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Hamlet on SL Production Blog

Posted in clothing ...

Earl of Clifford

December 11th, 2007 by torin

Earl of Clifford Large Image

George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, favorite of Elizabeth, painted in the guise of a knight by Hilliard, Nicholas from the Web Gallery of Art circa 1590 mixed media on parchment, from the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

Ok, this is a new medium for me, so bear with me. Sorry for the small image size, please check out the Web Gallery of Art for the full size image. What is important about this depiction of a highly regarded nobleman are the allusions to Sun King Status (remember all the ornate French noblemen dress this way in the Sun King ballets)

“Nicholas Hilliard, a goldsmith and miniaturist, is one of the lesser known yet highly important artists of early Baroque. His unique achievement lies in his creation of a type of courtly portraiture unparalleled in European painting at the time. By his own admission, he was influenced by Hans Holbein, that peerless master of the portrait miniature, for whom Hilliard expressed his unreserved admiration in his writings. However, Hilliard’s sophisticated and finely executed miniatures have little in common with the work of his German forerunner, apart from their mastery of fine technique and certain aesthetic principles such as the avoidance of chiaroscuro and strong modelling. These are features of an absolutely aristocratic stance in keeping with the attitudes displayed by the very people he painted.

Hilliard’s portrait of George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, from c. 1590, is a full-figure portrait, which is quite rare, and it is one of this artist’s most complex works. This successful naval leader was a favourite of Elizabeth I and his feathered hat also bears the Queen’s glove as a mark of distinction which adds the finishing touch to his courtly apparel in the guise of a knight. ”

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Posted in auditions ...

STOAD: SL Theatre Open Audition Database

December 10th, 2007 by ina

As part of SL Shakespeare Company (SLSC)’s continuing initiatives to help improve theatre on SL - we have created the SL Theatre Open Auditions Database (STOAD). This database currently consists of audition files for our Hamlet production, but will also contain audition files from other productions.

And, yes, we are *all* for Shakespeare, but also quite a bit for Second Life. ;-P

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Posted in auditions ...

Audition Clips: Round 2a - 11/24/2007

December 4th, 2007 by ina

Please keep in mind that one of the two clips for each actor below is a “pop quiz” improv. For some, it may be fairly obvious which one… for others, not so. It’s a sneaky way to test how well the actors know their character and the play.

  1. Em Jannings: Marcellus 1-1 | Marcellus 1-2
  2. Em Larsson: Gertrude 1-2 | Gertrude 4-7
  3. Prosper Frobozz: Hamlet 3-1 | Hamlet 1-2
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Posted in clothing ...

Horatio’s traveling cloak

November 27th, 2007 by ananke

Ina wanted me to put together a few ideas for “traveling cloak” for Horatio. The cloak would be open fronted, but I’m not sure how close the front flaps would lie–personal preference I suppose. Also, depending on the weather, this cloak could be fur lined.

I think these two directly above (Thomas Moore and Thomas Cromwell) are wearing cloaks that would be very suitable for Horatio. They are at once of sober color and convey a gravity of person. However, the fur collars/lining allow us to see the upper class background to which Horatio belongs. It allows us to see that Horatio can stand next to Hamlet and address him as a friend and (mostly) equal.



Posted in clothing ...

Simple Dress (non-gentry)

November 27th, 2007 by ananke

The simple outfits for the working class and farmers.  These make up the majority of the country.  They are also the people who felt most intensely the struggle between Catholicism and Protestantism because they made up the majority of the deaths on either end.


These lovely pictures are from Rent A Peasant in the UK.  They cover Tudor/Stuart style dress.

This is a fashion plate out of Racinet’s Le Costume Historique.  They are Italian; however, shapes can be imitated while limiting color palate and “frills.”

Here are a few woodcuts from Elizabethan Geek Costume Review which shows a variety of lower class costume.

These next few images are from a page called Tudor Dress

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Posted in characters, clothing ...


November 26th, 2007 by ananke

Borrowing what others have posted, I’ve come up with a few visuals for Horatio. He’s a bit more academic than dashing. Possibly a geek before geeks where chic…LOL. I’m viewing him in more sobering colors–browns, blacks, greys. Less on the frills.

John DonneThis is a picture of the poet, John Donne. Thanks to the National Portrait Gallery.

David RizzioThis is an unfinished miniature of David Rizzio–confidant and secretary to Mary Queen of Scots. Thanks to TudorHistory.Org and their wonderful image gallery.

Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley age 17 This is Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley around age 17 with his younger brother. He will become the second husband to Mary Queen of Scots. Thanks to

Renard Simon Renard, French Ambassador from Charles V to Mary I. Again, thanks to

Youth Leaning Against Tree Youth Leaning Against Tree Among Roses. Thanks to ElizabethanGeek.

Henry Slingsby Sir Henry Slingsby. Thanks again, ElizabethanGeek.

I think these are enough images to be getting on with for design.

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Posted in live-single-scenes, preproduction, directors-notes, 1-1, Act 1 ...

Live Scene 1 Timeline

November 26th, 2007 by ina
  1. December: (official) preproduction
  2. January: production
  3. February: Single Scene Miniproudction Play Opens!
  4. March: (Analysis)
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Posted in directors-notes, preproduction, characters, 1-1, Scene 1, Act 1 ...

Act 1 Scene 1 Character Sketches

November 26th, 2007 by ina

I should probably have made these sketches available far before now, as I’m typically meticulous in details even for minor characters. I like having every character in medias reas—such that every character, however minor, has an evident backstory. I also like having long discussions over each character—but, since it seems like I most turn into a dictator on this aspect in order for any further research to be done, I guess I must pull on that persona…

Horatio Sketch (Viz) Francisco (mp3): He’s the solo guard on duty for the Castle of Denmark before midnight, and one wonders why. Perhaps the others guards are all too frightened, and he’s just this peasant-boy-become-sentry hired at the last moment? Moreover, Francisco does not seem to know anything about the ghost (but perhaps that is due to his watch ending before midnight). Francisco and Barnardo should be of different ranks or age, at least—they don’t seem to be well-acquainted enough with each other for B to ask F personal details on being “sick at heart.” (Or, perhaps, he’s assigned to guard a secluded part of the castle—but since the Ghost is prone to appear in this region, if he’s tuned in with the rest of the guards, he should have heard rumors at least.)
One possible interpretation: Francisco is a peasant (newly-hired-guard) and a teenager who’s lovesick (the literal interpretation).

Horatio Sketch (Viz) Barnardo (mp3): He opens the play by asking, “Who’s there” after hearing Francisco’s footsteps—and that’s a perfectly normal reaction for someone who’s both afraid of a ghost and expecting it. He’s of a rank higher than Francisco, but not as well connected as Marcellus. In fact, he seeks Marcellus’ help in networking with Horatio, a scholar who would make sense of this—so that they can gauge their sanity before reporting this to the King and other officials, if necessary. He’s bold enough to tell a good story, but also not the type who would overtease Horatio after his first sighting of the ghost—and drives straight to the point, going for Horatio’s scholarly opinion of this strange sighting.
One possible interpretation: Quite fitting for being the first to speak in the play, Barnardo is the guard who discovered the ghost, and seeks to retain discoverer’s credit (thus later tags along with Marcellus and Horatio to Hamlet, even though he barely speaks), and although he has a certain rank in the Guard, he humbly knows his place and is content with being whom he is. (Note that he doesn’t accompany M, H & H to the final ghost scene in Act 1.)

Horatio Sketch (Viz) Marcellus (mp3): Marcellus is the guard of the highest rank in Scene 1 (or at least the oldest), as he’s always the one who issues commands. He’s also the only person who’s certain enough to answer Hamlet in Scene 2, when he asks where they’d seen the ghost. He’s an officer who’s used to giving directions; note how he commands Horatio to speak to the ghost, and he’s the one who asserts that they should speak to Hamlet (after Horatio’s suggestion), as well as the one who commands Horatio to follow Hamlet across the threshold in Scene 4—bold enough to assert, “Tis not fit to obey [Hamlet, the prince].”
One possible interpretation: A high-ranking soldier, possibly also a courtier, who is well-connected and used to giving commands. He’s common sense, issuing orders after Horatio goes off in his scholarly contemplations, complementing Horatio’s scholarly sense.

Horatio Sketch (Viz)Horatio (mp3): Horatio is about Hamlet’s age, and from holistic given support from the text, I am inclined to see him as a typical college-aged youth – no more than 24. He comes into the story as a Ghost-consultant and visiting friend to Hamlet, but evolves into Denmark’s “next-in-line,” becoming the one who passes on Hamlet’s wishes to Fortinbras, Jr.
But before I expand in too much depth about Horatio’s character, I’d really like a good discussion from the group on this. (I do have a vision, but it’s always more fun to get everyone involved—and to see others take initiative.) For Scene 1, he should appear like a scholar who’d just arrived in Denmark and has barely had time to change out of his travel outfit before Marcellus (perhaps the two are old friends) pulls him out to see the phenomenon of the Ghost.

5 Scenes of Act 1 … in 1 word “thematic phrase” each:

  1. Strange discovery
  2. Status quo:
  3. Familial manipulation (microcosm):
  4. Crossing the Threshold:
  5. Vow for Vengeance & Swear for Secrecy!
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Posted in clothing, 1-1, Act 1 ...

June, Sachi, and Leetah’s Latest Creations…

November 22nd, 2007 by ina

A few pretty things made to be seen:

Green GirlPlayer KingHoratio II in Scholar outfit by June DionQueen ElizabethRepertory Wardrobe - MarquisRepertory Wardrobe - First QueenPlayer King & Player Queen

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Posted in clothing ...

Guard Uniform Ideas

November 22nd, 2007 by ananke

First Possibility: Fancy Dress

Yeoman Warders (aka. Beefeaters)

These three pictures are of Yeoman Warders. The red uniform is known as their ceremonial uniform and dates from 1485 and the time of the Tudors. Elizabeth I added the white ruff to the outfit.

picture 1

picture 2

Both of the pictures above are used with permission from the Flickr files of MBCrawford

Picture 3 is from a site about the British Royal Guard with costume/duty information from a greater site called British Life and Culture maintained by Woodlands Junior School, Kent.

Eliz I

Elizabeth in Procession to Blackfriars, 1600. You can see the YWs pushing Elizabeth’s chair. Thanks to the wonderful portrait gallery from ElizabethanGeek’s Costume Review.

My rationale for proposing this option is that Denmark has recently lost a king. Not only that, but the queen has re-married the brother of the former king. So, we are in a transitional period around two very formal State occasions: Death and Royal Wedding. I would also suggest since the brother of the king has now become King Claudius, there has also been a third occasion: a coronation.

[Sidebar questions: Although I wonder in the line of succession why it didn’t directly pass to Prince Hamlet (direct line) instead of Claudius (who should have been third in line)? In a patriarchal lineage, wouldn’t Queen Gertrude have been relegated to Dowager Queen?]

So if there is a time of mourning and a time of celebrations, do they have a special time frame? For example, if the state of mourning lasts 3 months–the “accessories” (flags, guard uniforms, other accoutrements) of the castle would present in formal garb during that period. This is not unlike the United States custom of lowering the flag to half staff for a time period when a President dies or for recognition of other tragedies.

Second Possibility: Simple Style

We can look toward a more practical approach to guards in this time frame. This is a country that is hearing rumors of war with Fortinbras of Norway.

These next two pictures are posted from ElizabethanGeek. If you click on the title of the picture, you will be taken to more extensive information about it on the Elizabethan Costume Review. [note to designers: The Costume Review has a lot of Tudor/Jacobean portraits and woodcut images from which to draw inspiration.]

Keeper of the Hounds, 1575

This would be a good outfit for either someone of non-noble class or for under the breastplate.

Two Peers of the Realm and a Halberdier, 1567

The Halberdier’s upper costume would make a good template for a castle guard uniform. Also, the weapons. Then distinctions between rank could be made by cloak and trim and weaponry.

Oh, btw, a halberd is a 15th/16th cent weapon with ax blade and spike.

This next picture came from a search for “elizabethan guard” on Google. It was listed for a 2006 auction at McTear’s in Glasgow, but it never sold. It was registered as Lot 591.

Elizabethan Guard, ca. 1924

Armor Mini-Discussion

These two pictures came from Wikipedia “armor” search. Since armor would have been expensive, full body armour tended to be restricted to the upper classes. It would, however, make complete sense that guards on duty would be issued at least a breastplate and helmet to keep them somewhat protected in the event of emergency. However, all working guards should have identical uniforms except for distinguishing features of rank.

There are also a few armor pieces in “My Met Gallery” collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Email me for userID and password. Or you can do a search for yourself under “armor” after you create your own.

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