Monday, April 20, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Formal Staged Reading

One of the main events for the festival this year is a formal staged reading of a new, specifically steampunk theatrical piece. One of the goals of this festival is to help promote and further neo-Victorian and steampunk writing, especially theatrical writing because I believe there is a way to put an airship in a tiny blackbox theater: imagination!

And there is not a better piece for that than 'H.M.S. Tempest: A Steampunk Romance'. It is a Neo-Victorian, Science Fantasy play loosely inspired by Shakespeare's 'The Tempest.' In the mid-Victorian era, the ingenious (and slightly eccentric) British inventor, William Prospero, is shipwrecked on the coast of an as yet undiscovered tropical island. With only his two (yes, two) daughters and a marooned mad-woman named Juno to help him, Prospero sets about building a flying steamship in order to leave the island. To aid him in this endeavor he constructs two automatons, Caliban and Ariel; one is a clockwork man and the other a steam-powered sprite. The adventure begins when another ship crashes on the island, carrying with it a shifty and suspicious crew, a courageous if somewhat impulsive Spanish prince on holiday, and none-other-than Antonio Prospero (William Prospero's younger brother) who, as it turns out, was responsible for the original shipwreck!

Playwright Stephanie Ferguson had this to say about her story, "I think my favorite aspect of this play, or at least what I was trying to get at, is the question: what makes us human? What does it mean to be part of humanity? And I think some of the answers to that are our ability to love, our ability to empathize with each other, and our imaginations." To me that is a valid question no matter what the time period.

The performance will be given in a manner consistent with a staged reading, not a full fledged production. For those not familiar with a staged reading the actors will have their scripts in front of them on music stands, and will embody all aspects of the characters through voice and minimal movement. For an added polish all characters will be costumed as if it were a full fledged production, and there may be a few additional surprises as well, you never can tell with automatons!

Thursday, April 9, 2009



My name is Lainey Welsch and in conjuction with The Academy Theatre are putting together The First Annual Summer Time East Atlanta Miniature Fest, or STEAM Fest for short at The Academy Theatre [just down the street from the James Joyce!], June 12th and 13th.  It will be a cornucopia of neo-Victorian fashion, steampunk gadgetry, music, art and a reading of a new specifically Steampunk play, by local playwright Stephanie Ferguson.

This is the official information board for the festival and will be updated twice weekly.  

Right now we are in the planning stages and are in need of several things:

1. Artists
       Are you a science fiction, or fantasy artist and would like to show your works in an intimate artists market?  Does not have to be steampunk themed necessarily we do encourage it!

2. Entertainment
Are you a steampunk/neo-Victorian band, improv troupe, poet, dancer, puppy juggler etc?  We are looking for acts for our main stage during the festival that can perform in thirty minute blocks or could even work the crowd.  With this being our first year putting this together we do not have money to pay you up front but will able to help promote any merchandise you have and want to sell through the theatre's advertising.

3. Volunteers
If you have are interested in volunteering to either help set up before the festival, during the two days of the festival, or clean up after please let me know.  We will need help with box office, ushering, organizing spaces, coordinating with the entertainment groups and many other things.  We do ask that you have a costume to be part of the atmosphere of the festival

4. Workshops
Do you have a particular skill with steampunk gadgetry that you would like to share? Costume sewing, Victorian music, or anything else steampunk related that you would like to teach others?  We are looking for individuals to teach workshops speak on a certain topic.  There will be additional charges for these events so that we can pay you for your time.  

If you are interested in any, several, or all of these please contact Lainey Welsch, the Festival Coordinator at for more detailed information.  Deadlines for signing up is April 31st as tickets will go on sale May 1st.

Coming soon: A basic schedule of events and ticket and workshop prices

Lainey Welsch
STEAM Fest Coordinator