Friday, August 31, 2012

Introducing George Sorenson

George Sorenson is a spoiled Baron who has frivolously spent the majority of his wealth, and married for money.  In the Steampunk literature and subculture, he is the charming rogue, manipulator, and playboy.  Because he is base, leaden, and earthy in his desires, he believes that most of humanity is truly “lower than low,” and is always looking for the “con,” because he himself has played the cad.  However, he does have a genuine affection for Phineas, and is very protective of him, for he believes Phineas a dreamer who only sees the good in humanity.

Sorenson possesses a key to the personal property (and often metaphorical and actual hidden places) of all those closest to him, yet has not been able to unlock the door to his own personal spiritual transformation.  When he encounters the true powers of a genuine Goddess what doors within himself will finally be unlocked, and what will be unleashed?

Sorenson is portrayed by Chicago actor Sean Wilson, in his Terra Mysterium premiere.  Below, you will find a character background written by Sean and learn more delightful tidbits about this charmer.

"The Alembic" opens tonight as an official selection of Chicago Fringe Fest.  All performances will be presented at Dream Theatre, 556 West 18th Street, Chicago, IL 60616

Friday, August 31st at 7pm
Saturday, September 1st at 1pm
Sunday, September 2nd at
Monday, September 3rd at
Friday, September 7th at 10pm
Saturday, September 8th at 7pm
Sunday, September 9th at

Admission: $15 ($5 for the mandatory Fringe Fest Button, $10 for admission to our show)

You can purchase your button and ticket at the Dream Theatre, or here:  

Favorite things:
Favorite color: Red
Least favorite, why? Purple; mother wore purple to just about every ball. It reminds him of lilacs. The smell is nauseating. 
Favorite music? A march. Something with strong drums.
Least favorite music, why? A waltz. Can never dance with the one I intended.
Food: A thick steak, potatoes, and red wine.
Literature: Marquis De Sade.
Expressions: My sweet.
Expletives (curse): Hasty hell.
Favorite mode of transport: Carriage
Hobbies: Gambling and, on occasion, hunting.
How do they spend a rainy day? Complaining.

Favorite clothing, why: Clean cut and with one or two sharp colors. He likes to look sharp as a knife.
Least favorite, why:  The kind women wear in mourning.
Jewelry or other accessories: I have a lovely collection of cuff links, many from my father who has since passed.
Drives what type of vehicle or animal:  Ask his driver. It's new, that's for sure.
Where does he live: London, with his wife.
Where does he want to live: London, alone.
Spending habits, why:  Only the best will do, so he is sure to invest in appearance and parties to keep up social standing.
What does he do too much of, why: he has a habit of sleeping with women to prove a point. That he can.
Most prized possession, why:  His collection of keys. No door should shut him out.
People he secretly admires and why:  Phineas.  He longs for a partner like Phineas. Someone who accepts his advice and skepticism.
Person he is most influenced by, why: His mother is the one who motivates him the most deeply. Her history with George has unknowable depths. At a young age, she locked him in a closet at a young age when he misbehaved.
Most important person in his life before story starts, why:  Phineas. He is Sorenson's only friend. The only one who listens to him.
How does he spend the week just before the story starts: In a brothel, gambling. All things that make my wife nervous. 
Optimist or pessimist? Why? Pessimist.  He believes everyone is out for themselves.
Introvert or extrovert? Why? Extrovert.  He can be quite an entertaining host at times.
Drives and motives: Driven by sex and power. He longs for the respect of others. He gets that from women through sex.
Talents: Charm. Rhetoric. Tying a tie.
Extremely skilled at: Seduction
Extremely unskilled at: Math and science
Good characteristics: He is cautious and, if he respects you, he will protect you. He can be loyal.
Character flaws: He always wants more. There is never enough.
Mannerisms: Holds a glass constantly. Smiles too much.
Peculiarities: Fingers his keys in his pockets.
Biggest regret: When attending an all boys academy, he had a fling with one of his classmates. He became deeply invested,
eventually telling the boy he loved him. To the other student, this was only a fling.  Sorenson was crushed and extremely embarrassed.
Minor regrets: Sleeping with his last housekeeper. Elsa had to fire her.
Biggest accomplishment: Marrying Elsa. It was for the family's survival. He can now support his mother who philanders about France with her friends.
Minor accomplishments: He has yet to lose Elsa's clothing manufacture to her brother.
Darkest secret: See biggest regret.
Does anyone know? The boy involved in the fling did tell a couple of others. They would sing "Georgie Porgie pudding and pie, kissed the boys and made them cry, when the girls came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away." It destroyed him.
How did they find out?: These things were semi-known at the school. When the boy Sorenson fancied was accused of the relationship being serious, he saved face by saying that Sorenson accosted him.

Living situation: He is living very well, but at a debt to his wife.
Type of childhood:  Whose childhood is easy? Extremely abused and neglected by parents, though without violence.
First Memory: Nurse throwing skirt over his head, playing peekaboo. He could see her bloomers.
Most important childhood event that still affects him/her:  His father was always very ill and never in full health.  Because of this, his mother handled much of the discipline, locking him in a closet for hours to teach him a lesson. His father resented him for having good health and never amounting to much
in academics.  The elder Sorenson verbally abused his son.
Why?  His father was disempowered by his wife.  Sorenson has become his father.
Education: Well educated, but not much stuck.
Religion: Atheist, though publicly Protestant.
Finances: disposable allowance from his wife.

Are they a daredevil or cautious? Cautious
Do they act the same alone as when with someone? They do not.
Habits: Philandering playboy.
Drinks: Too much.
How much: Enough to make the girls pretty and his words loose.
Greatest Strength: Sexual conquest. Good looks
Greatest Weakness: Academic confidence.
Soft spot: His parents.
Is their soft spot obvious, why/why not: Not, he's a W.A.S.P.  Avoids direct emotion.
If not, how do they hide it:  Avoid the topic, or diffuse the situation with a joke at his parent's expense.
Biggest Vulnerability: Believes he is a bad guy.
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Myers-Briggs type: Type B.
Enneagram number: 4

Mother: Catherine Sorenson
Relationship with her: Blames her of him and for wronging his father. He rationalizes that it was in her nature as woman.
Father: Jonathan Sorenson
Relationship with him: Pities and resents him for being weak with his wife. Sought his approval.
Siblings: None.
Children of siblings: Single child.
Other: Extended family; no one left besides a decrepit senile aunt. He only knew her as a child, but she lives comfortably.
Close? Why or why not: Not close. Parents too self-involved for him to visit any extended family. It carried over into his own life.
Spouse or Partner: Elsa Sorenson
Relationship with her: Married for money. She lets him get away with a lot. But when she has to, she knows right where to hit him.
Friends and Colleagues: Phineas
Relationship with him: Fascinated, because he doesn't understand his goodness. Loves him because he has placed him on a pedestal.
Generally speaking, how do they relate to other people:  Sociopathically and opportunisticly.
Are they the Hero/Heroin of the story in their own mind: No.  He believes everyone is fundamentally depraved like him. (Phineas eludes his understanding.)
If not, how do they view the Hero/Heroine: There are no heroes.

One word they would use to describe themselves: Realist.
One paragraph of how they would describe themselves: I recognize the truth in society and therefore can use it to my advantage. I know how to play the game and I know that selflessness is irrational and doesn't save you. I may not have the academic knowledge, but I'm smarter than most because I don't delude myself by thinking there is inherent goodness in people.
What do they consider their best physical characteristic and why: My chin. It's masculine and strong.
The worst one? Why? My neck. It looks too fragile.
Are they realistic assessments? Somewhat.
If not, why not? He views fragility in himself as unattractive, although it's not.
How they think others perceive them: Hopefully, a charmer. He worries that they see him as a fool.
What four things would they most like to change about themselves: He would like to have stronger hands, complete confidence that he is always right, a dead wife, and a sharper wit.
Why? The obvious reasons.
If they were changed would they be the same person, why/why not: Yes. He would lack remorse, but he would actually be less vicious to women (without his wife to enflame his misogynistic hatred).
Most at ease when: Drinking with Phineas.
Most ill at ease when: Alone.
Priorities: Perpetuate his reputation.
Philosophies: Everyone is out for themselves.
Past failure they would be embarrassed to admit: He loved someone once.
Why? Love inspires selflessness, which he believes is destructive.
If granted one wish what would it be, why? Elsa would die, so that he could be traveling and playing with Phineas (once he convinced him to leave his home.)

Immediate: Discredit Vera.
Long term: Get freedom from women. Be more like Phineas and make Phineas more like him.
How do they plan to accomplish these goals: Seduce Vera, blackmail her. Keep Phineas on his side.

How do they react in a crisis: Self preserving.
How do they face problems: Either hiding, delegating the work to someone else, or sabotaging others.
Kind of problems they usually run into: Ones usually involving a woman.
How they react to new problems: Unsurprised.
How they react to change: Combatant.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Introducing the Goddess Astraea

Astraea (Starry One), daughter of Themis and Zeus, is a Goddess in possession of all noble virtues and, therefore, a perfect ideal to strive towards for humanity.  She is Columbia, Liberty, and all the ideas of justice, expansion, nurturance, and is a guiding light for humanity.  She once walked among mortals but left the world as man’s nature became increasingly more debase and animalistic. Within the context of Steampunk, she is the Victorian ideal, the deist construct, the ethical, and transpersonal cause towards which we, and all humanity, should strive.

Astraea is constantly present on stage watching, but never touching humanity.  She is divine inspiration, but not intervention.  She watches her sister Goddess’ journey, knowing all and seeing all, but hoping for the best.  She knows that each of us must walk the path of transformation ourselves, but she is always present with a kind and hopeful eye for those who have gold in their hearts.
Astraea is portrayed by Terra Mysterium company member Song Marshall.  Below, you will find a character background written by Song as she reflected upon the Greek mythos surrounding this lovely Goddess and her own transformation.

"The Alembic" opens tomorrow as an official selection of Chicago Fringe Fest.  All performances will be presented at Dream Theatre, 556 West 18th Street, Chicago, IL 60616

Friday, August 31st at 7pm
Saturday, September 1st at 1pm
Sunday, September 2nd at
Monday, September 3rd at
Friday, September 7th at 10pm
Saturday, September 8th at 7pm
Sunday, September 9th at

Admission: $15 ($5 for the mandatory Fringe Fest Button, $10 for admission to our show)

Purchase tickets here

When the gods left Earth Astraea stayed behind to take care of the people.  The people looked up to her with her youth, beauty, and wisdom. In the Golden Age, she was happiest and truly loved humankind. With the Silver Age she became Justice and took care of the petty squabbles we mortals had and tried to keep the peace. Then the Bronze Age came, men began to eat meat. They started wars and killed each other for greed, lust, power (or for no reason at all) and her heart broke. She was then Nemesis trying the only way she had left to keep the peace, without realizing it was only helping humankind destroy itself.

She was then taken by Zeus, her father, to live in the constellation Virgo where she could still watch mortals, but where she would never again dwell among them. Now that we are in the Age of Lead, staying removed is a point of contention between Astraea and Dike.

Astraea loves the human race’s potential but is still heartbroken over what we have become. Dike thinks the gods should help the mortals and look after their sorrowing and heal their wounds. Astraea having tried this already knows that it is of no use.  They are Goddesses. They are not of the mortal world, and as such they should not try to live in a mortal world. Hoping to prove her point and quell her sister’s restlessness, Astraea has Dike descend to earth on her own. Only by experiencing it can she know why Astraea does not try to directly intervene.

This whole mission of Vera’s is a lesson, it is the most direct way that Astraea can show her what she went through whilst she was on earth, and why she won’t go back again. Vera, of course, does not understand this until she herself becomes Nemesis. At which point Astraea has accomplished her goal. Though she may seem cold and calculating, she is still jovial at times.  She is the Maiden of the Stars, she is youthful, but she is strong, and can be just as fierce as any other Goddess can be.

Optimist or pessimist? Both: Pessimist, because of what happened when she tried to intervene, and Optimist because she is ever hopeful that she will be able to return someday.
Introvert or extrovert? Why? Introvert, she can no longer walk on the earth as she once did.
Drives and motives: Cares for humanity, but cannot intervene; she hates what humans have become.
Talents: truth, justice, poetry, art.
Extremely skilled at: Watching.
Extremely unskilled at: Justice without harshness.
Good characteristics: She is caring and loving.
Character flaws: She cares too much for humanity.
Mannerisms: She tries to keep her distance.
Peculiarities: Loving the people as much she does as an Olympian.
Biggest regret: The degradation of mankind.
Minor regrets: Becoming Nemesis.
Biggest accomplishment: Being able to keep some things from her time among mortals.
Minor accomplishments: Being able to sneak out without Zeus knowing.
Darkest secret: She wants to go back to Earth.
Does anyone know? She doesn’t think anyone does, and that she is able to sneak down every once in a while, but doesn’t stay for very long. But Zeus does know. However, ever the indulgent father, he allows it to keep her happy as long as she doesn’t stay very long.
How did he find out? He is her father; he knows her very well.

One word she would use to describe herself: Lonely
One paragraph of how she would describe herself: I appear as a young Goddess, however, that is not to say that I am not just as powerful as any of the others. The people of the Earth loved me.  They still do in fact even if I can no longer walk among them as I once did. I do so miss the smell of fresh flowers, the wind on my face, the smell of the ocean; running and playing with the children and their pets; helping scholars and poets alike, and hearing the tales they spin. Now I merely watch, observe, and hope that a time of peace will return to the land, and maybe, just maybe, I can return with it.
What does she consider her best physical characteristic and why:  My swift feet allow me to run between the worlds at such a pace that my father won’t be able to catch me.
The worst one? Why? My overly large heart, it gets me into a lot of trouble…
How they think others perceive her: Possibly a little damaged.
What four things would they most like to change about herself: 1) I would like to be able to change when I come and go; 2) I would like to live without regret; 3) I want to connect with people; 4) I want another chance
If these traits were changed would she be the same being, why/why not: I would not be the same because I would be happier.
Would changing of number 1 make them more happy? Why/why not: It would. I would be happiest if I could have all of it. But the freedom to roam as I pleased would definitely be a good start.
Most at ease when: I lived in the Golden Age.
Most ill at ease when: Fighting with Dike about whether or not we could turn things around for humankind.
Priorities: instilling peace once again
Philosophies: Humans are genuinely good, they just have to be coaxed into not giving in to their darker side.
Past failure she would be embarrassed to admit:  Not applicable.
Why? My failure is no secret, everyone knows what I did and it breaks my heart.
If granted one wish what would it be, why? My greatest wish is that I could go back to Earth and be with the people that I hold so dear.

Immediate: Teach Dike a lesson.
Long term: Bring back the Age of peace and creativity.
How do they plan to accomplish them: She doesn’t know; not sure it can be done.
How will others be effected by this: Life on earth would be better.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Introducing Vera Dikeman

Vera is a Goddess, a combination of Verdhandi (her name means “That which is becoming” and she is one of the three Norns, the Norse Goddesses of Fate), and Dike the Greek Goddess of Judgment.  When Vera decides to physically incarnate as a mortal woman in order to assist humankind, her journey is symbolic of an “Automaton” who discovers that physical existence is more than being a complex and beautiful machine meant for service and pleasure.  

Vera’s journey leads to her own self-discovery as she moves from a newly incarnated being to a woman who becomes aware of the “Ghost in the Machine,” which turns out to be the immortal soul of the Goddess of Justice herself.  As such, she embraces her divine nature which allows her to follow her own Will and make her own choices.  

Vera Dikeman is portrayed by Terra Mysterium company member, and author of “The Alembic,” Amy Christensen.In order to learn more about Vera, you'll have to come see her journey on stage!

"The Alembic" opens this Friday as an official selection of Chicago Fringe Fest.  All performances will be presented at Dream Theatre, 556 West 18th Street, Chicago, IL 60616

Friday, August 31st at 7pm
Saturday, September 1st at 1pm
Sunday, September 2nd at
Monday, September 3rd at
Friday, September 7th at 10pm
Saturday, September 8th at 7pm
Sunday, September 9th at

Admission: $15 ($5 for the mandatory Fringe Fest Button, $10 for admission to our show)

Purchase tickets here