Pennsic Classes 2017

Classes I am teaching this Pennsic, just click on a link to view the handouts.

Dead Men Walking – on fear of the walking dead in the Middle Ages and the methods used to prevent the dead from coming back, based on archaeological evidence, with reconstructions of these atypical burials as visual aides.

Baba Yaga – on Baba Yaga. The handout has updated references

Fairy Tale and Legend Workshop and Composition in Performance – discussion of composition in performance as a period storytelling technique and summary of V. Propp’s structural analysis of the magic folktales. This is a two hour workshop, participants in the workshop will create a fairy tale, and, if time allows, a legend.

Writing Commedia Scenarios – a two hour workshop dedicated to writing scenarios based on sixteenth century models which are suitable for modern troupes and audiences.


Decoding Embroidery

Slowly but surely, uploading my class handouts:

Decoding Russian and Ukrainian Embroidery – a class dedicated to common motifs in Slavic embroidery, and their meaning. Discusses common motifs and symbols, their origins and change over time. I first taught a very early version of this class, I think in 2006, and have been teaching it intermittently at Pennsic, usually in conjunction with Pagan Beliefs in Pre-Christian Russia. I have also taught it at May 2017 BMDL Fiber Guild meeting, and will be teaching it at 2017 Aethelmearc War Practice.

Catching up!

I have a lot of catching up to do – I still have class handouts and scenarios to upload, but first I will upload all of my Ice Dragon 2017 documentation. I had seven entries, and got really carried away with documenting, so there is a lot, but I hope to be done within a week. You can check out the Ice Dragon 2017 tab above!

Pennsic 2016….

Greatest Pennsic 2016 accomplishment – not getting a heat stroke.

Less significant, but still very happy about: taught four classes:  Baba-Yaga, the Fairy Tale and Legend Workshop, Vampires – Separating Fiction from Fiction, and Writing Scenarios for Commedia dell’Arte.

The classes went very well, but there is always room for improvement. Next year will  separate the section on vampire burials out of the main class,  as I have too much information to cram it into my vampire handout.

Will need to rework the Scenario writing class as well. I requested a one hour time slot for it, and it is plenty for the scenario writing part. However, I did not count on students wanting more information on the history of commedia and characters in period. Next year, I will have to teach it as a two hour class, like my Fairy Tale workshop, or separate it into two classes, and teach them back to back (even though it will eat into my four class limit with Pennsic University, unless I find another venue….)

All the Pennsic 2016 handouts are uploaded, the Scenario class does not have a separate handout, as I am using the Compleat Anachronist 172.

Also, I saw my scenarii performed by I Genesii ( A Dutiful Daughter, with TRMs of Aethelmearc Byron and Ariella and Princess Leah as very special guests!)  and by Pennsic All-Stars (Three weddings and a funeral).

Posted scenarios to follow!

Compleat Anachronist # 172: Characters and Scenarios of Early Commedia dell’Arte

It’s finally written, edited, edited, more edited, printed, bound, mailed and received!

If you want a hard copy, and you are a CA subscriber, you already probably have one! If you are not a subscriber, and want a copy, order from the website. If you are quite content with a digital document, you can find it here:

Compleat Anachronist 172 : Characters and Scenarios of Early Commedia dell’Arte

It does not quite give you the experience of holding the booklet in your hands, but it’s good enough! For those of you who want to enhance your digital experience by looking at the cover of the CA first, here is the cover art and the link to the actual cover is below:

CA ink

CA 172 cover

The drawing was done on cream paper with walnut ink, based on the Recueil Fossard engravings form mid 1580’s.



Vampires- Separating Fiction from Fiction

Well, it’s been a while since I taught this vampire class – I taught it at Pennsic from 2009 to 2011, and then put it on hold, as there was very little new information available.

But, a lot of new information came out, including some wonderful archaeological evidence on medieval revenants, so tomorrow I am teaching it again at Sunderoak A&S night!

This is the handout, with minimal changes, I am planning on revamping it (pun intended), and adding additional references, pending several interlibrary loan items coming through. But, for now, here is the Vampires – Separating Fiction from Fiction!