[Phoenix-eNews] University of Victoria | Phoenix Theatre eNews: October 2007

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Fri Oct 5 13:29:49 PDT 2007

Welcome!  ...to our first issue of our new email magazine for Phoenix  
Theatre subscribers, previous and current ticket holders, and those  
of you who are interested in the season of plays produced at the  
University of Victoria's Department of Theatre.

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We hope you enjoy it!

Phoenix Theatre @ UVic: eNews
October 2007 • Act 1 Scene 1
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eNews | Behind the Scenes | Upcoming | Phoenix Phacts | Perks | Kudos

eNews: Calling all clever theatre puns -Name the new Phoenix eNews!

Welcome to our first issue of the Phoenix Theatre eNews! We wanted to  
offer you – our subscribers, ticket holders, and those of you who are  
just curious – a way to learn more what are we up to. But also, we  
wanted to share some of the inspirational stories about the plays  
that we've chosen for this season's productions. We'll go behind the  
scenes and in depth into their captivating subject matter.

It will be fun, interesting and insightful… We promise!

But first our new email magazine needs a ingeniously clever name!   
Sure,         the Phoenix eNews tells you what it IS – but we're  
looking for those witty and poignant comments on who we ARE to really  
sum it up. Help us! Vote       on one of the names below, or give us  
your best suggestion:

Backstage Pass
Phoenix Stage Left
The Phoenix Scene
The Green Room
Send us your ideas and you could win 2 tickets to an upcoming play!  
Email ideas to aholierh at uvic.ca by October 22.

Behind the Scenes: The Real Woman Behind The Ugly Duchess

With text from Castle Tyrol Museum

What does it mean to be so ugly that your portrait makes it into the  
annals of art history?

Such is the story of Margaret Maultasch, the 14th century monarch of  
Tyrol who is represented in the work of Leonardo da Vinci and 15th- 
century painter Quinten Massys. Her reputed portrait, titled "A  
Grotesque Old Woman," (image right) now sits on the walls of the  
National Gallery in London where it inspired Victoria playwright and  
UVic alumna, Janet Munsil to tell her Gothic tale of beauty, power,  
politics and the plague.

"I was wandering around the National Gallery in London, a totally  
overwhelmed tourist, when I came face-to-face with…"The Ugly  
Duchess," says Munsil.

Margaret, Countess of Tyrol was a real woman who lived from 1318 to  
1369 and was given the unfortunate nickname "Maultasch" or "ugly  
mouth." The origin of this name has never really been satisfactorily  
explained although her representation in art of the 15th century do  
little to improve her image. She has, in fact, been described in  
various unkind ways – as an absurdly unattractive, vicious, wicked  
woman and unfaithful wife – yet the reason for such negative comments  
is much disputed. Was she actually so badly disfigured as to deserve  
the nickname "big mouth" and was she really so devious and cunning as  
some of her critics would have us believe?

Her biography describers her as a medieval countess who seems to have  
led a relatively "normal" life although a hard, cruel destiny awaited  
her. At the early age of twelve and as sole heiress to the kingdom of  
Tyrol with its many enviable possessions, she found herself married  
to a Bavarian crown prince in order to safeguard the future of a  
prestigious dynasty. After years of unhappy married life, she  
separated from her first husband and, a mere couple of months later,  
married Ludwig, the emperor's son. Her unconventional, contradictory  
behaviour led to an international scandal. The church in Rome refused  
to recognize the legitimacy of this second marriage and Margaret was  
summarily excommunicated, something which brought great suffering to  
the whole region of Tyrol for the following seventeen years.

She was eventually forced to accept that the church had political  
reasons for outlawing her and her subjects but refused to let this  
influence her beliefs or way of life to any great extent. She did,  
however, have an extremely hard, unhappy life. Her children all died  
at an early age and her beloved Tyrol was afflicted by various dire  
catastrophes including the Black Death, a number of earthquakes and a  
plague of grasshoppers to name but a few. Her second husband and  
their son and heir, Meinhard, also both died unexpectedly and she  
felt obliged to hand her estate and possessions over to her closest  
relations, the great and powerful Hapsburg dynasty, a decision which  
would of course change the course of the future development of Tyrol.

Contemporary art also represents her in two completely different  
ways. Her personal seal shows a slim, genteel, distinguished,  
pleasant-looking female figure in flagrant contrast to the caricature  
of an ugly, elderly woman by Leonardo da Vinci which, since the  
eighteenth century, has been believed to be a portrait of Margaret  
and which, somewhat unfortunately, a photographer         from Meran  
chose as the subject for a postcard in the early years of the  
twentieth century.

While inspired by Margaret's life, Janet Musil's play takes some  
artistic license, illustrating that many elements of Margaret – the  
woman – are lost to history. Munsil adds, "Nobody knows how ugly she  
really was."

ALSO OF NOTE: An exhibition on Margarete Von Tirol, the last Countess  
of Tyrol, is being presented currently at Castle Tyrol, the castle  
where she lived in what is now Northern Italy near the Austrian  
border. A special thank you to the Castle Tyrol for this research and  
text.  (Image Above: The first image of duchess Margaretha  
"Maultasch" 15th century, Castle of Ambras, Innsbruck)

Upcoming Events: Plays, Lectures and more

The Ugly Duchess: October 11 - 20, 2007
October 4: Box Office Opens
October 12 at 7:00pm: FREE Pre-Show Lecture
Please join Dr. Erin Campbell, Assistant Professor in the History in  
Art Department speaking on The Ugly Woman in the Renaissance  
Imagination. Her  teaching focuses on the visual culture of Europe  
from 1500-1800 and her research interests include cultural  
representations of old age, aging and creativity. This lecture is  
FREE of charge and open to everyone.

Wind in the Willows: November 8 - 24, 2007
October 12 at 12:30pm: Orion Lecture The Scenic Artist in Theatre  
Today with Jennifer Hedge, Head Scenic Artist for Theatre Arts at The  
Banff Centre. Hedge is also painting the sets for Wind in the  
Willows. This lecture is FREE of charge and open to everyone.

November 1: Box Office Opens
November 13 at 8:00pm: Special performance with Sign Language  
Interpretation, made possible by the UVic Equity and Human Rights  

Lionel: February 14 – 23, 2008

The Incredible Case of Señor Morton: March 13 – 22, 2008

Phoenix Phacts: News on Alumni, Faculty, Staff and Students

Jay Bennett won an Emmy for Outstanding Creative Achievement in  
Interactive Television for his work as associate producer for the  
Fallen Alternate Reality Game – a video game tie-in for the ABC  
Family television movie series Fallen…

Current students Tim Johnston, who will play Aladdin, and Kaitlin  
Williams go on a magic carpet ride with Kaleidoscope Theatre’s  
Aladdin upcoming this December...

Our most recent graduating class has had considerable success since  
graduating in April.  Danielle Janess, who appeared as Queen  
Elizabeth in last year’s Richard III, played Queen Victoria at the BC  
Parliament Buildings this summer.  James Kot is going to war on the  
set of Paul Gross’ Passchendaele, which is being filmed in Calgary  
this October.  A big time Soprano’s fan, he also just finished  
filming the TV movie Snow Globe, starring The Soprano’s Lorraine  
Bracco and Christina Milian.  Featured on the front of this season’s  
brochure, Victor Dolhai recently worked with Kokoro Dance Theatre in  
their 12th Wreck Beach Butoh and with SNAFU Dance’s BLiNK – winner of  
the Best Physical Theatre/Dance at this year’s Victoria Fringe  
Festival.  Also enjoying Fringe Festival success, Laura Harris was  
nominated for Best Female Performer for her performance in her self- 
written one-woman show, Pitch Blond.  Theatre Calgary is keeping  
Kassia Warshawski busy, appearing as Hero in their Fuse Festival  
production of Much Ado About Nothing and playing Emily in their  
upcoming production of Our Town…

Theatre SKAM recently staged the Canadian premiere of Melissa James  
Gibson’s play [sic].  Alumnus Amiel Gladstone directed and Lucas  
Meyer and Michael Rinaldi performed...

Phoenix alumni are making an impact creatively at The Belfry this  
season with over a dozen showcasing their talents.  Phoenix  
connections include Patrick Du Wors, Medina Hahn, Ereca Hassell,  
Rebekah Johnson, John Krich, Karen Levis, Brian Linds, Joan MacLeod,  
Erin Macklem, Jacob Richmond, Britt Small, Graeme Somerville, Celine  
Stubel, Sara Topham and more…

Check out past Phoenix Phacts on our website.

Email Perks:

Receiving this email comes with perks! The following Phoenix  
supporters are offering you a deal, just because you're also a  
supporter of the Phoenix…aren't we all lucky!

Free Financial Workshops For Women
Join Pam Katunar, a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones for a  
complimentary 3-week course for women to assist them in setting  
financial and investment goals. pam.katunar at edwardjones.com | 595-6888

Phoenix Subscription Packages are still on sale! 3 or 4 shows for $30  
and $40. To order season tickets, call (250) 721-8000 or fill in the  
order form and fax to (250) 721-6596.

Sponsor Kudos:

The Phoenix Theatre would like to thank our community sponsors for  
their support of our programmes.

2007/08 Season Community Partner:
Cadboro Bay Village Merchants
Blaney's Travel, Cadboro Bay Book Company Cadboro Bay Village  
Service, Edward Jones, For Good Measure,         People's Pharmacy,  
Pepper's Foods, Smugglers Cove

2007/08 Season Ticket Sponsor: Monk Office Supplies

Phoenix eNews is a regular email magazine for those interested in the  
Phoenix Theatre, the not-for-profit productions at the University of  
Victoria's Department of Theatre. Do you know someone who would love  
to know more about us? Please feel free to forward this message to a  


  	 © University of Victoria 2007	

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