base Instruments at the 2017 Watch City Steampunk Festival will go up at 274 Moody Street in Waltham, thanks to the help of the wonderful organizational committee of the Festival and Mr. Ali Nowrouzi.

It’s a really great space that we’re lucky to be in, but in addition to the area we’re using for our performance, it also has these wonderful bay windows facing out into the street. And we were allowed to put up an installation, alongside one for the Festival as a whole, of our set in those windows to advertise the shows!

It’s a really neat little tableau, teasing one of the things about the shows I’m most proud of– how the production value is carefully assembled, highly detailed, and visually beautiful.

We also got to put our new poster in the window, so any passersby will be able to put it on their calendars.

And of course, special thanks to those on the crew that helped us move in, John Benfield, Melissa Honig, Matthew Kamm, Ryan LeClair, and Michael MacAfee.

So, if you’re strolling by on the street, give us a peek! And make sure you come see our performances is this excellent space at the Festival in May!

Vivat Regina and Base Instruments by Phoebe Roberts will be performed at 2PM and 6PM respectively at 274 Moody Street in Waltham, MA as part of the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2017.

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How we built our prop victrola

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You may recall that when we were putting together Base Instruments for the first run at Arisia 2017, the challenge arose for us to somehow get the victrola prop that is a major presence in the story. While there are a number of record players on eBay and similar places that use the pressed vinyl disc, at this point in history the phonograph relied upon wax cylinders. It’s significantly harder to find even replicas of that older form of the technology. So we decided we would make one, and we’ll be bringing it to our performances at the 2017 Watch City Steampunk Festival.

When last I posted about this, I had a plan for it, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to work. I got a hold of all the pieces I thought could be put together for the final product— a clock crank, a brass horn, a sturdy wooden box, and the assembly from the top of a typewriter to stand in for the mechanism of the player. But it took assistance from Bernie, our technical director and the man with the knowhow to realize all these stories’ ridiculous stage needs, to actually build it.

First he drilled a hole in the side of the box to put the crank through, affixing it with a nut on the inside so it could spin. More holes were drilled in the lid so that the typewriter assembly could be attached with U-shaped bolts. He made a large hole, this time with a paddle bit, in the lid and got some interlocking pieces of PVC, which we sprayed gold to match the color of the brass horn. He attached half of it to the box and the other half to the horn, then screwed them together so hold it up as the speaker.

The final touch was provided by cast member Brian Rust, who brought us a fat black candle to serve as the wax cylinder. The candle’s scent, incidentally, was listed as “black cat,” which makes me particularly glad we needed it to stand in for a piece of our old timey not-record-player rather than burning it.

I was very happy with how it came out. It’s quite heavy, but fortunately it doesn’t need to move around much. It has exactly the right look I was hoping for, old-fashioned and attractive but a little bit industrial— perfect to add more design flavor to a fully-realized steampunk show.

Vivat Regina and Base Instruments by Phoebe Roberts will be performed at 2PM and 6PM respectively at 274 Moody Street in Waltham, MA as part of the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2017.

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Time and location for Watch City Steampunk ’17 performances!

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We have our performance times and locations for our productions of Vivat Regina and Base Instruments at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2017!

We will be performing in downtown Waltham on Moody Street, famed for its restaurants and shopping, at 274 in the space that was formerly occupied by the Center for Digital Arts. We performed there once before and enjoyed it very much, so we’re very happy for the chance to return!

The MRS. HAWKING series
By Phoebe Roberts
At the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2017

Part II: VIVAT REGINA
2PM on Saturday, May 13th

and

Part III: BASE INSTRUMENTS
6PM on Saturday, May 13th

At 274 Moody Street
In Waltham, MA

Admission is FREE
Donations gratefully accepted

We look forward to you joining us on that Saturday in May for the continuing story of the Lady’s Champion of London!

Vivat Regina and Base Instruments by Phoebe Roberts will be performed at 2PM and 6PM respectively at 274 Moody Street in Waltham, MA as part of the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2017.

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Cast lists for Watch City Steampunk Festival ’17 shows!

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Categories: base instruments, performance, vivat regina, Tags: ,

We have our current casts for our next round of shows at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2017, Mrs. Hawking parts 2 and 3, Vivat Regina and Base Instruments!

Vivat Regina by Phoebe Roberts

Mrs. Victoria Hawking: Cari Keebaugh
Miss Mary Stone: Circe Rowan
Mr. Nathaniel Hawking: Christian Krenek
Mrs. Johanna Braun: Remony Perlman
Mrs. Clara Hawking: Morgan Capodilupo
Officer Arthur Swann: Matthew Kamm
Frau Kirsten Gerhard: Sara Dion
Herr Christoph Austerlitz: Andrew Prentice
Ensemble: Travis Ellis, Ryan McClair

Base Instruments by Phoebe Roberts

Mrs. Victoria Hawking: Cari Keebaugh
Miss Mary Stone: Circe Rowan
Mr. Nathaniel Hawking: Christian Krenek
Mrs. Clara Hawking: Morgan Capodilupo
Sergeant Arthur Swann: Matthew Kamm
Mr. Justin Hawking: Eric Cheung
Miss Elena Zakharova: Arielle Kaplan
Henry Cavil, Lord Seacourse: Andrew Prentice
Mr. Kiril Chernovsky: Lucas Commons-Miller
Miss Yulia Sherba: Ava Maag
Ensemble: Sara Dion, Travis Ellis, Ryan McClair

As always, I am so grateful for the cast members who are returning to their roles. Their talent and dedication has done so much to make these productions great. But it’s also an honor to welcome our new cast members, Christian Krenek as Nathaniel, Remony Perlman as Mrs. Braun, Lucas Commons-Miller as Kiril Chernovsky, and Ryan McClair in the ensemble. It’s always fascinating to see how different actors portray the same roles, and a show needs to be able to stand up to multiple interpretations to prove the strength of the script. And new perspectives will always bring freshness and originality to any endeavor. So I can’t wait to see what our new castmembers bring to our process– wish us all luck!

Vivat Regina and Base Instruments by Phoebe Roberts will be performed by the Chameleon’s Dish Theater at 2pm and 6pm respectively as part of the in Waltham, MA.

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Want to be in the spring ’17 round of Mrs. Hawking shows?

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We will be holding auditions for the next round of Mrs. Hawking performances this spring!

We are looking to cast:

  • Nathaniel Hawking, male, ages 20-35, English accent, major lead role in both shows
  • Johanna Braun, female, ages 20-45, German accent, supporting role in Vivat Regina
  • Kiril Chernovsky, male or female, ages 20-50, Russian accent, minor role in Base Instruments

There will also a small monetary honorarium paid to the selected actor upon completion of the show’s run.

Vivat Regina and Base Instruments by Phoebe Roberts are the second and third in a series of steampunk-themed stage shows that have been performed in repertory over the course of 2015 into this year.

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION
Weekend of May 13th
As part of the Watch City Steampunk Festival in Waltham, MA

REHEARSAL INFORMATION
Rehearsals begin in mid March leading up to the performance dates in May. Rehearsals will happen mostly in the Porter Square area of Cambridge, with tech week leading up to the performance in downtown Waltham area.

AUDITION INFORMATION
Auditions will be held on two dates:

Sunday, February 26th from 7-9PM
Lesley University, Doble Campus
33 Mellen Street, Cambridge, MA
Doble Building, Room 209

Monday, February 27th from 7-9PM
Lesley University, Doble Campus
33 Mellen Street, Cambridge, MA
Doble Building, Room 209

Auditions will consist of reading from sides from the script. Accents required.

Please make an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, but to guarantee your slot please send an email to mrshawkingweb@gmail.com with your headshot and resume to reserve a time.

If you would like to audition but are unable to make these appointed times, please e-mail anyway and arrange alternate accommodations.

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Video recording of Base Instruments at Arisia 2017!

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We are proud to announce the video recording is now available for our performance of Base Instruments at Arisia 2017!

Base Instruments by Phoebe Roberts

Base Instruments from sydweinstein on Vimeo.

We are so happy to be able to present part 3 of the Mrs. Hawking series recorded for you to enjoy whenever you like. Thanks so much to Syd Weinstein and crew, who filmed this at Arisia 2017 and edited it together for us.

Please be sure to visit our Shows page for the video recordings of all three of the Mrs. Hawking so far, and see how all the hard work of all the great artists in our cast and crew come together to tell these amazing stories.

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Performances at Arisia 2017 accomplished!

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At Arisia 2017 this past weekend, Mrs. Hawking brought its two most recent shows, part 2: Vivat Regina, and the world premiere of part 3: Base Instruments. And I am so delighted to report that the performances went great.

Base Instruments represents a real achievement and step forward for the series. It’s the most technically demanding piece on all fronts. The piece is the longest with the most complex of all the plots and character arcs, requiring more from the writing and acting than any previous. Its production needs were on a bigger scale, requiring more sets and the accompanying set pieces.

And to my great pleasure and pride, Team Hawking conquered all those challenges. Our actors’ heartfelt performances brought the cast of characters believably and compellingly into the stage stage of their journeys. Our tech crew took phenomenal charge of all the many moving parts needed to fully flesh out this world. And I was deeply honored to hear from many people what I’d begun to suspect through this process— that part III: Base Instruments truly is the best installment yet. All the varied effort and craft that goes into the making of the show, from the design to the building to the portrayals to the execution to the writing, all came together to bring our storytelling to the next level.

I am intensely grateful to everyone who made that possible. My brilliant crew of designers and volunteers who physically made the show happen. The talented, dedicated actors who brought the characters to life. The enthusiastic audience who showed up to support our art. The staff of Arisia, particularly Persis Thorndike, for believing in us enough to give us the time and the resources to perform at the convention. And of course my technical director Bernie Gabin, without whose expertise, work, and passion none of this would be possible. Thank you all, for every moment we’re in your thoughts and all the time you’ve devoted.

Soon we’ll be displaying the excellent pictures taken by Anna Munch, our official photographer to the event. And we’ll have video to post taken of Base Instruments at the convention performance. But in the meantime, please enjoy the videos of our previous shows, and see the steps taken in the journey to get where we are today.

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Our ace heroine

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One thing that makes the Mrs. Hawking series unique is that we not only have a queer protagonist, she is of a kind you very rarely see represented– our hero is an asexual aromantic, and it’s very important to the conception of her character.

A large part of her story is the difficulties she faces in maneuvering through a world that has no understanding of asexuality. The social expectations surrounding her provide constant challenge– the way she has no inclination toward romantic love, the stranglehold she found in the obligation of marriage, and not only the inability to reciprocate the Colonel’s feelings for her, but even to relate to them. She herself doesn’t have a word for it, only the sense that she is different from most others, and perhaps even beyond their understanding, even those who work hardest to grow closest to her.

While love and romance can be fun threads to explore, and our story deals with them in the form of Nathaniel’s marriage and Mary’s developing relationships, it also takes some of the emphasis on romance as the only kind of truly significant relationship. The most important connections in the story are unconventional and not easily defined– not as simple and clear cut as parent and child, or simply friends, but complicated by familial love, the bonds between teammates, and the relationship between mentor and protege. Mary’s role as Mrs. Hawking’s student makes the girl the most important person in her life, while Mrs. Hawking s not simply Nathaniel’s aunt, but an important figure of authority and approval whose validation he desperately craves. And while there is no romance between Mary and Nathaniel, the intense struggles they weather together make an unbreakable friendship between them.

I enjoy the chance to explore some of the more unexpected bonds that can form between people, and demonstrate that romances are not the only important connections in people’s lives. I think Mrs. Hawking’s asexuality helps not only represent a subgroup that is not often present in fiction, it helps redshift the focus to the wider spectrum of meaningful human relationships.

Vivat Regina and Base Instruments by Phoebe Roberts will be performed January 13th-15th at the Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel as part of Arisia 2017.

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