Categotry Archives: supplemental


Gilded Cages now added to our TV Tropes page!

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As you may know, Mrs. Hawking has a fairly extensive page on TV Tropes, a website that breaks down the building blocks of narrative and identifies their use and effect across many types of media. Tropes from Gilded Cages have been added to the mentions of elements from our previous three installments!

The image at the head of our Tropes page.

Some examples of the new material added because it occurs in Gilded Cages:

All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted with Arthur. He’s just about the sweetest, most straightforward guy you could imagine, and he’s presented as a romantic and attractive figure.

The Cassandra: Elizabeth is always warning Victoria about the consequences of her reckless actions. She’s always right, but still everyone ignores her.

Flashback: About of Gilded Cages takes place in Singapore where Mrs. Hawking grew up, met the Colonel, and made her very first discovery of the injustice of the world.

The Mentor: Elizabeth is this to young Victoria in serving as her governess and companion, specifically in matters of deduction, analysis, and strategy.

As a person who finds it intensely valuable to analyze the tools stories use to reach their audiences, I really enjoy this website. And I’m really proud of Mrs. Hawking’s presence as an included work.

Is there anything you think we’re missing? Any tropes that jumped out at you as an audience member and fan? We’d love you to include them, so don’t hesitate to add them in to the page! And be sure to catch the Arisia 2018 performances to see how many new ones you catch!

Mrs. Hawking parts III: Base Instruments and IV: Gilded Cages by Phoebe Roberts are to be performed January 12th-14th as part of Arisia 2018 at the Westin Boston Waterfront.


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.


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.


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.


Winner of the Arisia 2017 membership raffle!

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Circe Rowan (Mary Stone) and Cari Keebaugh (Mrs. Hawking)

This December, we’ve been offering a chance to enter a raffle to win a two full weekend memberships to Arisia 2017. 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:

Dave Maddaluno!

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


Can’t wait to see you at our shows!

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.


THE BALLROOM SCENE: Arisia production showcase party 11/5

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Categories: supplemental


Ever notice how every Mrs. Hawking show has a scene at a ball? Well, here’s your invitation to the party— and we hope you’ll dress the part!

This November, the team behind the Mrs. Hawking play series is putting on a showcase gala to whet your appetite for our upcoming productions!


Mrs. Hawking Part 2: Vivat Regina and Part 3: Base Instruments will be performed as part of the Arisia 2017 convention in downtown Boston this January. Before we go up, we’d like to invite you to this free promotional event to eat, dance, and get a behind-the-scenes look at how these stories come together. We’ll even show you a few scenes from the performances to give you an early glimpse at our shows.

There will be fall foods served buffet style. All guests will be given a ticket for a free raffle of door prizes, including a weekend membership to Arisia 2017. We welcome you to come in steampunk costume, and have your picture taken by a photographer to be posted to our Facebook page. Entrance is FREE, but donations toward the show are gladly accepted.


So put on your finest evening attire and join us at this free event to promote and celebrate our Mrs. Hawking productions, Part 2: Vivat Regina and Part 3: Base Instruments, at Arisia 2017!

Saturday, November 5th
8pm-11pm at the Democracy Center at 45 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA

– Food and beverages
– Music
– Door prizes in a free raffle
– Displays of the specially designed properties from the shows
– Sneak peeks into behind the scenes info
– Scenes from our Arisia 2017 shows

More info to come, but mark your calendars now and RSVP on the Facebook event!

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.


Mrs. Hawking TV show bible posted!

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The show bible for the Mrs. Hawking TV pilot is now available!


As you may know, the Mrs. Hawking story could be adapted to many different kinds of media, but I can’t help but think that serialized television is the ideal form. To that end, the first stage script has been adapted into a pilot for a TV series on this website, now updated and in polished form.

But when you’re trying to a script for a TV show out there, a useful tool to have for pitching it is the show bible. That’s a short, five-page document outlining the important broad strokes of the series. It describes the setting, the major ideas, the important characters and their journeys, as well as giving an idea of the direction the storytelling is going to take. So we decided to put one together to accompany our pilot.

The bible is now posted on this website. It was hard to boil things down to their essentials, but actually all the writing about the characters and planning out the story in the blog was incredibly helpful for figuring out what to say! Check out the bible to get an idea of how we’d translate this idea to the screen.

Until then, there’s always the stage plays! Be sure to check out our shows Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina at the Watch City Steampunk Festival in Waltham on Satuday, May 7th! We’ll give you some cinematic action performed live for your enjoyment!


Creator interview on Radio of Horror

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In the course of our productions for Arisia 2016, I gave an interview on the plays with Dr. Chris of Radio of Horror about what makes the story interesting and where we hope to take it.

To hear this ten-minute interview, catch this recording of our conversation on YouTube.


This was given in anticipation of our performances this past January, but it’s also a good primer on the series if you’re interested in catching us at the Watch City Steampunk Festival this May. For more of Dr. Chris‘s Radio of Horror show, check 91.3 FM WCUW in Worcester, MA.

Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina will be performed on May 7th as part of the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016 in Waltham, MA.


Fanwork spotlight – a Mrs. Hawking roleplaying game

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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.


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.


Base Instruments on TV Tropes

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


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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