Previewing The Dickens Project 2019 in Second Life

The Dickens Project 2019: the Museum of Dickens Projects Past, the Dickens Library and the Listening Room

The 2019 edition of The Dickens Project formally opens its doors on Sunday, December 1st, 2019, ready to offer a month long celebration of the Christmas / holiday season and the life and works of Charles Dickens in Victorian England. Centred upon a series of reading of what is perhaps his most popular novel – and one which still resonates with meaning today – A Christmas Carol, the Dickens Project present a full region of events and immersive activities for visitors to enjoy.

To summarise the Project, one could bullet-point it as including:

  • Over 60 hours of live music, spoken word, dance events and performances.
  • Self-selectable interactive elements, including:
    • The “Urchins in Dickens’ London” role-play/game/experience, and opportunities for both RP and Non-RP guests.
    • The Story Path: an audio-assisted walk through the Project and A Christmas Carol.
    • Tours of the region by carriage and balloon.
    • Free period costumes, so you can explore the region “in character”.
  • Dozens of performers, presenters, and special guests including Patch Linden himself.
  • Educational and interpretive content to encourage questions like “What was Tiny Tim suffering from anyway?”

As is traditional with the Project, the region is broadly set out as a set of interconnected area reflecting the various parts of A Christmas Carol: Christmas Past, Christmas Present, Christmas Yet to Come and The End of It All. Each area offers various points of interest and activities, some of which I’ve highlighted below. To help you find your way around, this year’s event includes a map of locations, which I’ve reproduced here.

The Dickens Project Map – click for full size, if required

The Dickens Project Highlights

Region Tours: Take a 20-25 minutes tour of the region via horse and carriage or hot air balloon.

Bay Rum Royal of Canterwell, the stylish horse and carriage tour supplied by Elite Equestrian returns to The Dickens Project for its 3rd year. Offering a 25-minute double loop tour of the region for up to four people at a time, regular stopping points on the route allowing riders to hop on or off as she waits. She may even also offer the occasional gift or give and advice and information about the locations as you pass them.

Tour the region by carriage with Bay Rum Royal of Canterwell

The Hot Air Balloon allows you to explore the region for the air, and includes a special ascent to The Opera House, the region’s skybox events area.

Of course, you can also walk through the streets and alleys of region, or if you prefer you can enjoy a self-guided pony-ride, courtesy of Merrylegs the Shetland Pony. Provided by Elite Equestrian, he can generally be found in their stables in the region, unless someone is riding him. Just sit on him, turn off your avatar’s AO, and use the normal movement keys as if walking. Please return him to the stables at the end of your ride!

The Story Path Voices Audio Tour: collect your free HUD from the kiosk at the landing point and ADD it (it will wear invisibly and operate automatically), then follow the Story Path markers through the region (including into and out of some of the buildings) at normal walking pace to hear over 40 selected voice clips from A Christmas Carol, as well as music and sound effects as you step over the markers.

The Story Path kiosk and one of the route markers (l); a story plinth note card giver (r)

Hearing and Reading A Christmas Carol: drop in at the Dickens Reading Room, sink into a comfortable armchair, turn on the audio stream and hear A Christmas Carol read by the storytellers of Seanchai Library and their friends any time you like. Or if you prefer, look out for the plinths set out within the various parts of the region and touch them to collect parts of the story on note card.

Role-play with the Urchins’ In Dickens London or free-form: Created by Aoife Lorefield, a Dickens Project co-creator Urchins In Dickens’ London will be available throughout The Dickens Project 2019 run. Residents of all ages are welcome to participate. Look for the Urchin Information kiosk and click on the poster offering the game HUD. Inside the package, you’ll find instructions on how to get started. Also check the Urchins in Dickens’ London web page.

Charles Dickens was ever a champion of children, writing stories about those who were poor and unprotected,” says Lorefield, “His child characters are often triumphant, finding ways to build lives of purpose and sometimes even happiness in a difficult time.

– Aoife Lorefield on Urchins In Dickens’ London

The Dickens Project 2019

For those who fancy free-form role-play as a character from Victorian London (you don’t have to be a specific character from A Christmas Carol or any other Dickens novel), then check-out The Dickens Project role-play page and jump over to the region and grab a free period outfit (or just use one of your own!).

The Dickens Resource Centre and Dickens Library, presented by the Community Virtual Library (CVL): the Dickens Resource Centre features research exhibits on Charles Dickens and elements of his historical era created by CVL volunteers, many of whom are professional librarians or information technology specialists. It will also be the site of the San Jose State University VCARA School’s Dickens Read Along, and numerous tours by educational interest groups from across Second life.

The Dickens Library focuses on the canon of Charles Dickens, and connecting guests with the scope of his work: including all 15 novels, five novellas, and connections to sources for the hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles. The Dickens Library makes the connection to an entire world of literature for guests.

Find out more about both on the Seanchai Library web site.

Events and entertainment: throughout the month, The Dickens Project will feature dance, music, and theatre, both on the ground and up in the Opera House overhead. Once again, Idle Rogue Productions and Misfit Dance & Performance Art will be presenting performances, and the Project will again feature contributions from Ce Soir Arts, Radio Riel, and Innsmouth SL. Fantasy Faire Radio also joins in the events for the first time this year, broadcasting music from Dickens Square on December 18th, and presenting an encore performance of its radio drama The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (see Jekyll and Hyde in Second Life for more on this production).

The Dickens Project 2019: Inside the Opera House

And, of course, there will be the readings of A Christmas Carol, including the popular “Carol Week”, with a section of Dickens’ novella presented live each day in a tour of the sites on the region inspired by the story. Also, Saturday, December 21st will feature Fezziwig’s Ball, and the Christmas Week culminates in The Big Read on Sunday, December 22nd. starting at noon SLT, this will feature a relay-style reading of A Christmas Carol involving 9-12 voices.

Full details of all events can be found in The Dickens Project calendar, below. All times SLT.

So, get set for another Dickens of a Christmas in Second Life!

SLurl and Links

2019 Dickens Project in Second Life announced

The Dickens Project 2018

In 2012, and to mark Dickens Bicentenary Year, Seanchai Library took their Christmas readings of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and created The Dickens Project, an interactive event centred on a series of readings of the book presented within an interactive environment celebrating Dickens’ life and work. Since 2012, The Dickens Project has become a Second Life tradition in the Christmas / holiday season.

Over the years, the Project has grown in size, from a small parcel to a full region, providing an immersive environment in which to enjoy what is perhaps Dickens’ most famous novel and explore his life and the era in which he lived. Now, for 2019, Seanchai Library has announced that The Dickens Project will again be opening its doors once more on December 1st, 2019.

Caledonia Skytower, Shandon Loring (centre) and Kayden Oconnell in an evocative shot of the virtual / live performance by Bear Silvershade

I’ve followed the Project throughout the last eight years, and have always appreciated the scale and depth of the event – and am not in the least surprised that it has become a staple of many residents’ holiday celebrations in Second Life. However, for those not familiar with the event, here are some highlights of what it encompasses:

  • A full region designed to reproduce the famous settings for A Christmas Carol within a larger location representative of Victorian London.
  • Over 40 hours spread through the month of December featuring live music, spoken word, dance events and performances and including dozens of performers, presenters and special guests.
  • Self-selectable interactive elements, including the Urchins in Dickens’ London role-play/game/experience, and opportunities for both RP and non-RP guests.
  • Educational and interpretive content to encourage questions like “What was Tiny Tim suffering from anyway?”
The Dickens Project 2017 Edition

This year, The Dickens Project includes a very special guest performer – Patch Linden! I understand he’ll be appearing around twice during the event.

The Dickens Project is not one single thing. It began as purely a story event, but has evolved to be much more. Our goal is to bring residents together around this important literary work and its themes. Whether their interest is historical, educational, artistic, social, recreational, active, and reflective – we work to provide opportunities to engage that are fun and meaningful. 

– The Dickens Project Director, Caledonia Skytower

I’ll have more on the 2019 Dickens Project in due course and ahead of the official opening, including the event schedule of readings and entertainment.

About the Seanchai Library

Seanchai Library (pronounced Shawn-a-kee, which means “Storyteller” in Irish Gaelic.) was founded in March of 2008 in Second Life. The programme remains dedicated to promoting the power of stories to transform and inspire through live voice presentations: “We bring stories of all kinds to life, in Second Life and other virtual worlds.” Find out more by visiting their website. You can join any of their weekly readings of popular stories and works from across all genres of literature in-world – again, check their website or my weekly previews of their upcoming readings.

The Dickens Project 2018: Carol Week in Second Life

The Dickens Project 2018

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and this week’s events are held at The Dickens Project.

Carol Week, December 17th-21st

  • Monday, December 17th 14:00 and 19:00: Stave One: Marley’s Ghost.
  • Tuesday, December 18th:,
    • 12:00 noon: Russell Eponym Live – stories, music, & poetry, on stream
    • 13:00 and 19:00: Stave Two: The First of Three Ghosts.
  • Wednesday, December 19th:
    • 13:45: Raglan Shire Tiny Carollers
    • 14:00: Stave Three: The Second of Three Ghosts.
    • 15:00: DJ DanoBookmite, live in Dickens Square.
    • 19:00: Stave Three: The Second of Three Ghosts.
  • Thursday, December 20th:
    • 12:40: Raglan Shire Tiny Carollers.
    • 13:00 ans 19:00: Stave Four: The Last of the Spirits.
  • Friday, December 21st:
    • 13:00: The Conclusion – The Last of the Spirits (selected) & The End of It.
    • 15:45: Raglan Shire Tiny Carollers.
    • 16:00: The Conclusion – The Last of the Spirits (selected) & The End of It.
    • 19:00: A Very Misfit Christmas – Misfit Dance & Performance Art
  • Saturday, December 22nd:
    • 12:00 Noon: A Very Misfit Christmas – Misfit Dance & Performance Art
    • 14:00-16:00: Fezziwig’s Ball in “Christmas Past” With DJ Dano Bookmite.

All times from the 2018 Dickens Project calendar.


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

The featured charity for August and September is Little Kids Rock, transforming lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in schools.

The Dickens Project 2018 in Second Life

The Dickens Project 2018

In 2012, and to mark Dickens Bicentenary Year, Seanchai Library created The Dickens Project, a celebration of the life and times of Charles Dickens, focused around what is perhaps his most popular novel – and one which still resonates with meaning today – A Christmas Carol. Since then the event has evolved and grown over the years, in the process becoming a Second Life Tradition.

Now in its sixth year, The Dickens Project opened its doors on Friday, November 30th bigger and bolder than ever, offering a truly packed programme of activities, including over 40 hours of events and entertainment across four weeks of exploration and storytelling focused on A Christmas Carol.

What’s new this year? There is no short answer to that. In almost every conceivable way, the Project has flourished in the full region format. This year was a team effort – our first real foray into collaborative build creation. We learned a lot, and we are confident people will enjoy the results.

– The Dickens Project director, Caledonia Skytower

The Dickens Project 2018

Events actually started on November 28th with a preview of Urchins In Dickens’ London – the opportunity for people to discover what it might have been like to live as a poor street urchin in London during Dickens’ time, and to share their experiences. It was followed on November 30th with a special performance by Idle Rogue to mark the official opening of The Dickens Project.

Created by Aoife Lorefield, a Dickens Project co-creator with Caledonia,  Urchins In Dickens’ London will be available throughout The Dickens Project 2018 run, and will culminate in a special Urchins Extravaganza on Wednesday, December 26th. Residents of all ages are welcome to participate, and will find information and the Urchins HUD near the main landing point in Dickens Square. Enquiries about Urchins should be directed to Aoife, with additional information available through the link above.

Charles Dickens was ever a champion of children, writing stories about those who were poor and unprotected,” says Lorefield, “His child characters are often triumphant, finding ways to build lives of purpose and sometimes even happiness in a difficult time.

– Aoife Lorefield on Urchins In Dickens’ London

The Dickens Project 2018

For those who missed the opening performance by Idle Rogue, they will be back on Saturday, December 8th and Saturday, December 15th, as part of a wide-ranging entertainments schedule encompassing music and dance – see the calendar below for more about all the music and dance events. Also participating this year are community contributions led  by the Community Virtual Library (CVL)  and Ce Soir Arts.

Obviously, the main focus of the month remains the presentations of A Christmas Carol in a variety of adaptations, in sections and in its entirety, and at different times to make the live readings accessible to residents from different parts of the globe. Also, other works from within the author’s vast canon are featured in the weeks leading up to “Carol Week” (December 17th through 23rd), which climaxes in a marathon “Big Read” presentation of A Christmas Carol performed by a relay team of Seanchai staff and storytelling friends, scheduled for Sunday, December 23rd. While throughout the month there will be a number of community-related tours of The Dickens Project region.

As with previous iterations, The Dickens Project for 2018 takes place on a regions designed to recreate various settings from A Christmas Carol, and that incorporates additional elements as well, such as the main events square, and CVL’s Dickens Resource Centre.

The Dickens Project: The CVL Dickens Resource Centre

The setting can be toured on foot independently of any story readings, while  Elite Equestrian have provided horse-drawn carriages for those we would prefer more of a pre-planned tours (and one of the horse may even give visitors a gift!), while a hot air balloon located close to the events square provides the opportunity to see the setting from the air.

Further depth is added to the experience this year via an immersive sound scape created by Dagmar Kohime. simply enable local sounds in your viewer, and you’ll experience sounds of all kinds as you explore the region: a fiddler playing at Fezziwig’s warehouse, the sounds of Nephew Fred’s party guests wafting into the street near his home while the Merchants Alley rings with sound of urchin laughter.

In addition, visitors can pick up the Voices of the Story Path HUD on arrival and hear short selections from A Christmas Carol in locations within the region that correspond to settings from the story.

Nor is Dickens the only focus for storytelling: Wednesday, December 26th will focus on tales with a definite Lovercraftian twist. Again, for details on individual events and times, check the calendar below (all times SLT), and also see The Dickens Project at the Seanchai Library website.

 

SLurl Details

It’s Carol Week with Seanchai Library in Second Life

Seanchai Library

It’s time to highlight another week of storytelling in Voice by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and this week’s events are held at The Dickens Project.

Sunday, December 10th

13:00: Tea-Time with Dickens

Join Seanchai Library at Redemption Square. for more from Oliver Twist  to share, and a pivotal chapter from Great Expectations.

14:00: Dancing with Elrik Merlin

Elrik Merlin has been a Second Life resident for almost 11 years, and a presenter on Radio Riel for over ten. He programmes the station’s Main Stream two days a week, and handles technical aspects of the station along with international music licensing. He also co-hosts Designing Worlds, the popular TV series on design and designers in virtual worlds. He occasionally DJs for friends and good causes.

Join the Library staff, Elrik Merlin and friends at Redemption Square.

The Dickens Project 2017 Edition

Carol Week, December 11th-16th

  • Monday, December 11th:
    • 13:45: The Raglan Shire Tiny Carollers!  Wootmas!
    • 14:00 and 19:00: Stave One: Marley’s Ghost.
    • 19:00: VSTE Group Tour
  • Tuesday, December 12th, 14:00 and 19:00: Stave Two: The First of Three Ghosts.
  • Wednesday, December 13th, 14:00 and 19:00: Stave Three: The Second of Three Ghosts.
  • Thursday,  December 14th:
    • 14:00 and 19:00: Stave Four: The Last of the Spirits.
    • 18:45: The Raglan Shire Tiny Carollers! Wootmas!
    • 21:00: A special Seanchai Late Night with Caledonia Skytower.
  • Friday, December 15th:
    • 14:45: The Raglan Shire Tiny Carollers! Wootmas!
    • 15:00: 90 Minute A Christmas Carol
    • 19:00: Misfit Dance & Performance Art*
  • Saturday, December 16th:
    • 12:00 Noon: Misfit Dance & Performance Art*
    • 14:00-16:00: Fezziwig’s Ball in “Christmas Past” With DJ Dano Bookmite.

 

 


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

The featured charity for August and September is Little Kids Rock, transforming lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in schools.

Previewing the Dickens Project 2017 in Second Life

The Dickens Project 2017 Edition

In 2012, and to mark Dickens Bicentenary Year. Seanchai Library created The Dickens Project, a celebration of the life and times of Charles Dickens, focused around what is perhaps his most popular novel – and one which still resonates with meaning today – A Christmas Carol. Since then the event has evolved and grown over the years, in the process becoming a Second Life Tradition.

In 2017, to mark the its fifth anniversary, The Dickens Project will open its doors on Saturday, November 25th, 2017, and run through until Saturday, December 30th, 2017 in a region-wide immersive environment, where visitors can trace Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey, from his place of business, to his home, and onward through his travels with the Ghosts of Christmas to the end of his story. There are also numerous opportunities to learn more about Charles Dickens, his works, the popularity of A Christmas Carol down through the years and – of course – hear the story itself through a series of readings by the Seanchai Library and friends.

The Dickens Project 2017 Edition: A famous place of business

However, there will also be so much more going on over the course of the five weeks, with weekly DJ sessions, stage performances by Guerilla Burlesque, and Misfit Dance & Performance Art, and tours of the experience. For those who prefer to ride rather than walk, there is a carriage ride around the region, pulled by a magnificent shire horse, and balloon rides for a heady Victorian experience in what is designed to be an inspirational build evoking the spirit of A Christmas Carol.

“Every year we learn something new,” said Seanchai Lead Caledonia Skytower in reference to the event, “Something fresh from the text, and something new in how we present it. Our vision has always been to guide our audiences ‘in the steps of Ebenezer Scrooge’ using Dickens words framed by a themed environment, like walking through a live picture book.”

The Dickens Project 2017 Edition

The 2017 Edition will include multiple presentations of A Christmas Carol in a variety of adaptations, in sections and in its entirety, and at different times to make the live readings accessible to residents from different parts of the globe. Other works from within the author’s vast canon are featured in the weeks leading up to “Carol Week” (Monday December 11th, through to Sunday December 17th), which climaxes in a marathon “Big Read” presentation of A Christmas Carol performed by a relay team of Seanchai staff and storytelling friends, scheduled for Sunday, December 17th. There is also an interactive information centre on the times and work of Charles Dickens, designed by the Community Virtual Library.

In 1843 Charles Dickens prefaced his about-to-be classic tale with these words: “I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.” He began the novella in October, completed it in less than six weeks. It went on to become the most successful book of the 1843 holiday season, selling six thousand copies by Christmas and continuing to be popular into the new year.

The Dickens Project 2017 Edition: Christmas Present

The Dickens Project SL is free to attend and explore. The twice daily readings are designed to help reach as wide an SL audience as possible, and will be presented by different volunteers, each giving his or her interpretation of the story and the characters, and visitors are welcome to attend as many readings as they wish.

For full details of the schedule of events for The Dickens Project, please refer to the Seanchai Library blog. In the meantime, I’m reproducing the outlines summary as it stood at the time of writing this preview.

November 2017

  • Saturday, November 25th: Opening Day.
  • Sunday, November 26th:
    • 13:00 – Tea Time with Charles Dickens.
    • 14:00-16:00 – Dancing in “Christmas Past” with DJ Dano Bookmite.

December 2017

  • Friday, December 1st, 20:00: Guerilla Burlesque Show in Dickens Square*
  • Sunday December 3rd:
    • 11:00 – Wald Schridde Live at the Docks – Sea Shanties.
    • 12:00 – ACRL Virtual World Interest Group Tour.
    • 13:00 – Tea Time with Charles Dickens.
    • 14:00-16:00 – Dancing in “Christmas Present” with DJ Dano Bookmite.
  • Tuesday, December 5th,  12:00 noon – Russell Eponym – Music Poetry, and Stories.
  • Friday, December 8th:
    • 09:00 – The NonProfit Commons Group Tour of the Dickens Resource Centre.
    • 20:00 – Guerilla Burlesque Show in Dickens Square*.
  • Sunday, December 10th, 13:00:  Tea Time with Charles Dickens.

Carol Week, December 11th-17th

  • Monday, December 11th, 14:00 and 19:00: Stave One: Marley’s Ghost.
  • Tuesday, December 12th, 14:00 and 19:00: Stave Two: The First of Three Ghosts.
  • Wednesday, December 13th, 14:00 and 19:00: Stave Three: The Second of Three Ghosts.
  • Thursday,  December 14th, 14:00 and 19:00: Stave Four: The Last of the Spirits.
  • Friday, December 15th:
    • 15:00 – 90 Minute A Christmas Carol
    • 19:00 – Misfit Dance & Performance Art*
  • Saturday, December 16th:
    • 12:00 Noon – Misfit Dance & Performance Art*
    • 14:00-16:00 – Fezziwig’s Ball in “Christmas Past” With DJ Dano Bookmite.
  • Sunday, December 17th:
    • 11:00 – Wald Schridde live in Dickens Square.
    • 12:00-15:30 – The Big Read in Dickens Square.

Christmas Week

  • Wednesday, December 20th, 19:00: Community Virtual Library Tour
  • Friday, December 22nd, 12:00 Noon: 90 Minute A Christmas Carol Story Tour
  • Thursday, December 30th – CLOSING DAY:
    • 13:00 – Josie Anderton, LIVE
    • 14:00-16:00 – The Last Dance with DJ Gabrielle Riel
    • 20:00 – Guerilla Burlesque Show in Dickens Square*

* For these large stage performances, please arrive early to grab a seat and let your cache  load.  Music will be playing for your enjoyment during these pre-show times.

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