Avatar Repertory Theater Stages ’13 Objects’ By Howard Barker

September 30th, 2009  |  Published in Second Life News

Coventry University presents Avatar Repertory Theater’s staging of ’13 Objects: Studies in Servitude’ by Howard Barker as part of an international festival celebrating the work of this prestigious playwright. Performances will be on Oct 20, 4pm SLT and October 21, 2pm SLT at Coventry University Sim. For a more in-depth look at the set and comments from the actors, read this post on www.rikomatic.com.

On October 21, 2009, more than 50 theater companies will  stage readings and performances in celebration of the 21st anniversary of the founding of Howard Barker’s theater company, The Wrestling School.  A.R.T.’s virtual theater will be another facet in the world wide celebration, from Mexico to Iceland, Australia to Cyprus, in five languages. Organizations participating include the Royal Shakespeare Company in London and the Skylight Theatre Company in Perth.

Howard Barker’s Wrestling School was established in 1988 by actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Court. The name arose from the feeling that the company must ‘wrestle’ with the ideas in Barker’s text before being able to present them on stage.

A.R.T. will be performing “13 Objects: Studies in Servitude” by Howard Barker, live in Second Life, October 20th at 4 pm and October 21st at 2 pm SLT at the Coventry University sim. “13 Objects” shows the secret lives of everyday objects – such as a cup and saucer or a camera – to make intimate connections and inspire powerful feelings, with poetic language, provocative ideas and dark humor.

The Second Life production is directed by Joff Fassnacht, theatre lecturer at Coventry University, UK. Joff has combined the virtual world with the real world, bringing his students into Second Life to expand and enhance their creative skills. Coventry University was one of the first in the UK to purchase virtual space in Second Life, starting in 2007. Their sim is used as a creative tool for students as they work in fashion, design and general business.

Along with the live performances, A.R.T. plans to display an installation featuring scenes from “13 Objects” to allow Second Life residents the chance to wander through the environment and get a feel for this remarkable work. The installation is scheduled to open sometime in October and be up for at least thirty days.

Sets and installation builds will utilize the remarkable objects built by Arcadia Asylum in 2006 and 2007 and currently housed in Arcadia Asylum Library and Museum, curated by Mally McGinnis.  Pieces from Arcadia’s Slum City and Hobo builds carry out director Joff Fassnacht’s vision of “post World War II London blitz post-apocalyptic grunge” with astonishing aptness.  A.R.T. Producer Ada Radius commented, “It’s as though she (Arcadia) had been reading Barker two years ago.”

Cast members/voiceover actors include Kayden Oconnell, Prospero Frobozz, MadameThespian Underhill, Ada Radius, Em Jannings, Mickie Nikolaidis, AvaJean Westland, Rowan Shamroy, Dolgoruky Umarov and Persephone Phoenix.  Directed by Joff Fassnacht, sets and costumes assembled by Ada Radius using the designs of Arcadia Asylum.  Sound engineering by Thundergas Menges, scripting by Sodovan Torok, Prospero Frobozz and Ian Pahute, animations by Joff Fassnacht, with additional graphics and builds by JubJub Forder and Ada Radius.  Admission to the event and installation is free.

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