Phoebe

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A test pilot for a Mrs. Hawking TV series

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Categories: looking ahead, mrs. hawking, Tags: ,

The more I developed the Mrs. Hawking stories, the clearer it’s become that they’re probably not absolutely best suited to be plays. They are action-heavy and spectacle-focused, and as they grow in cast size and scope, it seems more and more that they would be best suited to some kind of cinematic format. I’ve heard many responses from audiences confirming this. Right now, producing them on film is beyond my capability, so for the moment I’ve been getting them out as theatrical plays. But I know someday I’d like to work toward some kind of serialized televisual medium.

I’ve been starting to explore what options might be viable to someday take the work in that direction. Producing a web series in installments seems a possibility worth investigating, but also preparing for any opportunity to pitch it to real production companies. To that end, to be prepared to take advantage of any chance of that nature, I decided it was finally time to take a stab at adapting the tale, or at least the beginning of it, to the screen. At long last, now Mrs. Hawking’s first story is available to read in the screenplay format.

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This piece is basically a reimagining of the plot of the first play Mrs. Hawking to fit the hour-long American television drama format. This was developed based on excellent feedback from John Benfield, Charlotte Brewer, Nat Budin, Viktoriya Fuzyalova, Matthew Kamm, Tegan Kehoe, and Shannon Moore. I’m so grateful for their input, as discerning eyes in the writing process helps me improve my work so much.

As a pilot, this is probably not a strictly ideal production example. In the context of a series, a pilot should set up the leads and their circumstances and prime the audience’s interest to see more. This version may give away a bit more of the drama that may belong in a pilot, rather than ration it out to set the pace for future episodes. But this is strictly a kind of audition piece, designed to be considered in isolation to demonstrate the potential of the series. Choices were made in this adaptation to not only whet a reader’s appetite for further stories, but also to pack enough narrative punch to make this one installment satisfying on its own. It would have to be adapted and reedited to work better in the context of a full season of episodes.

But consider this new pilot version not only an audition of the work but a test, to examine the potential of Mrs. Hawking in another medium. I think it brought a lot of excitement and color that couldn’t be represented with the limitations of the stage. Why don’t you check it out to see what you think?

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Fanwork spotlight – a Mrs. Hawking roleplaying game

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Categories: supplemental, Tags:

They say when the fan fiction starts, you’ve arrived.

After seeing our Arisia 2016 productions of Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina, game writers Matt Weber and KN Granger wrote these tabletop RPG rules for roleplaying the characters and scenarios for our stories.

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I’m so honored by their going to the work of making this! I’m a longtime roleplay gamer myself, and storytelling in that form has done so much to help me develop my dramatic ideas. I love the idea that people might see the Mrs. Hawking stories as a fun setting for an RPG adventure. And of course, I’m really flattered that the shows inspired them in this manner. Any kind of fanwork is a great compliment to a writer, as it means you’ve captured the imagination of your audience. Thanks so much, KN and Matt!

Check out the PDF of this cool fan-made gaming creation here! And here’s a link to KN Granger’s Patreon, in case you enjoyed this work and would like to support more like it.

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Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina accomplished at Arisia 2016

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Categories: mrs. hawking, performance, vivat regina, Tags:

We did it! We did it! We performed our first two installments, Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina, at Arisia 2016!

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Mrs. Hawking in progress

It was a great deal of work, rehearsing, preparing, and then setting up and tearing down two plays in a convention setting. But the cast and crew gave it their all and worked like champs. Despite all the challenges involved, everything came together. Our audiences were great, and gave great response. We did it. We did it.

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Vivat Regina in progress

We’ll be doing a postmortem on the process here, analyzing what we did and what will be good to remember for the future. But for now, we’re so grateful to everyone who helped make this strange serial theater experiment a reality. To the cast and crew, the audience, and the staff of , thank you all so much for your help and support bringing Mrs. Hawking and company to life.

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The power of the anger of women

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Categories: character, Tags: ,

As big a fan of the superhero genre as I am, there’s a common trope in it that’s always gotten on my nerves. How often do you see a female character get angry about something, only to have that anger swept aside because the usually male hero’s efforts to save the world make it impossible for her to stay mad?

It’s something that’s bothered me a long time, as it’s an indication of a larger cultural pressure for women never to get angry about anything— to only have pleasant feelings that are comfortable for those around them, to focus on making others feel better. But our plays are meant to stand in direction contradiction to that, because the character of Mrs. Hawking is ALL ABOUT anger.

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Our hero is a character driven by anger first and foremost, at the circumstances of the world, at the way society has tried to trap her in a box. It is never treated as unreasonable or indecent; in fact, it’s acknowledged that it’s a source of her strength. On top of that, when her anger causes Mrs. Hawking to inappropriately lash out against Mary, Mary’s anger gets respected as well. Mary is given the opportunity to express her upset at injustice or disrespect, and presents as reasonable demanding better treatment.

It’s a major way we’re aiming to make Mrs. Hawking different from other entries in the superhero genre. Not only do we tell stories about powerful and courageous female heroes, they are allowed the full range of human emotion to keep them interesting and real.

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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Our shows on the Arisia 2016 schedule!

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The schedule of events is available for Arisia 2016, and our shows are on it!

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We’re two weeks away from our opening night, and things are coming together beautifully! That means you should be making plans to come see us. Our performance times are as follows:

Mrs. Hawking
by Phoebe Roberts
8PM on Friday, January 15th
Grand Ballroom B

4PM on Saturday, January 16th
Grand Ballroom A

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts
1PM on Sunday, January 17th
Grand Ballroom B

At the Westin Waterfront Boston
425 Summer St, Boston, MA

We look forward to seeing you there! There are plenty of great events going on at Arisia alongside us, so be sure to check out the schedule to find out about everything you’d like to attend!

Mrs. Hawking by Phoebe Roberts will be performed January 15th at 8PM and January 16th at 4PM and Vivat Regina by Phoebe Roberts January 17th at 1PM at the Westin Waterfront Hotel as part of Arisia 2016.

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Base Instruments on TV Tropes

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Categories: base instruments, supplemental, Tags:

Mrs. Hawking’s page on TV Tropes is now updated to include tropes from Base Instruments!

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TV Tropes is a wonderful website that codifies the building blocks of storytelling and breaks down their usage in a wide variety of media. Mrs. Hawking’s page now boasts examples from the newly released third installment. Here’s some of the tropes this story introduces to the canon as a preview:

Fair Play Whodunnit: The plot of the third story Base Instruments is a mystery wherein the audience is provided with sufficient clues to solve it.

Feeling Their Age: Mrs. Hawking’s slow recovery from an injury is a harsh reminder of how it’s tougher to do superheroing when you’re forty than when you’re twenty. Her preoccupation with own eventual physical decline is what pushes her to try to mold Mary in her image.

Gentleman Snarker: Clara Hawking, though she is a lady, and Justin Hawking as well. Their scenes together are a complete battle of well-bred wits. Nathaniel also becomes more so as the stories go on.

Sibling Rivalry: Though it is mostly good-natured, Nathaniel and his older brother Justin are constantly trying to get each other’s goat. Justin boasts of his carefree, fun-filled life full of travel and romance, while Nathaniel is the golden boy who always has the approval of everyone else in the family.

Remember, TV Tropes is a community built website, relying on its members to expand and flesh out its content. So be sure to stop by, not only to check out the entries already there, but to add any tropes you may notice to Mrs. Hawking’s page.

Mrs. Hawking by Phoebe Roberts will be performed January 15th at 8PM and January 16th at 4PM and Vivat Regina by Phoebe Roberts January 17th at 1PM at the Westin Waterfront Hotel as part of Arisia 2016.

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Winner of the Arisia membership raffle!

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Categories: performance, Tags:

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All this week, we’ve been offering a chance to enter a raffle to win a full weekend membership to Arisia 2016. All you had to do was repost our show information page on social media with the hashtag #mrshawkingatarisia.

Today we’ve randomly drawn the winner! The recipient of our prize is:

@tinydragontori!

We’ll be in contact today, but feel free to reach out about how you’d like us to transfer the membership. Thank you to everyone who entered!

@tinydragontori, can’t wait to see you at our shows!

Mrs. Hawking by Phoebe Roberts will be performed January 15th at 8PM and January 16th at 4PM and Vivat Regina by Phoebe Roberts January 17th at 1PM at the Westin Waterfront Hotel as part of Arisia 2016.

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The new portrait of the Colonel

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Categories: performance, vivat regina, Tags: , , ,

You may remember that for last year’s Mrs. Hawking productions we made this portrait to serve as the framed photograph of the Colonel that hangs above the mantlepiece in the Hawking parlor.

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I liked this portrait because it was a genuine Victorian image, with a sort of quiet sadness in the look in the gentleman’s eyes. But now we are not only performing Mrs. Hawking, but also Vivat Regina, which you may have noted contains explicit reference to what that portrait looks like. Specifically, it’s a significant moment when Mrs. Hawking expresses her discomfort with Nathaniel’s resemblance to her late husband. With that resemblance being pointed out in the dialogue, it doesn’t really serve to have just any old person’s image hanging there for all the audience to see.

To that end, we made a new picture to go inside the portrait frame. This meant we temporarily had to cast the character of Colonel Reginald Hawking— with Jeremiah O’Sullivan, our actor playing the role of Nathaniel.

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We dressed Jeremiah in a military-style jacket and a costume mustache with spirit gum— after all, Mrs. Hawking says the Colonel has “whiskers” in that picture. This not only ensures the resemblance, it’s a nice hinting at stories to come. The Colonel is set to appear in part four of Mrs. Hawking, back before he was the Colonel, in flashbacks juxtaposed with a present-day story. I thought it would be cool to double cast Nathaniel and the Colonel in that piece, to convey not just their similarities, but to drive home to the audience how hard it is for Mrs. Hawking to see anyone but the Colonel when she looks at her nephew.

Mrs. Hawking by Phoebe Roberts will be performed January 15th at 8PM and January 16th at 4PM and Vivat Regina by Phoebe Roberts January 17th at 1PM at the Westin Waterfront Hotel as part of Arisia 2016.

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Arisia membership raffle

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Categories: performance, Tags:

Want to catch our shows at Arisia 2016, but the cost of membership is a little too high for you? Well, here’s your chance to win one for free in Mrs. Hawking’s Arisia membership raffle!

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We are raffling off one full weekend pass to the Arisia 2016 convention! This will give you complete access to all hours and events of the con in the Westin Waterfront Boston hotel January 15th through 18th.

To enter:

– Share the show information page on social media— Facebook, Twitter, G+
– Tag the post with the hashtag #mrshawkingatarisia
– Each share across the platforms counts as one entry
– Share across as many platforms as you like for additional entries

Entries will close on Monday, December 21st at 12AM. A winner will be drawn at random and announced at 12PM on the 21st. The selected person will provide us with their contact information so that we can transfer the Arisia membership into their name. We shall be pleased to have that person as our guest at our performances!

Happy sharing!

Mrs. Hawking by Phoebe Roberts will be performed January 15th at 8PM and January 16th at 4PM and Vivat Regina by Phoebe Roberts January 17th at 1PM at the Westin Waterfront Hotel as part of Arisia 2016.

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Mrs. Hawking on the radio 12/12!

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Categories: performance, Tags: ,

This Saturday, December 12th, Mrs. Hawking can be heard on the radio!

We’re a little over one month away from our shows at Arisia, so it’s time to get the word really out! To that end, we’ll be appearing on Beyond the Horizon Radio to talk about our shows! Tune in at 12PM EST to hear a live broadcast featuring Frances Kimpel, our Mrs. Hawking, Circe Rowan, our Mary Stone, and yours truly, the writer and director.

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We’ll be discussing our upcoming productions of Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina at Arisia 2016, as well as things behind the scenes, our process, and the story at large. Finally, we’ll be performing a selection from Base Instruments, the newly-released third installment, featuring the voices of Frances Kimpel as Mrs. Hawking, Circe Rowan as Mary Stone, and a certain someone else you know doing her best attempt at a Russian accent for new character Elena Zakharova.

Check us out at the Beyond the Horizon Radio website to hear the live broadcast at 12PM EST on Saturday, December 12th!

Mrs. Hawking by Phoebe Roberts will be performed January 15th at 8PM and January 16th at 4PM and Vivat Regina by Phoebe Roberts January 17th at 1PM at the Westin Waterfront Hotel as part of Arisia 2016.

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