Carnival Programs

“Programs! Get your programs! You can’t tell the players without a program!”


Like anything else creative, ideas and research seem to come in bursts. After the trip to Disneyland and the examination of various automata, I have been digging around for more information. And of course, because of the flamingo hobby horse (which seems to be the correct technical term for this kind of “body puppet”) I’ve been seeing what I can find out about that.

And because of that I’ve also been adding some more information sources to the collection for puppets, juggling and fire eating. Yay! New pages. (When the heck am I going to get time to digest all of this data? No clue! *smile*)

But one thing that just went sailing through my head, and perhaps warrants some consideration is the creation of programs for these carnival shows.

With our acting troup, The Golden Stag Players, we always create a program. This is pretty understandable given that is common practice in a theatrical setting. You really do, to a certain extent, need a program to determine the actors, the characters and even sometimes their relation to one another.

But when I go to a Cirque du Soleil show there are programs but they make a very distinct effort to not identify the individual performers as their philosophy is to present themselves as a troupe first and foremost. A philosophy I appreciate for a lot of reasons and is most definitely appropriate in their case.

Now I am not in anyway saying we are even remotely Cirque-like, but we aren’t doing a standard theatrical creation here either.

It seems to me that there are a couple of considerations:

  • As this is an SCA targeted entertainment it’s unlikely that anyone is really an ‘unknown’ with regards to this group.
  • Introducing individual acts via a “ring master” (for lack of a better term at the moment) would address identity anyway.
  • The feeling I’d like to generate is more troupe first than individual first.

Then, because of the run of digging up resources I’ve done today one thing suddenly jumped to my mind; documentation.

Yes first and foremost this is about creating an entertainment space and entertainment forms that can be enjoyed as “family friendly”. But we are in the SCA, we are trying to do things in a historical fashion and as such being able to provide not just the entertainment but the education is something worth considering.

So, prospective performers, prospective audience, what do you think? Should we provide a program? Should we be concerned with documentation as a part of a program or maybe a webspace that is referenced in the program so we can put that documentation out there? Is this kind of information of interest or is it just a distraction?

Thoughts? Comments? Small rocks?


About santiagosgrimoire

Magician, Entertainer, Actor, Cook, Leather Worker, Artist and generally very busy.

Posted on August 17, 2012, in Carnival, Site Updates and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I like the conceptual idea of a program. Since, as you stated, there are many variation of programs it would depend on the type/style you decided on. Some brief documentation or some background on why this carnival was created would be good and then possibly website links or reference books for further information is a great idea.

    All I know is that the carnival idea is great and I would love to be part of the experience in some way.

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