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MANNMay08p8-15main.qxd

4/18/08

10:13 AM

Page 8

True Renaissance Artists— By Alex Allred

T T h e F r e n c h C o u r t o f F r a n c i s d e V a l o i s i s w a l k i n g h i s t o r y . A t r e m e n d o u s c a s t o f c r e a t i v e p e o p l e w i t h t h e a t r i c a l b a c k g r o u n d s a n d a n i n h e r e n t f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h h i s t o r y , t h e y p o r t r a y a l e g a c y , w h i c h , f o r t h e m o s t p a r t , h a s b e e n l o n g f o r g o t t e n . W h e n e v e r T o m A l c o r n , f o u n d e r o f t h e t r o u p e , e n t e r s a r o o m i n h i s r e g a l g a r b , a l l e y e s a r e o n h i m . A s t a t u e s q u e 6 4 , T o m i s a k i n g . T r u l y . I n h i s r o y a l r o b e s , h e b e c o m e s K i n g F r a n c i s I i n t h e y e a r 1 5 3 3 . I n h i s r e a l , e v e r y d a y l i f e i n

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2008, Tom is the grandson and heir of German aristocrats. In fact, it was an interest in his heritage that led him to develop his characterization of King Francis I. “Hitler killed my grandparents,” Tom said. When Hitler purged Germany of any and all aristocrats who might one day threaten his role as Germany’s undisputed leader, Tom’s grandparents were murdered for Nazi amusement. Only his mother would survive, but not without enduring great hardship at the hands of the Nazis. The old guard of aristocracy was made to look ugly, weak and worthless. But not even Hitler could have anticipated how wrong he was in this thinking. Tom’s mother, Margot Fashe, was strong willed and determined. Because of her cultural upbringing, she was forced to decipher messages and codes sent between the French allies. Eventually, she escaped, trekking for 14 days across the Swiss Alps in an attempt to get back into Germany to her family. However, the French captured her and it was there in France that she met, resisted but eventually succumbed to a persistent ally, an American solider. With the permission of the military, Tom Alcorn married Margot and brought her stateside. Tom’s parents spent the next 59 years together, rearing four children in the process, until they both died in 2004,

MansfieldNOW May 2008

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