Re: "theme" peeve
- --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Gerita" <hpockets@v...> wrote:
> We decided that we would be guests/ambassadors at Court. Wehis furs
> dressed carefully, in our Very Best. The 9th Century Saxon wore
> and extra brat-thing, the Irish lady had all 9 yards on, etc. Somewho Play
> Elizabethan turned up noses at us, but we were doing the very bestwe could
> to play along with an impossible demand. It does seem to me thatpeople who
> choose themes for events need to consider situations such as thiswhen they
> do it.http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/authentic_sca/vwp?.dir=/Jehanne%
shows the relentlessly plain green linen tunic I deliberately wore to
the first coronation of Andreas and Isabella, in response to Her
Majesty's published comment: "What's a t-tunic."
- I agree with your concerns here, but I have come to a bit of an
understanding. Others have posted pretty much what I think, as well.
I personally love themes, and I love making up a persona. I'm not a
big roleplayer (makes me feel kinda funny to talk in an accent or act
a certain way like a haughty Dutchess or a grovelling peasant...but
that's just me), but I like to elaborate on a backround story spiced
with research. Themes are wonderful ways to introduce different eras
and modes, and I know of more than one person who has changed their
persona after discovering something new.
Everyone has their own agenda in the SCA. Some are hard set on one
persona, some have a three year cycle where they are gung-ho on a new
era for the first year, they perfect it in the second year, and
interest peeters out as they find something new to morph to the third
year. Others have several personas they keep up on. Since the SCA
isn't some hard-core roleplaying group and we are dedicated to the
research and recreation of history to the best of our ability, all
types of players should be cherished.
My point? Well, if there is a theme to an event, all those attending
should make an effort to implement themselves into that theme. On the
other hand, those at the event should encourage this; if all one
person brings to represent the theme is a dish of food or some quotes
from a history book, go with it. In my personal opinion, I think
attendees should try as hard as they can to play into a theme and to
not impose their personal feelings or views of what the event should
be. After all, they chose to attend rather than run the event.
I have been to my fair share of events with themes that failed
miserably due to low attendance or a group of folks that stick
together and pressure the rest of the attendees to play their way.
Most of them mean well, but it still happens.
Themes are GREAT, we need more of them. People need to be encouraged
to be creative, and praised for any attempts, no matter how large or
small. Themes tend to introduce new thoughts and ideas, even if they
end up being a bit tedious.
- There are ways and ways of dealing with a theme. A nearby branch
advertised "A Night in Cordova". Very well.. I was an agent of King
John, trying to negotiate an alliance with the Emir. (One of the
stories Everybody Knew in the Middle Ages.)
- We've had mixed results. There's two repeating events that we do, both
16th century. One is "Revels at the Inns of Court" and the autocrat has a
history of inudating everyone with more and more information about what the
Inns of Court were, how they came about, which "houses" one can join and so
on - the web minister obliges with links that support all sorts of pattern
sites, historical info, everything someone would need to know, and our A&S
classes support the manufacture of what is needed for the individual
attendee. And the only fighting so far has been a limited rapier display
(actually a mini-play with the players ad-libbing as long as it led to an
actual duel, with seconds). This gave a few folks a chance to be dramatic
and for one set of duelists to introduce the "new" reproduction dueling
pistols that shoot SCA-approved ah, bullets, I guess I'd better call them.
Anyway, of the times that we've put it on, we've had only one group of folks
show up OOP - but they didn't come the following year (we offered to arrange
loaner garb, they decided to stay in their period/culture and not attend. We
just made sure that subsequent events were close enough on the calendar to
give them a chance to play soon).
The other event is also a small-attendance event. "Barnacled Bullfrog" is
a low-brow scuzzy wharf tavern... Folks of high social standing do not
generally attend - but they do seem to have a lot of look-alike cousins or
siblings "born on the other side of the blanket". We don't mention the
link... It gives everyone an opportunity to be silly yet still be in a
"period" context - the women who want to be tavern wenches can, those who
do not can be folks on pilgrimage and be as "uncomfortable" or "relaxed" as
their personas desire to play it. Rapier fighting takes place outside near
the front of the tavern, next to the bay, while heavy fighting is on the
other side of the buiilding and somewhat less noticable - giving the heavies
a chance to play too, but not disturb the general "look" of the event. The
front porch gives one only a view of the bay, the crocet field and the
There's a wide field nearby which is sometiimes used for archery - the
archery marshal plays a petty official whose job it is to ensure that "every
man does his saturday practise of archery, as is according to the King's
No court at this one. Once, we needed to have a Royal court - the king
and queen played along. She (having just given birth) took the opportunity
to stay in a little retiring room and have visitors, or not, as she wanted,
while he went without the crown or the high garb and played darts, watched
the fighting, gambled... with many an elbow nudge and a "Your Maj-er, ah,
here, fellow, would you like to join us at Gluckshaus?". When the time came
for court, they and their retainers retired, changed clothes, and reappeared
outside, to enter the tavern preceeded by an incredibly officious set of
guards who cleared a space and looked down their noses at the tavern owner
and - you get the picture. Much fun was had by all.
We don't hold either event often, but so far, they are the ones with a
guarenteed number of attendees.
Any other attempt at "theme" falls flat and is usually just a vehicle for
an A&S (which doesn't often work out) and the feast menu - which always
- At 11:41 PM 2/28/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>And thenMy problems with this are as follows:
>they send out all these notices, "Come to our event! The theme is
>such-and-such, and we'll be having a such-and-such feast and a bardic
>competition and an A&S competition and a such-and-such tourney!" and
>then everyone just pretty much ignores it and does what they do for
Not enough lead time from when the theme is announced to when the date of
the event will be - I don't mind knowing the theme but don't give me less
than three months to prepare an entire kit from scratch that I won't use
again for your event! (not that I'd do it anyway, I might make a new
outfit to fit the theme if I knew I would have occasion to wear it again)
Unless the group putting on the event has a bunch of loaner stuff ready and
waiting will they get everyone to dress with the theme - expecting
otherwise shows short-sighted-ness and a lot of insular thinking on the
part of the group doing the event.
Not everyone can - as was discussed in an earlier post. It's money out of
pocket to make a new kit to fit an era/place which one does not regularly
adhere to - it's inconsiderate to think that everyone will do so just
because it's "insert title here" event.
Not everyone will - as discussed earlier, I believe. People who have
persona choose it for a reason. To ask them not to portray that for which
they play the game could be considered rude. To look down upon them for
doing so is rude. Someone who is comfortable in the frills and layers of a
Tudor gown won't necessicarily be comfortable in a 14th century garment -
why force them to do so? The group hosting the event would be making their
guests uncomfortable; a big no-no from where I come.
Just a thought,
Despina de la still buried
- I understand what you're on about, Katherine. It's as if a group
decides to throw an event with a theme, but doesn't go all the
way. They have some food that follows the theme, and they
group the A&S classes into categories under the theme. But the
event isn't truly themed in any way shape or form.
Of course I don't think anyone should require people to make
new outfits to attend an event. But to take for example a
Japanese themed event -- if you have no interest or desire in
Japanese culture, don't go to the event. Of course the events to
which I refer in particular were small and intimate. They included
no fighting and there wasn't even any room to teach a class
(although I think some were taught). So it's not as if Coronation
or 12th Night had a theme.
I was around when one of the Queen's whims was "No T-tunics"
and Jehanne made her lovely green tunic. Not exactly a theme,
I kinda don't get themes. I mean, I am a 16th century
Irishwoman or a 10th century Japanese woman or a 15th century
Englishwoman and that's the size of it. I'm not going to let
anything convince me to be Italian or Spanish or Chinese in any
period. I just have no interest. But for someone who doesn't
have a persona and likes to make different outfits all the time, I
guess this could be motivation for a new one.
I don't exactly know what I'm saying. Yes, I generally ignore
themes in terms of what I wear. But I think if you have a theme, it
should reach across more than just the food served at the feast.
A 16th century Irishwoman can attend a "party" whose theme is
the Roman Empire and not wear a toga, y'know? But it would be
nice if we played Roman games, watched Roman athletics, as
well as ate Roman food.
So I guess I'm agreeing with you, Katherine. Themes should
mean something more than just what's served at the feast. But I
don't think anyone should feel they must make a new outfit for it if
they aren't looking for a project. I don't think anyone was saying
> I was around when one of the Queen's whims was "No T-tunics"You're kidding me, right?
> and Jehanne made her lovely green tunic. Not exactly a theme,
That would necessitate a 6 month hiatus from the Royal Progress... no way
would I "age" my persona and give up my embroidered garb to wear clothing I
don't want and don't like just because the Queen was into Renn or later.
(Okay, so I count "renn" starting in the 12th century... you get my point).