40 members, including strolling musicians and acrobats, classically trained opera singers and, eventually, their beloved Queen Elanor of Habsburg, who humbly goes through life as Ann Rodriquez, a beautiful, quiet soul who is perfectly suited to being the queen.
What is fascinating is just how
similar the cast members are to their chosen Renaissance personas. “We would see it again and again,” Tom said. “It was a little eerie.” Toni chose a particular pattern or Renee would cross-stitch (or pearl) a costume in a manner, which they would later discover was typical of their real life alter ego.
What began as a curiosity for some, and an overwhelming need for others, has blossomed into a community of immensely talented, giving, warm people who, once strangers, now call themselves a family — but not without cost. The price of their royal clothing is high. To make just one detailed outfit takes up to two months, involving literally hundreds of hours of pearling, a tedious process of hand sewing one jewel or pearl at a time, intricately laying lines or patterns of
MansfieldNOW May 2008