Firestorm Social Island, Second Life – Among the longest active literary programs on the Second Life grid, Seanchai Library will be partnering with popular Third Party Viewer developer Firestorm’s Community Gateway to bring spoken word events and content to their ever-growing audience of new users.
The project will begin with the return of the popular Storytellers’ Sandbox series, which Seanchai Library recently launched, producing three sessions as part of their Crazy Eights project with a Linden Endowment for the Arts grant. The series provides a forum for new stories, new storytellers, and new ways to present them. “We have been brainstorming for a home for this event ever since we closed Crazy Eights,” said Seanchai Lead Caledonia Skytower, “It is a great forum for introducing new voices to the virtual spoken story community. It also provides more experienced voices a chance to explore the incredible possibilities for immersion in a virtual performance experience. Sets, avatars, effects - there is excellent work being done in all these areas, both from the story-initiated creators, and by visual artists sharing the narratives of their work. The limitations are always time, prims, and the ability to draw an audience.”
On Sunday, August 7th at 3pm slt, the first Storytellers’ Sandbox at Firestorm Social Island will mark the launch of this new partnership with six voice performers presenting a mix of original tales and short stories in a showcase of live virtual storytelling. Long-time voices, such as Dubhna Rhiadra and Shandon Loring, will present tales, along with the relatively newer voices of Bryn Taleweaver and Hana Hoo. “This first session is meant to accent the variety of tales and possibilities,” Skytower explained, “ so we have deliberately chosen to avoid a theme.”
“Crap Mariner and Caledonia have been around forever, are so well-connected in their community, and their skills compliment each other. They are the perfect team to be leading this.” added Firestorm Founder, CEO & Project Manager Jessica Lyon. “We really want to expose new residents to the broad possibilities of what they can be involved with in Second Life: music, role play, art, and of course spoken word is a part of that. I am really excited about what Seanchai Library, with these two coordinating this particular effort, can bring to our Gateway.”
Seanchai Library has been an active presence in Second Life since 2008, with Caledonia Skytower and Shandon Loring as its Lead Staff since 2012. In addition to Seanchai, Caledonia also produced StoryFest Events, which presented four annual festival style live story events: StoryFest, Bard on the Virtual beach, BOOFest, and The Dickens Project. In 2015, StoryFest Events was merged into ongoing Seanchai programming. Skytower has worked with Fantasy Faire,Magicland Park, Avatar Repertory Theater, the University of Washington iSchool, and was the chief architect behind the recent Crazy Eights project at Linden Endowment for the Arts region 9. She works with Shandon Loring in developing the Library’s branches on InWordz and Kitely, taking the lead on the “Explore” projects which partner with real world organizations to develop virtual learning tools for audience augmentation of performing arts experiences.
The Firestorm Community Gateway userbase poses a new challenge for the Seanchai storytellers. “Most of the audiences at our events are veteran Second Life users, who have to deal with the occasional frustrations of Voice issues in Second Life. Firestorm Community Gateway introduces hundreds of new and inexperienced users to Second Life. We’ll find ways to leverage the power of Second Life and the skill of the ever-present and patient Firestorm Support Staff to quickly diagnose and assist these users with Voice so they can enjoy these performances as part of their early Second Life experience.”
Longtime Second Life resident, spoken word veteran, and Seanchai Friend and Performer R. Crap Mariner of the 100 Word Stories Podcast joins the partnership as an organizer, planner, and all-around grunt-of-all-trades. “I heard Jessica Lyon in an interview at the 13th Second Life Birthday, and she called for performers and events at Firestorm’s Community Gateway. She even invited me to perform there, but my material doesn’t quite fit the G-rating of their regions. I turned to my friend Caledonia Skytower and suggested that we put together a greater Spoken Word Project. We both look forward to bringing workshops and other events that will introduce the new users to spoken word, and introduce spoken word communities to new audiences, members, and participants.”
Plans for additional events that introduce poetry, writing, and other spoken word and literature opportunities are in development. More details will be available on this partnership over the next several months. Seanchai Library will continue to present their weekly story sessions, Monday through Thursday at 7pm slt, and in various weekend sessions on their home parcel at the Community Virtual Library on the Bradley University sim (http://maps.secondlife.com/
secondlife/Bradley% 20University/100/209/28) as well as their branch on the InWorldz grid, and on the Kitely grid on the open metaverse. R. Crap Mariner will continue to produce his daily 100 Word Stories Podcast and conduct readings inworld at his Clocktree Reading Room (http://maps.secondlife.com/ secondlife/Edloe/128/128/29)
Information on Firestorm Viewer, as well as links to their social media presence can be found online athttp://www.firestormviewer.
Information on Seanchai Library schedules and programs, as well as links to their social media presence can be found online at http://irelandslstory.
Information on R. Crap Mariner and the 100 Word Stories Podcast, as well as links to his social media presence can be found online at http://oneadayuntilthedayidie.
Storytellers’ Sandbox at Firestorm Gateway, Social Island http://maps.secondlife.com/
Caledonia Skytower, Seanchai Library