by Charissa de La Sirra
I went to Pennsic on the very first day, when not a single tent was up in the Northshield land in N19. We found a harried camp-master who was trying very hard to survey and lay out the site. The surprise was that the land was not the size it was advertised to be, so the Northshield encampment was severely short on space. This problem was to be handled by those who came early, a group parched in the heat and lacking the title clout that one needs at Pennsic to get things done. So huddled in my tent, we came up with a multifold plan to solve the problem. My part was to find the Heir, the great Laurel Aramanthra the Vicious, to borrow a phone to call people who have not yet come and to solicit Aramanthra's help if possible.
A new person to Pennsic, trying to find Camp Iron Maiden, has many great adventures, but I did eventually find the way. When I arrived. one look told Aramanthra that I had started on a great adventure without water. So in her own natural way, she had me sitting and drinking water, while "the batteries recharged on the phone". So I sat and chatted, being very amused and in wonder, at the diplomatic cautious way that I was interviewed. I described my Mongol research to Aramanthra the Vicious (who is very much a Mongol persona), about my research that I had done for the last year, in preparing the write a play. In that all consumptive way of people who share passions, we talked for many hours. Aramanthra did greatly assist in many ways to solve the Northshield land problems. Also during that process, she and I agreed to allow a "Young Vicious Horde" to appear during her reign. Thus began the story arc of Commedia del Arte performance of the Young Thespian Guild, also sometimes described as "schtick".
Although, at times, the events may have seemed like non-scripted actions, that also broke courtesy rules. Behind the scenes, a great effort went on, so that people knew what was planned, agreed to the plan and above all, ensured that no one would be offended. So the Royals knew that the Young Vicious Horde would in the beginning violate court etiquette, because they knew the play. This is very important to say, for I have seen people try to emulate this performance, who did not know and who did not do the notification and permission part. Don't surprise Royals and above all, never surprise the "Dreaded" Aramanthra the Vicious. "Dreaded" was Aramanthra's preferred title, being Mongolian.
The best Comedia del Arte performance is "over the top", causing great amusement. At this we succeeded. It was wonderful how we managed to involve so much of the Principality into being a part of this performance. One of the great problems, of Comedia del Arte performance, is despite the guiding script, many twists and turns happen. So great kudos have to go to Gaius Niklos Luctator and Aramanthra the Vicious, for handling all of these, with ease and grace, to keep the story going and the audience entertained.
The young people either did this as a temporary performance of Young Thespian Guild or made this story part of their personas. So this was also a reign long Commedia del Arte performance of the Young Thespian Guild. To this day, a few young Mongols are proud to have "the Vicious" as part of their names. Kudos go to the young people who worked so hard on their parts and sometimes had to wait patiently for hours for a short performance in court. A standing ovation goes to all participants!