Jabberwocky: What’s in a Name?

We’re closing in on the end of our Alice in Wonderland giveaway (it ends this Friday), so I figured we’d do one more Alice-inspired article. One question we may not have answered on this site is why it’s called Jabberwocky Audio Theater.

The most immediate answer would be that JAT takes its name from Team Jabberwocky, my production company. But then, you ask, why did I name my company “Team Jabberwocky?”

Well, the “team” part is easy. Any theater or film project is assembling a team or sorts. And back in 2004, I was planning to assemble a team for the 48 Hour Film Project. I knew I wanted “Team Something,” but what was the something?

I recalled that when I was doing classical theater, I often warmed up my voice reciting “Jabberwocky” the poem by Lewis Carroll. Your average Shakespeare play has a host of words you generally don’t bandy about with in everyday life (apart from the fellow theater geek reading this and saying, “That’s not true!”). It’s also fun to recite, to feel the words move around in your mouth, to try and press here and there and imbue the meaning into terms that Carroll made up and make sure they sound true (because, of course, ‘frabjous’ and other terms are wonderfully truthful and sound like they mean).

So I decided on Team Jabberwocky and, when it came time to form a company, that’s the name I chose. It has a touch of the fantastical without taking ourselves too seriously (though we do take our productions seriously).

So there you go. In part, because of the whimsy and inventiveness inherent in Carroll’s work on the Alice books, that’s why we’ll eventually be doing an adaptation of them and why the Alice in Wonderland giveaway is part of our promotions right now as we await the debut of our 2019 season.

I’ll close with a recital of “Jabberwocky” by Christopher Lee, who did such a wonderful job of voicing the creature himself in the Tim Burton movie (I shared a clip yesterday). Enjoy!

~ Bjorn Munson
Artistic Director

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