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Times and location for Watch City ’16 shows!

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We now officially have times and a location for our performances at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016!

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Our performance venue this time is going to be in the auditorium in Waltham’s Government Center at 119 School Street. It’s just a few blocks away from Waltham Common, where the outdoor portion of the Festival will be held.

Our shows Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina will be held in the afternoon and evening the day of the Festival. Mrs. Hawking will be performed at Government Center as a 2PM matinee, while Vivat Regina will be our evening show in the same place at 6PM.

The shows run about one hour each, and admission is completely free of charge! Catch one or catch both, we would love to see you all there. :-)

Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina will be performed on May 7th at 119 School Street, Waltham, MA at 2PM and 6PM as part of the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016 in Waltham, MA.

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Vivat Regina character arc previews – Mary

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Categories: miscellany

Despite the fact that the series is named after Mrs. Hawking, in many ways this is really the story of Mary. It’s about her growing into a true hero, and in saving others finding the way to save herself.

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Played by Circe Rowan, Mary’s journey comes from the fact that her world used to be very small. As a servant and a member of the lower classes, everything about her life encouraged her to never use her own mind, to never speak her own thoughts, that she was of most use to others doing what she was told. She has seen very little of life, and has never been encouraged to see herself as a person with skills and strength to give.

In being Mrs. Hawking’s assistant, she must learn many new skills— how to fight, to move with stealth, to operate without detection, to take on personas, to come up with plans of attack. The level of excellence required to pull off something so difficult as saving people from the traps of society is enormous, and when we enter Vivat Regina, Mary is struggling to meet the high expectations. And with her mentor’s constant pushing, she’s begun to doubt whether or not she has it in her to meet it all.

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But it’s not enough to just learn what Mrs. Hawking has to teach. Mary has to learn her own strength, her own way of doing things. And part of this is developing the confidence in herself, both her abilities and her own judgment, to push herself to do what she has to do. And sometimes that’s going to mean speaking out, disagreeing, making her own path.

It’s no small task for a former servant girl who was supposed to make herself invisible at all times. But Mary is an exceptional person, and watching her grow into her potential shapes a huge portion of this story.

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Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina will be performed on May 7th at 119 School Street, Waltham, MA at 2PM and 6PM as part of the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016 in Waltham, MA.

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Mrs. Hawking TV show bible posted!

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Categories: development, supplemental, Tags:

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

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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!

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The colors of Vivat Regina

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Categories: performance, vivat regina, Tags: ,

I’ve always loved the potential for storytelling in the choices one makes in costume design. In Mrs. Hawking, we used a series of oppositional color pairings to make statements about the characters and their circumstances. In Vivat Regina at Arisia 2016, with the help of costume designer Jennifer Giorno, we devised a new palette to support the new story.

For the leads, they maintained the color schemes they were introduced with in the original. Between her stealth suit and her widow’s weeds, Mrs. Hawking’s color is black. Nathaniel’s splash of color is his familiar red cravat. And Mary, with her maid’s apron and skirt and ballgown, sets the tone for the rest of the play with her blue.

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For Vivat Regina, we stuck to a cool, blue-based color palette. Unlike in the previous piece, where high class was indicated by red, we had everyone in the opening ballroom scene in shades of blue. Mary is getting better at blending in, but her obviously lighter shade indicates that she’s not really one of them.

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Arthur is of course in a traditional police blue. As a police officer, he will always appear in blue, just as Mary does, which forges a subtle visual connection between them.

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For Mrs. Braun, she appears in a dark violet that serves as a subtle hint to the character’s true identity. It’s a blend of the blue of our palette and the red that previously was saved for the upper classes, and this color in particular has traditionally been reserved for the highest ranking members of society in a number of cultures.

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For Clara, we wanted something eye-catching and just a little bit daring, so we went with green. It’s a step away from blue, but different enough from any other character to always catch the eye. It tells us that Clara has no trouble fitting into her society, but she can’t help but stand out.

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The green even crosses over to Nathaniel in the scene in the embassy. Though his eveningwear included a silver vest and cravat in part one, for part two we decided we wanted him to pick up Clara’s color. It shows them unified as a team.

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Finally, the one other coloring shakeup comes in the form of Mrs. Hawking’s dishabille. Her robe is her typical black, but when she’s not dressing for anyone else, some white enters her wardrobe. We’ve never seen her in anything but black before, so even this one small change is eye-catching. Still, her colorless presence keeps her stark against the rest of the cast.

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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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Cast for Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina at Watch City Steampunk Festival ’16

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

We now have casts set down for our upcoming performances of Mrs. Hawking and Vivat Regina at the Watch City Steampunk Festival of 2016!

2016 WCSF logo with Day

This will be our second time performing both of our first two shows in sequence, after a successful turnout this past January at Arisia 2016. We are very blessed to have much of our last cast returning to their roles, but we are also excited to welcome some newcomers to round out our shows.

In part I, Mrs. Hawking

Mrs. Victoria Hawking – Frances Kimpel
Miss Mary Stone – Circe Rowan
Mr. Nathaniel Hawking – Jeremiah O’Sullivan
Mrs. Celeste Fairmont – Amanda Hurley
Lord Cedric Brockton – Francis Hauert
Sir Walter Grainger – Jordan Greeley
Mr. John Colchester – Andrew Prentice
Miss Grace Monroe – Sara Dion
Ensemble – Radha Shukla, Joye Thaller

And for part II, Vivat Regina

Mrs. Victoria Hawking – Frances Kimpel
Miss Mary Stone – Circe Rowan
Mr. Nathaniel Hawking – Jeremiah O’Sullivan
Mrs. Johanna Braun – Joye Thaller
Mrs. Clara Hawking – Sara Smith
Constable Arthur Swann – Eric Cheung
Frau Kirsten Gerhard – Kitty Drexler
Ensemble – Sara Dion, Travis Ellis, Radha Shukla

We are so excited to work with this group, both those actors who have proven themselves with excellent performances as their characters in the past, and those who came out to join our ensemble for the first time.

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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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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Categories: performance, Tags:

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

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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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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