Commedia Learning Opportunities in September!

Commedia dell’ Arte education resources in September! A rare surge in opportunities for learning and doing Commedia dell’ Arte!

1) Saturday, September 2, 4:00pm to 5:30pm Italy time / 10:00am to 11:30am US Eastern Time – 90 minute online interactive lesson from Fabrizio Paladin, internationally renown professional commedia actor and coach –
Pre-registration required.

2) Saturday, September 9, 6:00pm – 7:15pm US Eastern Time, FREE in person commedia class and skit as part of Carolina Circus Festival in Cary, NC at WakeMed Soccer Park. Taught by Nancy Kramer, member of i Firenzi Commedia Troupe.
No pre-registration necessary. Just show up!

3) Saturday, September 16, 10:00 – 5:00pm, Four separate FREE in person classes on various commedia topics as part of Atlantia University (Intro to Commedia, Scenarios, Improv skills, Put It Together Workshop)
Location: Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in Durham, NC
No pre-registration necessary. Just show up!

4) October 5- November 2, Five week long commedia in person class sessions, weekly class of 90 minutes each, produced by the Town of Cary, NC “Cary Arts Center”
Classes resulting in a student performance on November 2.
Class is designed for adults interested in doing commedia dell’ arte which usually just serves as an educational piece of theater history classes. This class will allow students to wear masks, dive into the archetypical characters, and create a short play based on their own favorite pieces of commedia.

Please reach out to me (via orangesophie AT gmail) if you have any questions about these resources and how to participate!
Lara Coutinho-Dean, Capocomico of i Firenzi (

Sophia’s Elevation to Laurel At Pennsic 50

Scroll down to the bottom for Non-Elevation Fun: Ball, Commedia, Improv, and Misrule!

Elevation Summary: 

  1. Vigil/Party:

    “Middle Sunday” August 6 starting at 4:00pm with worthies speeches and Their Majesties of Atlantia putting me on vigil. Located at Casa Firenzi Camp on block N40, next to Kingdom of Avacal camp which is next to Kingdom of Atlantia Camp.

    1. Facebook event:
  2. Elevation in Atlantia Royal Court:

    “War Week Wednesday” August 9, starting at 6:00pm, my elevation is the first item of business. Friends who wish to participate in the procession can sign up for their role here:

    1. Musicians who wish to play Petite Riens for my procession and/or wish to join in the dance band for the Grand Ball later Wednesday night can sign up to get organized by THLady Jolicia here:  Google sign-up sheet for musicians:

location of Casa Firenzi at Pennsic

Elevation Details:

Please come join me in celebrating my elevation to the SCA Order of the Laurel at Pennsic 50!


For my non-SCA friends, this is the mastery level award for Arts and Sciences in the SCA. My husband was elevated in February 2021 for his expertise in roses. My sister was elevated in September 2018 for her expertise in music and scribal arts. Mountains of my friends have been elevated for their amazing accomplishments over the past 31 years of my SCA life. Now, I am elevated for my expertise in Italian 16th century Commedia dell’ Arte!


Two ceremonies will happen at this year’s Pennsic War: 1) Vigil and 2) Elevation at Court.


1) The Vigil is where the King and Queen of Atlantia will hear short speeches from other existing Laurels and representatives from the other Peerage Orders of the SCA: Pelicans, Masters of Defense (fencing), Royal Peers (former royalty), Knights, and representatives of the rest of the populace.


After the King and Queen hear the speeches from the Peers vouching for me and recommending me to them as a reliable person they can feel confident in elevating to the Order of the Laurel, I will go through a water cleansing ritual.


Inspired by the knights’ ritual bath before elevation, I have created my own water ceremony. I will sit in a small pool and invite some of my friends (pre-determined) to pour water over my head and speak blessings. I believe that when one releases old stressors, as this ceremony is intended to do, one must fill the space made in one’s heart with positive energy. This is the role of my friends speaking blessings to me as they help me wash away old stress. I have a great deal of old stress built up over the past 31 years of SCA life, so I made this ritual a little bigger than the traditional Atlantian Laurel hand washing.


Then I will dry off, present myself to the King and Queen, and they will officially place me on Vigil. I will sit in a special tent and chat with visitors for the rest of the night. The intent is for these visitors to share with me the wisdom they have found in their SCA lives, particularly focused on the significant leap in the social and leadership structure when one becomes a Peer for the first time. Some people may describe this as “giving advice.” I prefer to ask my friends and supporters to share wisdom they have discovered.


The vigil party will have me sitting in a tent all night having quality time with visitors, and the rest of my camp will party with the following:

  • Ancient and Venerable Traditional Aethelmearc Peerage Cookie Table
    • Please bring cookies to share! (make note of ingredients please!)
  • Ongoing music/Bardic Circle with some special guest stars (who are bringing CDs you can buy at my vigil! Support our independent musicians!)
    • Vince Conaway
    • Heather Dale (yet to be confirmed)
    • Whisky Bards
    • Surreptitious Whisky
  • Peeps Sacrifice led by the High Peepstress Lucia


Casa Firenzi will provide simple beverages, water and lemonade, and a few brewed beverages, but visitors are encouraged to BYOB and BYO Chair!!


Some people believe that Peerage Vigils are only for other Peers – NOT THIS ONE!  This is a vigil party open to any friends and supporters of Sophia the Orange.


2) Elevation ceremony in Atlantia Royal Court: Wednesday August 9 starting at 6:00pm – My elevation is the first order of business.


My friends Harold and Fritz will present a short introduction in Commedia dell’ Arte style, then I will process into court with some friends playing music, Petite Rien, dancing, carrying banners, and portraying some of the many characters I’ve worked with in my 23 years of commedia life.


Audience members are encouraged to accept the kazoos and ribbons offered as gifts for making their participation in court more fun and colorful.


Their majesties will describe shortly what it means to be a Peer of the SCA, call the Order of the Laurel into court, and I will speak an oath. They will place on me three pieces of regalia made for me by beloved friends:

  1. Legacy Laurel medallion from my first household in the Midrealm, Family Von Metten De Grinstead.
  2. Laurel cloak in the style of Atlantia University academic robes by Mistress Genef Wolfline
  3. Laurel wreath incorporated in a Baronial Coronet by Baron Robert de Tyre


Then we all walk to the back of court and try to be quiet so the rest of court can go on honoring other volunteers.


Non-Elevation Fun: Ball, Commedia, Improv, and Misrule!

That evening, Wednesday, August 9, starting at 9:00pm, my friend The Honorable Lady Avelina del Dolce and I will host the Pennsic Grand Masked Ball!  Join us at the dance tent for a dance party in character! A thin Commedia del’ Arte scenario will be played out throughout the evening by anyone who wants to come play. Pantalone is rumored to have selected a suitor for his daughter Isabella and we suspect he will announce the lucky groom at the ball!  Come dance with Isabella, negotiate with Pantalone, and play with the rest of the commedia characters that show up! No need to sign up. Just come in costume of whatever commedia character you wish to portray and enjoy the ball being in character! Facebook event:


Then the next night, Thursday, August 10, in the Performing Arts Tent, starting at 9:00pm, the Commedia All Stars troupe will perform a new scenario called “Scallion Stew” very much inspired by the satire blog “The SCAllion” (An Onion style blog poking fun at the SCA).  This is where you get to see what a Commedia Laurel can do! Laughs are guaranteed, and current events will be made fun of! (Basis of the plot is the drama experienced by my friend Master Wistric when he was sanctioned by the SCABOD – see the article from the SCAllion here:  ) (PS: Wistric is being HONORED in our play by being the HERO to save us all at the end!)  Facebook event:


Please do not hesitate to ask questions or come join the fun! Email me if you need any help – orangesophie AT gmail.


Other Pennsic Performances I’m running:

Whose Cause Is It Anyway?  An improv comedy show supporting Ukraine!  Friday August 4 at 6:00pm at the Performing Arts Tent. Facebook event


Court of Misrule!  The folks at the Pleasure Pavilions (formerly known as “Vlad’s”) in block E20

have challenged the kingdoms of the known world to prove they are NOT BORING!  The King and Queen of Atlantia have selected me and my commedia friends as the CHAMPIONS OF NOT BORING ATLANTIA!!!!  We shall compete against other Fools representing other kingdoms on Saturday night of middle weekend, August 5, at the Pleasure Pavilions E20

for the right to prove our kingdom is NOT BORING!  Doors open at 8:30pm and show starts at 9:30pm.


Intro to Commedia class!  Cuz I can’t not teach. 😉   Thursday August 3 at 12:00 – 1:00pm.  Followed by Iron Commedia workshop run by The Honorable Lady Avelina del Dolce with a show at 5:00pm!

Continue reading

Casa Firenzi Story Episode 4

My fourth and final submission to the Persona Challenge of summer 2022: developing a persona of a female entertainer who performs espionage in 1580 Florence for the family “Firenzi.”

My beloved mistress,
When you sent me, my sister, and my husband to the Pennsic Faire to listen for evidence of rebellion from the Barons and Baronesses of Atlantia, I never dreamed of witnessing such horrors.
As you said before we left, we would gain access to many gatherings under our guise as entertainers. We were, in fact, welcomed and left unescorted among many nobles and high ranking leaders
of the Kingdom of Atlantia and many of her cousin kingdoms. I prepared myself to hear the whispers of rebellion, and while that would have been heart wrenching to witness, my ears and soul witnessed much worse darkness flowing among the people of Pennsic Faire.

Your friend, the Queen of Atlantia, has nothing to worry about. The people of her kingdom are faithful to the crown above all else. There was, however, a more evil flow of rumor and gossip exchanged between the people of Atlantia. Never had I ever before known such worry and fear spoken between those portrayed as friends. Never had I ever before known such whispers of betrayal between neighbors.

Never had I ever known the population of a fairly ruled barony to fear the ultimate, heart wrenching insult – a threat to their supply of beer.

Brewed beverages are what keep a population happy and peaceful while great labors are demanded of them day after day. To threaten the supply of a barony’s beer barrels is so unthinkable I can hardly bear it.

My heart aches to report to you that your friends, the Baron and Baroness of Marinus, are at the center of this rumor. Also, their neighbors, the Baron and Baroness of Stierbach, are deeply steeped in flowing gossip. I disguised myself as a servant to listen to their tense conversation at Pennsic, and I overheard their discussion, nay panic, over the threat of their beer supplies.
My friend, Katherine, from the Kingdom of Aethlemearc, another comic actress engaged in spy work, confirmed hearing similar rumblings as she listened as well. Between both our efforts joined,
we can reliably report to you the following.

Upon the days of November 11, 12, and 13 in a city named Cortland, Virginia, their peoples will gather for war. Soldiers, archers, swordsmen, those that fight with rebated steel, and axe throwers
will flood the lands of the Barony of Marinus. They are rumored to eat the eggs of the devil, Persephone’s Pomegranates of Hades, and use some kind of dark magic to make a cake from cheese.
The dark cheese magic was said to come from the city of Istanbul or Constantinople. It’s unclear which. This great war will undoubtedly be held in a swamp if the lands of Cort are truly as moist as people say.

The last note of evidence I have for you is so fraught with danger I cannot risk it being read by even our trusted messenger from Casa Firenzi. I will include it below using the cypher you taught me named after the great Roman leader that will someday be worthy of a play written in iambic pentameter. But instead of his unlucky number as key, I shall remind you of my favorite color and hope you discover my meaning.

Below is a drawing I made of a spy master I met at Pennsic who taught me many more ways of hiding information. Please note the second drawing I made of the great leaders of Marinus and Stierbach. Their fear is real, and the threat to their beer supply is terrifying. I hope that our network of informants may serve to ease their pain.

In service to our Casa Firenzi and my beloved Marchesa Firenzi, does Sophia the Orange devote her heart and soul.

Hgxutkyy Mktkl joyroqky hkkx!


The English Spymaster teaching espionage at Pennsic

Marinus and Stierbach in a secret meeting at Pennsic





(A secret source for breaking the code of my message: )

Casa Firenzi Story Episode 3

Casa Firenzi Story Episode 3:

Sophia and Manus are now married, and successfully gathering information throughout Florentine society for the Marchesa Firenzi. Manus continues correspondence with other naturalists throughout Europe, and Sophia continues to attend social gatherings with the Marchesa. Their next assignment is to attend the international Pennsic fair in the Kingdom of Aethleamearc. The Marchesa Firenzi is concerned that rumblings and rumors of rebellion in the Kingdom of Atlantia might have an effect on her friend, the Queen of Atlantia, so she is sending her people to gather information at Pennsic fair.
As luck would have it, Sophia and Manus have been building another method of expanding their spy network. They have built a troupe of actors to perform the Italian Comedy plays popular in Florence nowadays. The troupe, i Firenzi, performs at private and public events to both entertain and also gain access to social gatherings. When the troupe members listen carefully to the conversations around them, they gather information about who’s doing what in Florence. Now that the Marchesa is concerned about what’s happening in her friend’s kingdom of Atlantia, she is sending her spies to Pennsic.


Casa Firenzi Story Episode 2

Casa Firenzi Story Episode 2:

Sophia has been working as a dance and music tutor for the Marchesa Firenzi in Florence for about a month now. She’s learning that life in the household of a powerful merchant family means more than just teaching the children dance and music. Survival among the powerful families of Florence means staying informed, and that means listening carefully. In this episode, Sophia is launched into the society of Florence beside the Marchesa Firenzi. Romance blossoms between Sophia and Manus, the Firenzi Master Gardener, but societal norms require discretion.

Casa Firenzi Story2

Casa Firenzi Story – Episode 2 – work in progress

Script/Scenario for A Story Told By Video

Setting: The Rose Garden at Casa Firenzi
Characters: Manus the Rose Master and Sophia the Tutor

Setup/Argument: Sophia and Manus have fallen in love on the journey to Florence. They are working for the Marchese and Marchesa Firenzi and are stealing private moments in the rose garden at Casa Firenzi. Sophia is tutoring the family’s children. Manus is managing the gardens and building new gardens at Casa Firenzi.

Possible settings for recording video:

Manus is working in the rose garden. Sophia comes in to discuss something urgent. Manus is interested in exchanging a rose for a kiss.

Sophia’s students, the children of the Marchese and Marchesa Firenzi, are practicing three different styles of piva, an Italian dance step famous for having many variations.
She’s instructed the musicians to play 10 minutes straight of Petite Vrien so the children can practice their piva.

Sophia tells Manus that this morning the Marchesa asked her to accompany her at a dinner party tonight.
The other guests will be mothers and wives of a few other merchant families in Florence.
The Medici are not among the guests.

Sophia and Manus are excited but nervous because the last party Sophia attended with the Marchesa was not a simple dinner party.
The Marchesa asked Sophia to be especially attentive to listening to conversations. At home, the Marchesa quizzed Sophia on what she heard.
The Marchesa was pleased and told Sophia she wanted her to begin learning the art of observation.

Manus recounts being at dinners when visiting the University of Leiden when he heard a great many conversations he was not actually in if he just stood quietly.
They agree that survival in Florence often relied on who had information and the Marchesa may be grooming Sophia to assist in the family’s efforts to gather information.

Sophia and Manus discuss upcoming appointments with other tutors which may allow them to gather more information.
One of those tutors is Fabrizio who is working with a group of actors to produce a comedy play. They hope to bring that play to
the Casa Firenzi. If Fabrizio knows the art of observation, his troupe of actors might be a good addition to the artists supported by Casa Firenzi.

Sophia and Manus discuss the dangerous nature of spying and where their protection and risks lie.
They end with a kiss.

Casa Firenzi Story – Episode 1

The Casa Firenzi Story and origin of i Firenzi, the Commedia dell’ Arte Troupe – Episode 1 – A letter to my sister

London, England, March 3, 1590

My dearest sister Lucia,
Today is my final day in London. Tomorrow I begin my journey to meet you in Florence. I cannot believe my good fortune! I hope this letter reaches you before I do!

Please express to your dear friend, the Marchesa Firenzi, my eternal gratitude for bringing me into her household. You have spoken so well of her and the family Firenzi for so long that I feel blessed to be included by her. After our parents went to God, I never dreamed we would be part of a large family again.

And how large! The Marchesa’s ten children simply must be overwhelming to keep up with. No wonder you need help with tutoring them. I promise I will provide them focused lessons in dance and music. I will naturally focus on the popular Caroso style, but I hope the Marchesa doesn’t mind some English style dance from the Inns of Court to ensure her children are well rounded. Don’t worry, I won’t mention that man, Arbeau. And your secret fencing lessons for the girls are our precious secret. Maybe you could teach me some fencing when I arrive?

To be part of one of the most powerful families in Florence is a little intimidating. Everyone knows the Medici, Sforzas, Gonzagas, Firenzi, and other powerful Italian families are always at each other’s throats. I pray we don’t get pulled into any political adventures. It’s far too easy to find oneself dead or missing in a country full of assassins. Of course Elizabeth’s England is not much better. At least in Florence I will live with the protection of a powerful household.

Speaking of protection, please send thanks to the Marquess Firenzi for sending the kind gentleman to escort me all the way to Florence. I never thought such an act of chivalry would focus on me, but I am grateful for the company. Traveling on my own terrified me.

My escort is an enchanting and well educated man. He was apparently meeting academic colleagues at the University of Leiden when he got orders from the Marchese to travel through London on his way home. He has collected me and we will travel together home to Casa Firenzi in Florence. I’m certain the conversation will continue to be interesting. He is a brilliant naturalist with a deep facination with roses. He worked with the Master Clusius on building that famous garden in Vienna a few years ago for the Holy Roman Emperor, Maxamillian II. But I’m sure you know that already since he’s been part of the Firenzi household for 5 years by now, and he’s a talkative fellow. He’s extremely proud of the garden he’s built for the Marchesa. I just hope the travel conversation may cover more topics than the many varieties of roses he’s grown. Roses all look the same to me, but the differences between rose varieties is extremely important to him. I wonder if he knows anything about tulips? At least he’s handsome, so if the conversation gets boring, the scenery is pleasant.

Once I get to Florence, the first thing I want to do is see the Italian comic actors! It’s been very hard for me to see them when they occasionally come to a London house. I never seem to be invited to the right dinners. I’ve heard wonderful stories of their high energy comedy. And they include women in their troupes! I would just die of joy if I were ever allowed to perform with a troupe of men and women who get paid to enchant their patrons with humor! I have heard that these troupes of actors actually earn a living. Just like The Queen Elizabeth’s Men, but with women and high energy comedy!

You know I love that incredible new writer, William Shakespeare, but there is no possibility I would be allowed to perform his works being a woman in Elizabeth’s England. At least not anywhere respectable.

Dear sister, my new life in Florence will have everything I’ve ever wanted! I will live under the same roof with you again. I will see comedy in the streets. I will teach young people the beauty of music and dance. I will be part of a large family with reliable protection. And I might even catch the eye of the handsome rose master. Don’t tell him I said that.

With deep love and great excitement,
Your eternally loving sister,


International Commedia dell’ Arte Day 2022 – Three shows!

This past month was a whirlwind of amazing Commedia rehearsals and prep leading up to February 25 – International Commedia dell’ Arte Day!

The Italian Cultural Association (“SAT” in Italian), is officially recognized by UNESCO as an NGO active in the field of Intangible Heritage. Every year, they host an online catalog of Commedia activities throughout the world on their website here.  SAT’s annual celebration is known as International Commedia dell’ Arte Day!

Since 2014, i Firenzi has annually performed a show as an approved part of this international catalog. In 2021, we hosted two online discussion panels due to COVID restrictions (First Panel, Second Panel)

THIS YEAR, i Firenzi performed a live in-person performance of “The Dog Servant”, a scenario written in the 16th century Italian commedia style by my good friend Michael McAfee.

i Firenzi "The Dog Servant"
But wait, there’s more! I also produced another show and played in another…

My Commedia All Stars Online troupe performed a livestream with Kal’s Korner of a scenario I wrote and directed titled “The People of Ravenna in Quarantine – Episode 2”

I played the role of Franceschina in the i Sebastiani production online of “The Faithful Friend” an adaptation of a Scala scenario, written and directed by my dear friend Catherine Crow!

The recording of the i Firenzi performance of “The Dog Servant” can be seen on our You Tube Channel here when we’re done processing it. You can currently see our first performance of the scenario from November 2021.

The recording of the Commedia All Stars livestream can be seen on Kalbardr’s Korner’s You Tube Channel here  The host, Richard “Kal” Harris, was an amazing livestream host for us!

The recording of the i Sebastiani production of “The Faithful Friend” is here.

You may notice that the three shows have very different styles.

  • The i Sebastiani production was an attempt to keep very closely to a style of Commedia as was done in the 16th century. They work hard at not using modern slang, using period authentic costumes, and keeping to the original scenario by Scala but adapted to a modern audience.
  • The i Firenzi production trades off some of the historic accuracy for more laughs. We also have more new actors since i Firenzi includes a mission of teaching Commedia.
  • The Commedia All Stars Online doesn’t completely throw historic accuracy out the window, we keep the tropes and characters, but we include “magic” that allows us to put the story in a modern context of people using Zoom and internet resources – for laughs.

Each performance has different styles, and they’re all Commedia with plenty of laughs!

In a completely separate event, some of my beloved teachers were part of a group interview that happened on the same day Commedia All Stars did our livestream:

World Commedia Day 2022 interviews from Bill and Barry’s Mini Commedia Fest online
You’ll see here:
1) My online commedia coach, Fabrizio Paladin
2) Barry Grantham who taught me Commedia at the UK Chalamie Easter School for Historic Performing Arts in 2019
3) Bill Tuck who came with his wife Barbara Segal to teach dance and music at the Known World Dance and Music Symposium in 2017 hosted by the Kingdom of Atlantia
4) and i Sebastiani!

For more information about Commedia, a starter kit for learning on your own, and more videos, see my troupe website:

Whose Cause Is It Anyway?

This group of friends gathered to support causes we believe in by producing livestreamed comedy improv shows! We produce shows at least once a month streamed to You Tube with links in the comments to a particular cause we support including links to politicians we support, personal PayPal links to personal fundraising causes, and charity organizations we believe in. We perform under the name “Whose Cause Is It Anyway” and also “Whose Election Is It Anyway” and “Whose Virus Is It Anyway?”

Whose Cause Is It Anyway GIF for May show

Causes we have supported include:

  1. Act Blue Fundraising for many candidates and issues we believe in:
  2. The Trevor Project in support of LGBTQ+ Youth
  3. Personal fundraising for a friend fighting cancer: PayPal via Mr.Wednesday1066 AT gmail DOT com
  4. Stacey Abrams Fair Fight Initiative
  5. Fredericksburg, VA Regional Food Bank

Our playlist of recorded shows is on You Tube here:

Troupe Members ebb and flow but informally include:

  • Amanda Catherine Mulder
  • Andrew Harasty
  • Bill “Dai” Sutton
  • Crystal Welch
  • Emilly Miller
  • Erica Harrah
  • Laura J. Parker
  • Mary Pruitt
  • Ben Coffee
  • Michael Greenstein
  • Romni Rossi
  • Thomas TJ Carani
  • And I, Lara Coutinho-Dean, produce, livestream, direct the troupe.

If you would like to ask for us to support a cause you believe in, please leave a comment here with an email address where we can reach you. Please also include the URL for people to use for sending in money and the reasons why you believe in this cause.


Atlantia Twelfth Night Event 2021

Atlantia Twelfth Night Event, January 9, 2021 in 4 parts:

  1. The Apprenticing Ceremony of Mistress Teleri Barod and Lady Sonya Flicker
  2. The new Award of the Narwal
  3. Shakespeare at the Spanish Twelfth Night
  4. Atlantia’s Royal Bard competition

The Apprenticing Ceremony of Mistress Teleri and Lady Sonya

1) The Apprenticing Ceremony of Mistress Teleri Barod and Lady Sonya Flicker

I had the true joy of helping two dear friends, Mistress Teleri Barod and Lady Sonya Flicker, to create and livestream a beautiful ceremony marking their choice to begin a formal relationship as Laurel and Apprentice. They both spent a great deal of time discussing how to begin and structure their relationship as well as how to express it to our larger SCA community.

I helped them translate their vision into an online public ceremony including social time in private on Zoom afterwards with their chosen family. Here is the recording of their ceremony which I believe is an excellent example to share with others. They have granted permission for this video to be published publicly for all to see.


If any folks out there would like assistance in creating and livestreaming their ceremony, of any kind, please let me know if you would like my help. I am enjoying this opportunity to use my theater and technical skills to help our community stay connected through these joyous ceremonies.

Much like our beloved Baron Bardolf, Baroness Machteld and others who serve with photography in the SCA, I charge no fee but would ask for the permission to edit and publish publicly the final recording I help create.


2) The new Award of the Narwal

A new award in the Kingdom of Atlantia for special, innovative service during the time of COVID.

Their most noble Majesties of Atlantia created a new award yesterday with an Augmentation of Arms called The Narwal (a swordfish type whale). This award is for recognizing the special service many SCAdians have devoted during the time of COVID to keep their SCA communities running.

I sincerely appreciate this action from our Crowns because the life changing of 2020 required creative problem solving to keep the SCA alive. The people included in this first round of recognition included 50 Atlantians, of which I am one. <3


My deepest gratitude is sent to Their Majesties for including me in this very special group of people. I am thrilled and humbled to be included in this group of innovators. I have seen the work of most of these folks as innovative, creative, groundbreaking, and dedicated to keeping our community alive. I am grateful Their Majesties noted that much of this work was very different from what these folks would be doing at in-person events. A special, separate recognition is a heartwarming way to say thank you.


No one knew we needed the things this group created when COVID hit in March 2020.  Their contributions to the new playbook of “How to SCA Online” is nothing short of magic.  It’s very different work to create new stuff when there is no manual, no Peer in “COVID LIFE” to ask for advice, and we’re all improvising during a global crisis. 


That walk in the dark is a challenge these folks all stepped up to.

I am thrilled to be included in this group of out-of-the-box thinkers and creators.

Link to Court’s recording (Narwhal portion starts at minute 9)


Atlantia's Twelfth Night Shakespeare Players

A troupe of Shakespeare players travels from London every year to wherever the Atlantian Royalty celebrates the holidays. Many great performances are done, money is made, and shenanigans abound!

3) Shakespeare at the Spanish Twelfth Night

Shakespeare appeared again at this year’s Atlantia Twelfth Night event! This year the theme was Spanish as the location of our virtual event was the Castell de Cordona. Our daring troupe of Shakepearian actors from London again braved the risks of international travel to bring the works of Shakespeare to new locations!


Unfortunately, one of our members gave away all our travel money in a fit of Christmas spirit, and now we have to busk in the street or find a new gig to make money to travel home to London!    (We usually pass the hat for our favorite organization, The Trevor Project which supports LGBTQ Youth, but this year we’re just asking folks to donate on their own at this link: )


Thankfully, our business contacts, Capitano Spavento and his wife Katarina, know many rich and noble patrons of the arts and will certainly help us find a well paying gig. Here is the link to the raw footage  I will tweak it to include written credits later…

My deepest gratitude to the troupe of talented players from many Kingdoms for their inspiring performances:

  • Lady Meriorie Matheson
  • milord Joshua
  • Mistress Rhonwen glyn Conwy
  • Meister Frydherik Eysenkopf, called Fritz
  • Tiarna Donnchadh mac Eoin
  • Lady Catarina Caravello
  • THL Cael O’Conaill the Leafy Greene
  • Lady Edekyn O Fierhie
  • Lady Celia le Fleur
  • Lord Owyn De Wolfe
  • Baroness Sophia the Orange
  • Baron Manus MacDhai

Viewers may also notice the mentions made of many supportive patrons of the arts found in Atlantia:

  • Their Majesties Anton and Luned and their puppies
  • Their Graces Lynette and Ragnar
  • Mestra Esperanza Susanna Flecha
  • Duchess Seonaid
  • Maistreas Cellach
  • Mistress Ceridwen ferch Owain

We are very sorry that Capitano Spavento could not make connection with you on that very busy day, so we will keep in touch for later! 😉

4) Atlantia’s Royal Bard competition

For the second time ever, I entered the Atlantia Royal Bard competition. I usually don’t enter because so many other amazing performers compete for the job, but this year I felt my additional virtual skills could be useful if I were chosen.

Singing is not my strong suit, although I can carry a tune in a bucket and not embarrass myself if singing is needed. I am beginning to work on Storytelling as an artform. Although my favorite performing styles of improvisation and Commedia dell’Arte just don’t fit in traditional SCA bardic circles, this competition using video submissions inspired me to try. They asked for 1) A piece that inspires 2) A piece new-to-you 3) A period piece.

  1. For me, inspiration flows from my sister, so with her permission I sang one of the few songs I can carry in that bucket we just talked about: “Only.”
  2. My period piece was a speech from Shakespeare, Henry V, Act 3, Scene 1 “Once More Unto The Breach” where Henry is inspiring his troops to take the city of Harfleur.
  3. My new-to-you piece was a story I’ve known about for many years but never thought to put it into a “Storytelling” format: “The Legend of Inanna” This story is very special to me for a thousand reasons: Sisterhood, my work in women’s support groups, the power of empathy to heal, and many more. I expect to keep developing this piece.

I would genuinely appreciate feedback if given gently, privately, and with a focus on helping me improve my performance. 

Out of the 6 competitors, I was not chosen as one of the 4 finalists nor 2 of the Royal Bards for the year.

That is absolutely no problem for me because there is no shame in coming in behind the other great performers who competed. Truly beautiful pieces were created by the other 5 competitors, and I am thrilled our Kingdom has two magnificent new Royal Bards!


The 6 competitors were:

  1. Me
  2. Lord Ciaran mac Breandain – an excellent vocalist/guitarist who runs global bardic circles,  teaches music theory, notation, songwriting and recently produced his first CD!
  3. Lord Ishmael Stedfast Reed – an amazing poet and storyteller whose performances were captivating to me.
  4. Lady Kame Gusukuma – a lovely performer who brought to us impressive performances from her newly discovered interests in Japanese music.
  5. and our new Rose Bard in service to the Atlantia Queen: Lady Nezhka Orshinaia who is already well known for her beautiful voice and excellent online bardic production
  6. and our new Crown Bard in service to the Atlantia King: Lord Hákon hábrok who brings together his love of music, poetry, and warfighting like the best of Renaissance Men!

I had a lot of fun producing my submission which you can see here:  

Mountains of thanks to Efenwealt, Pippin, and my amazing husband Manus for their help providing accompaniment music and video recording assistance.  Making this video was a fun project to do with you! <3


The Atlantia Twelfth Night event was a wonderful time of connection for me – so much so that I missed out on the lovely virtual ball where my friend Lady Nicolosa organized a TON of great dancers and music to let people connect through dancing in their homes!  And I missed all the bardic.  I just passed out on the sofa.  I am grateful to Duchess Seonaid and her staff for a truly lovely virtual event!