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Tell a Tale of Cock & Bull

Costuming The (new) Mikado

Much prior to the Italian Renaissance, fashion in Europe, as we know it, didn’t exist. While clothing had been an expression of status for some time, that expression was mainly conveyed by the fiber and color of the fabric and the kind of materials used to trim the fabric, as well as jewelry; regardless of status the cut and fit of clothes from royalty to peasantry was remarkably similar. However, starting around the mid to late 1300s and flowering in the mid-1400s, clothing started to become a vehicle for personal expression, and cut and fit started to vary greatly, depending on social status as well as age and personal taste, and the pace at which styles changed sped up markedly.

In Renaissance Italy, fine fabrics, beautiful colors, and ornament were no longer the province of only the church, kings or emperors and their courts, but also of rising merchant classes, the nascent middle class who used these materials in their dress as a humanistic expression of individuality, as well as status.

In our re-imagined Mikado, a prosperous middle-class is the fertile breeding ground for an explosion of social energy, especially amongst the young people, aware of their own power, social currency and freedom of thought. Their dress reflects the color and energy of youth, of a society that looks to humanity as the measure of all things, and that reflects the richness of thought and exploration as Italy and Europe emerged from isolation and darkness into the light of new thoughts and creativity. As a designer, I am using these ideas—the colors, the embellishments, the cuts of clothing, and the sense of individuality, to enhance and amplify the characters and to help create the exciting world in which they inhabit.

-Miriam Lewis


Tickets and more information on The Mikado can be found on our website here.

Spotlight on Spring 2016 Intern Sophia De Vries

Recently, we welcomed intern Sophia to our team. Although her time with us was short, she cheerfully provided important assistance on many office tasks, as well as some unique insight as to how to reach out to others of her generation.

"At my high school, the last three weeks before graduation are designated for senior projects. Seniors spend their time interning at various community groups, then create a presentation. I spent my time helping out in the offices at Lamplighters, and researching ways that nonprofits can attract attention and donations from the younger generation.

"It was an eye-opening experience. I had never considered how people choose to make donations before, or what would attract them to a certain cause. I found it interesting to learn about the ways that nonprofit marketing is different than the infamous commercial marketing that constantly surrounds us.

"At the end of my internship I produced a booklet of my research on trends and strategies for attracting young donors. I also learned how to use software in an office setting instead of the way I was used to using it at school, so the experience was even more valuable to me.

"I have been going to Lamplighters performances with my parents since I was little (Sophia's dad, Peter, often performs or works behind the scenes with us). I’ve always been familiar with everything that is done on the stage, but not what goes on behind the scenes between shows. This internship gave me a better understanding of what it really takes to create a production! I enjoyed my time volunteering in the Lamplighters office, and I’m glad that I was able to have this opportunity."

Thank you, Sophia! If you are interested in an internship or volunteer position with the Lamplighters, please contact Managing Director Sarah Vardigans – svardigans@lamplighters.org.


Lamplighters 2016 Gala image

A Night at the Mint, or, The Great Heist Caper Affair... Thing

Our Gala performance is starting to take bud. After our initial brainstorming and story formulation, we have appointed a head writer, Mike Dederian (Return of the Deadeye, Harry Patter) and are continuing to meet to flesh out the story, assign song-writing, and bounce around ideas. Our story this year takes place in San Francisco...

An unlikely crew of misfit criminal specialists plan to steal the one-of-a-kind Bazillion Dollar Coin from the Museum of Money at San Francisco’s Old Mint. And security guard Penny Lincoln thought she had enough on her hands already, with a horde of nerdy coin-collecting enthusiasts in for an all-night event. With the help of some strange exhibits that come to life after dark, can Penny protect the coin – and the economic future of the nation – from disaster?

Lamplighters Music Theatre present this full-length original satire, set (mostly) to the music of Sir Arthur Sullivan with a nod to W.S. Gilbert. You'll also have the opportunity to support the Lamplighters at the silent auction, raffle and fund-a-need live auction, and to join the costumed performers after the show for the champagne reception. Don't miss this quintessential Lamplighter art form!

Silent auction at 3pm, Performance at 4pm

Mountain View Performing Arts Center, Mountain View

Tickets: 650-903-6000 or mvcpa.com

Sunday November 6, 4pm

Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Tickets: 415-392-4400 or cityboxoffice.com

Sunday November 13, 4pm

Upcoming Community Performances

We have three fun (one free, two almost free!) performances coming up.

The first is a pot pourri performance of Gilbert & Sullivan scenes hosted by the Palo Alto JCC at the Schultz Cultural Arts Hall, San Antonio Road, Palo Alto on June 21st. The cost is $20 and includes lunch!

Next up we have our Gilbert & Sullivan Scenes program performance. Run in conjunction with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, this summer program for kids aged 10-18 is one of our favorite events of the year. Join us for their closing performance of scenes from Patience, Princess Ida, Iolanthe and The Gondoliers at the Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street in San Francisco on June 25th at 2pm. Tickets are sold at the door only, are open seating, and cost $5 for youth and $10 for adult (over 18).

Lamplighters 2015 Scenes performers backstage

Finally we have a free Mikado preview performance at Pleasanton Public Library, 400 Old Bernal Ave, Pleasanton on Sunday July 17 at 2pm. We hope to see you somewhere soon!


Join the Maybud Club

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