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Creator interview on Radio of Horror

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Categories: supplemental, Tags:

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.

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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.

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The Team Hawking promise

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Categories: performance, Tags: , ,

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As anyone who does theater knows, the process is a serious undertaking, with a significant investment of time and resources asked of anyone who chooses to be involved. With all the things that can go wrong and the wildcard personalities it can involve, it can be tough to find a production that you can trust to work responsibly AND be fun to take part in.

But know that if you’re considering being part of a Mrs. Hawking play, we’re dedicated to making sure we conduct ourselves in a manner we can be proud of. So if you’re on the team, you can expect a level of competence and respect for your abilities and contributions in order to thank you for lending them.

Here is the Team Hawking promise:

– A focused, professional, and enjoyable process

When you’re part of the Hawking crew, you can count on the process being run responsibly and effectively. We know what we’re doing, and everyone will be there with the intention of making the best possible piece of work we can with focus, dedication, and planning. There will be no scrambling at the last minute, and even when unexpected difficulties arise, we will handle them with determination and grace. At the same time, we’re going to enjoy ourselves, never becoming so serious that we forget we do this for fun and personal enrichment. We’re here to put on a good show while making the process as smooth and pleasant as possible.

– Respect for your time

We know that your agreeing to be part of the shows is a great expression of confidence and a generous offering of your time and effort. We will do everything in our power to show respect for that gift. You will be scheduled for rehearsals in as efficient a manner as possible, and when you are at rehearsals, we will make sure to work productively while we have you. We will never waste your time due to poor planning nor taking your presence for granted.

– Respect for your contributions as an artist

If you’re on the team, it means we have enormous respect for your abilities as a performer. Because of that, it’s important that you feel you are an active, valued part of the process of creating the story. You can feel free to offer your thoughts, and though the director has the final say, your input is welcome as a collaborator. Also, we want you to feel comfortable, so if something about your blocking or performance is causing a problem for you, we’ll make every effort to work out a way that works for both you and the needs of the show.

– The resources needed for the best show possible

Theater has many moving parts that must work together to make the show great. Our crew is made up of talented, responsible individuals who do their best to see that all the required resources are in place to show our work to the best possible advantage. If issues arise, which they often do despite even the best of efforts, they will be managed with cool heads dedicated to seeing the task through to the best possible ending.

– Appropriate gratitude

Your hard work, talent, and dedication will not be taken for granted as part of the Hawking crew. We will take the time to make our acknowledgement and respect clear, and the actors we select will receive a small gift at the end of the process. It’s a token to tangibly represent how truly appreciative we are of those people who help make our shows great.

– A product you can be proud of

We aren’t messing around here. Make no mistake, we want these shows to come out good. We want every aspect, from the script to the performances to the sets to the sound to the costuming to the fight choreography, to be the best it possibly can be. And we’re willing to work until it is. Trust me. You’ll be proud of having been a part of it.

Does that sound good to you? If so, sign up to audition for our upcoming performances this May!

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

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Auditions for Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina at WCSF ’16

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2016 WCSF logo with Day

Calling for actors to join an ensemble for performances in serialized theater in repertory.

Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina by Phoebe Roberts are the first two in a series of Victorian-themed plays that have been performed in repertory over the course of 2015 into this year. This is a continuing series with a troupe of actors, so there is opportunity for reprising the role or taking on new roles at a later date in an additional run, though no commitment is required beyond this May 2016 production.

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

We are looking for the following types for lead and supporting roles:

Women, late twenties to early forties, German accent.
Women, late twenties to early thirties, English accent.
Men, late twenties to late forties, English accent.
Nonspeaking ensemble roles of any gender and age.

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION
Weekend of May 7th-8th
As part of the Watch City Steampunk Festival, Waltham, MA

REHEARSAL INFORMATION
Rehearsals begin in late March-early April leading up to the performance dates in May, depending on the play or plays in which you are cast. Rehearsals will happen mostly in the Porter Square area of Cambridge, with some in the Brandeis/downtown Waltham area, depending on cast convenience.

AUDITION INFORMATION
Auditions will be held on two separate dates at different locations:

Wednesday, March 2nd from 7-9PM
At the Watertown Public Library in the Raya Sterns Trustees room
123 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts 02472

Thursday, March 3rd from 7-10PM
At the Democracy Center in the Rosa Parks Room
45 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Auditions will consist of reading from sides from the script. English and/or German 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 accomodations.

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PERFORMANCE ANNOUNCEMENT: Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina at the Watch City Steampunk Festival!

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2016 WCSF logo with Day

Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina are returning this May!

Missed our part one, Mrs. Hawking? Haven’t yet gotten to see part two, Vivat Regina?

Our continuing adventure stories will be back as guests of the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016, Saturday, May 7th, in Waltham, MA!

This event is free and open to the public, so there will be no cost or barrier to come out and join us. Additionally, the Festival is full of food, vendors, panels, and other entertainment events to make it especially worth your while.

More information will be available soon, but in the meantime, put May 7th on your calendars as your next chance to catch the adventures of the Lady’s Champion of London!

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A test pilot for a Mrs. Hawking TV series

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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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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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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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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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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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