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Charlie Chaplin interactive
Tableaux Al Fresco:
Walking Paintings
Airbrush Facepainting
Facepainting, illustrative style
Western skills and shows
Renaissance : the new vaudeville
Corporate event offerings
Interactive / Roving performances
Variety Stage
Fire-eating artistry  
Handwriting analysis for special events: for entertainment purposes only  (currently under preparation)


Magic & sleight of hand
Flea Circus


"WhipFlash!": fire and whip
--The Bullet Catch
--The Wheel of Death
WhipFlash in the media


Airbrushed creations
Design and innovation
Signs and Banners
Custom Props 

Historical Style Wood Pocketwatches



Production Management

(c) 1997-2004
Snake Oil Productions, professional variety entertainment and other modern conveniences.

Lauren Muney, proprietress, designer, performer, producer, makeup artist, stitcher, props-fabricator, illustrator

Updated 12/09/2004.



A great popularity in the entertainment genre known as Renaissance Festivals has exploded across the North American continent.
This success has inspired many
Corporate functions to theme their events to the "Renaissance".

A History of Renaissance Festivals

While the "legitimate theatre" scoffs at the genre of Renaissance Festivals, other performers, craftspeople, specialized food businesses, and millions of patrons revel in its resurgent vaudeville beauty.

A Renaissance Festival is a themed event located on many acres of property, whereby a guest enters the "gate", his whole world is transformed back to the 16th or 17th century. This world includes food, crafts, music, variety stage shows, armored jousting, King, Queen, Royal Court, villagers, and even games. The whole site is interactive - the visitors, often called "patrons" (the authentic word for he/she who pays for a service), are invited to touch, feel, listen, sing, dance, participate in shows, bow to royalty, wave turkey legs, or just stand back and watch.

Almost no other event type can offer the intimacy and accessibility as a Renaissance Festival offers - not "traditional theatre", not opera, almost nothing else.

The stage shows and close-up entertainment give the guests, sometimes called "patrons" (from the old Renaissance word meaning 'the person who pays'), an intimate day with quality entertainment - quite a departure from far stages in large theatres.

Lauren, in "WhipFlash!", - ta-da!These Festivals approximate over 60 in the U.S. and Canada. The first events started in Southern California, in the late 1970's, but the ideas and personnel quickly spread. The large amount of events create a "circuit" which spans late January through November; however, this circuit is so vast that circuit participants may never meet. Each event is an individual festival (all are not owned by one company), although corporations have now formed which own several festivals.

Lauren Muney performs in WhipFlash at the Maryland Renaissance Festival, ca. 1997

A Renaissance Festival can have up to 250,000 patrons enter their gates in a two-month timespan, just on the weekends! Participants or visitors learn about various events by experience, word of mouth, or even by specialized electronic media, like the SCRIBE Network or Ren Fest.Com. Almost all performers are professional actors and variety artists, and the craftspeople are almost always full-time artists as well - some festivals also make a point to give a small stage space to local community entertainers as well.

The resurgence in vaudeville-type variety entertainment was pushed along with the tide of Renaissance Festivals. Famous entertainers who started their star skyward at Ren Fests include Penn & Teller (separate acts then), The Flying Karamazov Brothers, Avner the Eccentric, and many others.

Many of the participants perform in Renaissance Festivals for the entire year, while there are many who only do one or a few per year. Entertainers may perform in more traditional venues for part of the year - corporate events, school-age shows, etc, and many craftspeople also travel to arts or street festivals. Site crews build on a permanent site all year round, improving buildings, fortifying structures, increasing electricity or water supply. Renaissance Festivals are a true medium all unto its own, and are now gaining the respect they deserve.