The Sunken Plaza
Thespian’s Square, Guildhall Ward
The Sunken Plaza’s an odd place – it’s a sign that Sigil’s integrity isn’t the soundest. It didn’t exist a generation or two ago, and its current location was known as ’Thespian’s Square,’ a small artist’s colony in the Guildhall Ward. The locals were all actors of varying skill and versatility, but most worked in other places throughout Sigil, only living in Thespian’s Square to be among actors.
Well, what happened next was a shock to everyone. The Square stood directly over a large gallery in Sigil’s catacombs. Well, some bunch of clueless adventurers got in a great fight with some archmage down there, and the resulting explosions weakened the whole support structure of the gallery — it collapsed. Thespian’s Square was reduced to a rubble-filled pit.
The actors struck upon this as a wonderful opportunity. Instead of building the Square back, they simply added what they needed to the ‘dent’ in Sigil’s streets and created an amphitheater capable of seating nearly a thousand onlookers. Most residents of the renamed artist’s colony – now the Sunken Plaza – banded together and formed a half dozen small theatrical guilds, each of which were part-owners of the new theatre. Today still, they perform in the amphitheatre for the entertainment of onlookers.
Competition between the mini-guilds is fierce. Though a twisted and strong sense of ‘honour among bards’ prevents them from actually doing things to harm one another, each guild tries to outdo the others by specialising in a specific type of theatre. They are named as follows (with the indicated speciality):
- Corner Touts (contemporary satire)
- The White Marble (ancient classics)
- Masks (mask and mime acting)
- Lilting Sparrows (musical)
- The Sylvan Court (folk tales)
- Dour Jesters (contemporary drama)
Theatre: One can hardly want for performance in the Sunken Plaza. Each guild has built its own practice stage, and as such they are free to take turns performing on the main stage – and do so at least once every two weeks. Admission costs vary tremendously, based on the length of the piece, the quality of the seats, and the guild on stage. The normal range is 5 stingers (for the cheap seats in a short play put on by The Corner Touts) to 150 jinx (for the best seats in a four-hour play put on by the White Marble) per person.
Acting: Actors with a little experience under their belt and some talent can usually find a guild for their preferred style of acting. Membership dues are quite high (as high as 200 jinx a year) and expected devotion is high, but the great success of the Sunken Plaza’s theatrical endeavors makes this a worthwhile investment.
Playwriting: The rapid turnover of plays here has attracted a seventh ‘guild,’ that of the playwrights. Dozens of aspiring playwrights vie for their best scripts to be bought by the actors. If a body has a play to sell, they could do worse than to try to sell it to one of the guilds.