Stories of blackmail, art, space, and magic

It’s time to kick-off a week of story-telling in voice, brought to our virtual lives by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s Second Life home at Bradley University, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, April 3rd

13:30 Crazy Eights: Tea Time at Baker Street

Crazy Eights sees Caledonia, Corwyn and Kayden reading from The Return of Sherlock Holmes on Sundays from the living room of 221B Baker Street.

Watson (l) and Holmes (c) confront Charles Augustus Milverton (Sidney Paget, Stand Magazine, 1904)

The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton, first published in 1904, but thought to be set in 1899, sees Holmes and Watson retained by wealthy débutante Lady Eva Blackwell, who is being threatened by one Charles Augustus Milverton.

Milverton has obtained compromising letters written by Lady Blackwell, and is demanding £7,000 (around US $700,000 today) in order not to reveal them and so put an end to her engagement, and bring shame down on her family.

Holmes regards Milverton as the “king of the blackmailers”, and more repulsive than any of the fifty or so murderers he has brought to account in his career. He resolves to recover the letters by any means necessary…

This is one of Sir Conan Doyle’s more unusual tales for the Great Detective, as it is believed to be based on a real-life blackmailer, Charles Augustus Howell. Howell was an art dealer who preyed upon an unknown number of people, including the poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti. He met his end under mysterious circumstances in 1890, when his body was found near a public house in Chelsea, London. His throat had been posthumously slit and a ten-shilling coin placed in his mouth. The presence of the coin was known to be a criticism of those guilty of slander.

15:00: Stories at the Park – Holly Kai Park

Stories at the Park - Holly Kai Park

Stories at the Park – Holly Kai Park

Kayden and Caledonia share stories and poetry written for the exhibition at Holly Kai Park’s Art in the Park outdoor gallery which currently features the work of visiting artists Io Bechir, Goodcross, Hana Hoo, Mistero Hifeng and Sisse Singh.

Join us in the stone gazebo (just up the hill from the landing point) surrounded by virtual nature and art. Consider coming a few minutes early, or plan to linger after and explore the sculpture, painting, and photographic art of the featured artists.

Read more here, and visit the Holly Kai Park blog.

Monday April 4th, 19:00 at Crazy Eights: Silent Running

silent runningGyro Muggins commences a reading Harlan Thompson’s novelization of the 1972 screenplay for Silent Running, by screenplay by Mike Cimino, Deric Washburn, and Steven Bochco.

In the future, all plant life on Earth has become extinct. A few specimens have been preserved in enormous, greenhouse-like geodesic domes attached to a fleet of space freighters, currently just outside the orbit of Saturn.

Freeman Lowell, one of four crewmen aboard the freighter Valley Forge, is the resident botanist and ecologist who carefully preserves a variety of plants for their eventual return to Earth and the reforestation of the planet. Lowell spends most of his time in the domes, both cultivating the crops and attending to the animal life.

Then, orders come from Earth to jettison and destroy the domes with nuclear charges and return the freighters to commercial service. Orders Lowell’s crewmates are only too happy to follow if it means a return to Earth. Lowell, however, is less than sanguine about this new turn of envents.

Tuesday April 5th, 19:00: Echo

EchoCaledonia Skytower reads Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Newbery Honour novel.

Three entwined stories focusing on a magical harmonica, start with the tale of 12-year-old German boy Friedrich, growing up in the time of the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Already an outcast because of the birthmark that disfigures his face, Friedrich discovers the harmonica, and with it, hope for the future.

Two years later, 11–year-old Mike Flannery finds himself in possession of the harmonica, and with it, the opportunity to prevent his younger bother being sent away to a state home by the woman who adopted the boys to suit her own purposes.

In the final story, Ivy Lopez, whose parents are migrant farm labourers. It’s a year after Pearl Harbour, and her family find themselves running a farm after the Japanese-American owners are placed in an internment camp. Forced to attend “Americanisation” schooling, Ivy encounters institutional racism, and also strength and refuge when the harmonica enters her life. But soon enough, her family’s ties to the Yamamotos put them in crisis, and Ivy finds herself keeping what she fears is a terrible secret.

Wednesday April 6th 19:00: Night Off

The Seanchai Library folk are taking a break for the day.

Thursday, April 7th

19:00: International Dragon Stories

With Shandon Loring.

21:00 Seanchai Late Night

With Finn Zeddmore.

Friday, April 8th, Seanchai Kitely: Explore Anton Chekhov and the Absurd

vanya and mishaSeanchai Library extends its real world-virtual world partnership with Tacoma Little Theatre with a new Explore the Art immersive environment on the Kitely OpenSim grid. Funded, in part by a grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission, Explore Anton Chekhov and the Absurd will use a mirror image environment to juxtapose a classic country dacha to house information on the Russian dramatist against the present day Bucks County, Pennsylvania farm setting of Christopher Durang’s play, Vanya and Sonia and Misha and Spike.  

Seanchai Library will present readings from the Chekhov’s short stories as well as host tours and visitors from Tacoma Little Theatre’s audience and supporters. The Explore environment will be on a large wall display screen in the lobby during performances, with a computer station, inviting patrons to take a spin through the virtual environment during pre-show, intermission, and after the curtain has come down.

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Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule.

The featured charity for March / April is Project Children, building peace in Ireland one child at a time.

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