Friday, February 20, 2009

Activity: What's your Pharaoh name?

Another fun activity from the fine folks at SCT's Drama School - Do-It-Yourself Egyptian Names!

Many Egyptian names come from the combination of words, often including a god’s name. Examples include:

Tutankhaten = Tutankh (All life is for) + Aten (one god)
Rameses = Ra (sun god) + meses (to be born from)
Nefertiti = Nefer (Beauty, Happiness) + Titi (To be here)

Using the words below, create your own Egyptian name that describes you!

Aten (one god)
Bastet (cat)
Khons (moon)
Ma’at (truth)
Mentu (war)
Wadjet (cobra)
Ra (sun)

Nefer (beautiful, happy)
Mery (beloved of)
Wa/Qa (strong)
Tep (in front)
Khaf (looks like)
Shepses (noble)
Sekhem (powerful)

Meat (cat)
Ankh (life)
-neb (lord)
Ka (soul)
Henut (woman)
Ip (heart)

Tutankh (Life is for)
-meses (to be born from)
-emhat (to be first)
-titi (to be here)
-hotep (to be pleased)
Djed (to be stable)
Akhen (to be useful)

I've chosen Bastethotep (Cat god + to be pleased), as I spend so much time taking care of my own cats, I often feel like the servant of a demanding feline god. Have some fun with it, and share your name in the comments field.

And remember, you only have two more weeks to discover what secrets lie in the desert - Pharaoh Serket and the Lost Stone of Fire runs through March 7, 2009 in SCT's Charlotte Martin Theatre.

Monday, February 9, 2009

What ELSE are YOU saying about "Pharaoh Serket"?

More audience feedback from early performances of Pharaoh Serket and the Lost Stone of Fire!

Hana Lass, Tim Hyland and Anthony Leroy Fuller. Photo by Chris Bennion.

My family of 4, two adults and two guys (14 and 16) just loved the Pharaoh play! This was one of the best we have seen at the SCT and we have been attending over 4 years.

The sets were wonderful. The scene changes were so smoothly done. The costumes and actors were the best for the characters roles. We appreciate this theater so much and how they continue to impress us in big and small performances. This action play kept my teenage boys interested.

Carol & Doug R.

My 9-year-old daughter and I were visiting Seattle from Idaho. We always try to go to SCT when we are in town. We both thoroughly enjoyed "Pharaoh Serket and the Lost Stone of Fire"! It was an exciting adventure and we recommended it to our friends and family who live in the area. My daughter loved it and was talking about the story and the amazing set all day.
Coleen C.

We saw the Pharaoh last Saturday evening with our 6 and 9 year old. We all loved it! The kids were filled with suspense and the adults finished saying, this was great! I loved that some of the stage props and effects were kept secret as well. I thought it was one of the best ever! Good job!

And the critics seem to like it as well!

Pharaoh Serket and the Lost Stone of Fire runs through March 7, 2009 in SCT's Charlotte Martin Theatre.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Activity: Who is Pharaoh?

All of the activities we share with you at Behind the Curtain are created by our wonderfully talented Education department, and are written specifically with Drama School classes and education residencies in mind.

When Education sends us a curricula, we tweak the wording just a bit to make them more generally accessible. One aspect we preserve, though, is the discussion questions at the end.

The following game, from the curriculum for Pharaoh Serket and the Lost Stone of Fire, is a great example of a fun activity made all the better for the moment of reflection.


Objective: Players will use their senses to continue an established pattern while keeping the leader’s identity a secret.

1) Have players sit in a circle (or at desks where students can see everyone). Select one player to leave the room.

2) Choose one student to be the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh’s job is to lead the people in a rhythm (snapping, clapping, pounding the floor); all other players begin making the same rhythm.

3) When all players are creating the same rhythm, have the player outside come back in and stand in the middle of the circle, or at the front of the room.

4) The Pharaoh can change the rhythm at any time (from snapping to clapping to pounding); it is the job of the person in the middle to figure out who is the Pharaoh.

5) The person in the middle gets 3 guesses and if they cannot guess, the Pharaoh will reveal himself or herself.

6) Encourage players not to look directly at the Pharaoh.


For the guesser: How did you know who the Pharaoh was? What did the people do that let you know? What made it hard to guess? What did the Pharaoh do well? What tactics did you use?

For the Pharaoh: What did you do so the guesser wouldn’t know who you were?

For the people: What made this hard? What made it easy? What can we all do to hide the Pharaoh from the guesser?

Maybe it's just because I so love games, but this is what makes playing anything a community experience - the stories you tell afterward, the dissection of strategy, the opportunity for insight into the people with whom you share time and space.

And if all that isn't your bag, it's still just a pretty fun game. Give 'er a whirl.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What YOU are saying about "Pharaoh Serket"

Once again, we have polled our opening weekend audiences to see what they thought of our production, in this case the world premiere of Pharaoh Serket and the Lost Stone of Fire. Here is just a small sampling of some of the early responses:

My two sons and I attended a performance last Thursday night. It was excellent; well laid out with one of the best and most innovative set-designs I have seen compared to many performances.

SCT has been a staple in our family for ten years. Once a month, rain or shine, I have a “date” with one of my kids and we venture forth to see live theatre. Linda Hartzell was my drama teacher at Lakeside. Theatre has been a part of my life since I was in the 6th grade.

We discussed Pharaoh and what kind of person he was after the performance. Many of the lessons he learned are true in the world we live today. The production cuts across all genders and ages and served as a poignant message about what it means to be a real “leader”.

Neil M.

My 12 year old daughter and I both enjoyed Pharaoh Serket very much. The story was fun and different from what we’ve seen in the past. The sets were amazing as usual and the costumes were also well done. All in all, an impressive production. The scribe was my favorite!!

Angela R.

It was very successfully suspenseful - which is not an experience that we've had with the plays that we've seen to date. Truthfully, I didn't have a clue what it was about and think I probably chose it for our series because I have two boys and it looked appealing. From the first ominous strains of music, my youngest son (6 years) was in my lap and never left it for the remainder of the play. He did point out to me that according to your age ranges, he was too young and I should have known better - however, he also said it was better than a movie (high praise.) As always, it stimulated much conversation amongst the four of us with each of us. The difference this time was that we talked about how we were surprised by the plot twists and turns. And kids definitely learned that they were glad not to be pharoahs...although they wouldn't mind having the trick knife.

As always, we're big fans of your stage artists who created the set and that spectacular mummy/zombie guy. Thank you for not revealing the secret because both my boys and my husband were all very keen to explore their thoughts on how it was done. I like a little mystery.

Great costumes - as usual.

Gillian A.

I saw the play with my 10-year old granddaughter and we were both thrilled with Pharaoh Serket. She thought she learned a lot about ancient Egypt and at the same time it was very entertaining for both of us.

Bev P.

Pharaoh Serket and the Lost Stone of Fire runs through March 7, 2009 in SCT's Charlotte Martin Theatre.