Brandon teenager Jessica Jacobs, a junior at the magnet school theater arts program at Blake High School, said she has a weekend gig that harkens back to the 16th century, and life as it was "when Catharine Parr was King Henry's sixth wife."
"I am a peasant dancer, I dance at the maypole," Jacobs said in a telephone interview Feb. 21. "I'm a Mary, that's what we call them."
Roberts is part of the Bay Area Renaissance Festival, back at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) for a 35th year. The festival is open weekends Feb. 23 to April 7.
There, Jacobs, 16, is set to "dance at the maypole every single hour on the hour, she said. "We sing some songs, like 'Greensleeves' [a traditional English folk song]. We interact with the patrons and we try to get them to dance with us."
Jacobs said she is drawn to the festival because she loves "how open and free everyone is."
"It's just a wonderful [work] environment," she said. "You feel like you can say anything and do anything and not be judged. Everyone is so genuinely nice. They're kind-hearted people."
As for the visitors who will flock to the festival at MOSI?
"It's really a great place if you want to play," Jacobs said. "I know the entire cast will love a patron who wants to play with them, who wants to become part of a different world for a little bit."
Jacobs said she auditioned for her part in the summer, at the fair site, which then was littered with brambles and spurs but now has been transformed into a makeshift 16th century village.
"We had to improvise a scene," Jacobs said. "I was a mayor in the town, who was just elected, and I had to improvise everything and what I would do with the town, now that I was mayor."
At the festival Jacobs gets to improvise and interact with the visitors. Her main deal is to dance.
"Mostly circle dances, we hold hands, eight steps to the left and eight steps to the right," Jacobs said. "We have really beautiful skirts and when we twirl around it looks really gorgeous. We have a lot of spinning."
About The 2013 Bay Area Renaissance Festival
The family friendly event features armored jousting, 12 stages of entertainment and fun and food at seven themed-weekends. More than 100 merchants contribute to the atmosphere of the makeshift 16th century village, according to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival website.
Scheduled are the following themed-weekends:
- Feb. 23-24 — Wine, Chocolate & Romance
- March 2-3 — Highland Fling
- March 9-10 — Buccaneer Beer Fest
- March 16-17 — Shamrocks & Shenanigans
- March 23-24 — Wonders of the World
- March 30-31 — Fiesta Festival
- April 6-7 — High Seas Adventure
New events this year:
- Feb. 24 — Queen's Cupcake Wars
- Fairy House Competition
For more information, visit the Bay Area Renaissance Festival website.
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