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!
One of the reasons we’re so keen to do an adaptation (maybe a couple of adaptions) of the Alice books is because we know our company of actors will dive into the various voices with relish.
So even if we hold off on the musical version of Alice in Wonderland we talked about yesterday, we know we could have no end of fun with characters like the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, and so many additional characters that are often cut from the feature film adaptions (the books can be quite episodic, which we think will lend itself to an audio mini-series.
Of course, there are all the visuals we don’t get, but rewatching the various films as we got ready for the Alice in Wonderland giveaway, I really enjoyed Sterling Holloway’s take on the Cheshire Cat. I know he’s most often thought of as the voice of Winnie-the-Pooh, but his distinctive voice is just right in all sorts of roles.
Of course the modern Tim Burton films are so visual effects-heavy, that they’re almost animated films in and of themselves… and again, they have some great vocal talent. Listen, for example, to the oft underrated, never duplicated Christopher Lee as the Jabberwock:
I should mention that all three of the films are part of the giveaway we’re running, which ends this Friday, so certainly sign up if you’re feeling a little mad.
We mentioned in last week’s Alice in Wonderland giveaway announcement is that one of the reasons we think it’s a great fit is both are name and that we’re almost certainly going to do an adaptation of the Alice books sooner rather than later.
One of the ideas we’ve been thinking about is doing it as a full-blown musical version, possibly availing ourselves of JAT regular Brooks Tegler, whom you might recall contributed some great jazz music to Quorum.
What you may not know is the Disney Alice in Wonderland created its own jazz standard in the form of the theme.
When we realized that, we realized a very jazz-based Alice in Wonderland might just be what we should aim for. What do you all think?
So many of you have discovered us thanks to the Doctor Who Giveaway we participated in last year, so when it came for many of the same indie creators decided to do an Alice in Wonderland-themed giveaway, we had to join in.
It’s rather in our name, after all.
Not only that, if you’ve been keeping up on our news, we’re going to go more fully into fairy tales and fantasy later this year with the debut of two new anthology series: Though the Looking Glass (guess where we got that title from?) and Through a Glass, Darkly.
Frankly, we’re kind of tempted by all the goodies one could win, so we hope some of you are too (and even if you don’t win, you’ll learn about all sorts of cool indie fantasy creators and their works. But don’t be late! The giveaway ends on February 8th.
In case some of you haven’t listened to JAT Chat #1, one of the influences for the format of Rogue Tyger and its cliffhanger endings was the classic Doctor Who serials.
So when the opportunity came to team up with a bunch of other indie creators for a Doctor Who sweepstakes, we said yes! We’re lovers of Doctor Who in one form or another and it’s found a way into our writing. We are also all looking to find new readers (or in our case, listeners), so that’s our insidious master plan. Nothing like the Daleks.