Dark Side of the Crown
In 2011 we were vacationing with friends in Hawaii and decided to do some intention setting exercises. One of my intentions was to write more. Maybe two weeks later one of those friends, Jillina, called me and asked if I'd write her next touring dance show for her company, Bellydance Evolution. I'd never written a show before - let alone one that could contain no dialog so all narrative had to be communicated through dance and movement - but opportunities like this don't happen every day. I took a week to think through themes and Jillina like the first concept I pitched: a murder mystery comedy.
The Queen, an elegant and respected matriarch, is hosting a celebration to announce which of her Daughters will succeed her on the throne. During the celebration, and before she can make her proclamation, she is somehow murdered in full view of the court. The Queen's daughters all vie for the throne and it is up to her guards, and the Queen's ghost, to discover who is the killer and who will replace their mother on the throne.
Murder casts a grim shadow across the Queen’s court on the evening she intends to proclaim a successor. Her daughters suspect one another and chaos rules the palace while the Queen’s guards are left to track down the killer before he, or she, can strike again.
The show takes place in a fictional world that pulls elements from Europe, Asia, India and the Middle East. It doesn’t directly relate to a specific location or period in history, rather is it an embodiment of the exotic. A fantasy world similar to that of Salman Rushdie’s “Haroun and the Sea of Stories.” This world is a matriarch and ruled by a Queen instead of a King and she can choose her successor from whichever daughter is most worthy.
The show toured the world 2012-2013 and I was fortunate enough to travel with the production as a drummer and stage manager. It was an incredible experience and I will always be grateful to Jillina for the opportunity she gave me.