The wooded village of Revel Grove in Crownsville will come to life once more as the Maryland Renaissance Festival kicks off its 43rd season on August 24. Festivalgoers, many fun and flamboyantly costumed, will eagerly step back in time to the year 1532, when King Henry is on the throne.
This fall is Pasadena resident Reed Sigmon's second season as a member of the Company of the Rose, the festival's acting team. Sigmon, playing the role of Master Francis Weston, is privileged to be a personal servant to Henry and be part of the king’s privy chamber.
For over a decade, Sigmon has acted in various venues, including the Laurel Mill Playhouse, and with the Colonial Players. Following a performance of the role of Harry Witherspoon in the Colonial Players’ play “Lucky Stiff,” directors from the Company of the Rose invited Sigmon to be a part of their team. He accepted and has loved every minute.
Sigmon is excited to portray Weston. Underqualified to be part of the royal court, Weston gained the king's favor by playing dice and cards with him. He didn’t know yet that in a few years he would be executed for adultery with Anne Boleyn and treason, said Sigmon.
As the playful Weston, Sigmon will interact with fairgoers along the Revel Grove pathways, and in festival bars, he will challenge them in a variety of games. Weston's newly acquired social status causes jealousy in a few of the older gentlemen of the court, so some playful antagonism may spontaneously happen along the way.
Sigmon will also participate in a new show called “Audience with the King,” and sing as Weston in the Queen's Singers and at PubSing. He'll also participate in the new “Singing Pages,” singing in three-part harmony about standing in line waiting for the “privies,” or for the bank machines.
Improvisation and spontaneity are all part of the fun, said Sigmon. “The beauty of a festival day is that there is ample time for new bits to spring up, so the last day of the festival may look very different from the first,” Sigmon said.
In addition to his role as Weston, Sigmon will portray Peter in the Globe Theatre production of “Romeo and Juliet.” He is especially excited about the sword-fighting scenes.
He will portray Callimaco in Niccolo Machiavelli's, “The Mandrake,” and as the messenger in Shakespeare's, “Much Ado About Nothing” as part of the Streetspeare project — short scenes that were written by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Sigmon is thankful to be part of a festival so many people anticipate and attend each year. He enjoys working with other actors and watching them perform various roles.
“This is wonderful work for an actor, and I feel very fortunate to be working with such a talented and devoted group of people,” Sigmon said.