Master Jonathan Tone & Elizabeth Anonymous (‘Lizzie Anon to her friends’).
Menagerie, as they are currently known, is comprised of Jon and Lisa Butts. They got their start in 1989 as a Recorder trio, known as the Royal Pipers. One day back in 1989, Lisa’s aunt came into the house and said that she had “something right down your alley” and they went to the site for the Ohio Renaissance Faire, which was still under construction at that time. That didn’t stop Lisa. Because, she jumped right in and helped with the construction by hammering nails and painting walls. During her first year there, she sold clothes. Also, that was when she and Jon (along with a friend) started the Royal Pipers, which they continued with for two years. As a trio, they performed at Renaissance Festivals and Faires in Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Alabama.
Then, in 1993, they joined with another and Menagerie was born. Once Menagerie was formed, they continued to perform at Renaissance Faies and Festivals, such as the Ohio Renaissance Faire, The Tennessee Renaissance Festival, and the Alabama Renaissance Faire. Then in 1998, Menagerie became a duo and still they continued performing at various Renaissance Faires and events. In 2006, they went on the road, full time, traveling the East Coast from Michigan to Florida. A few years later, Jon and Lisa slowed down to take care of their grandchildren, Luke and Lois. Now, Menagerie only performs at the Alabama Renaissance Faire and the Great Lakes Medieval Faire, as well as some of their local festivals. Each October, Menagerie can be seen performing for the Alabama Renaissance Faire in Florence, Al.
The Rainbow Dancers
The Rainbow Dancers are but one of the many performers you will see at the Alabama Renaissance Faire. They are led by the Lady Wiporwill, Queen of the Rainbow Dancers. Though their numbers have changed over the years, one thing remains the same, what they do is not just a dance, it’s an Art.
The Zholdak Kozaky
The Zholdak Kozaky are a live steel, living history re-enactment group, who’s shows revolve around life in a mercenary camp. You will see sword fights, black smithing and even learn how to make simple medicines.
Duchess” Lizzy Fleete
The incorporeal home of lowly minion “Duchess” Lizzy Fleete, unworthy poor beggar, groveller, and carrot enthusiast. Kisser of feet, praiser of magnificence, footstool to Royalty. Having grown up in the sombre shadow of the Fleet Debtor’s Prison, Lizzy learned fine manners from those of the incarcerated noblefolk while running errands for a coin. After losing her carrot farmer husband (or possibly just misplacing him on purpose), Lizzy became a member of the unworthy poor, and sought a career as a lowly minion and beggar.
L.U.T.E., the Living Statue
Photo courtesy of Ron Tencat
From a far land travels L.U.T.E., the Living Statue. Combining a time when the Church was the greatest patron of the Arts flourishing in the Renaissance, and the magic of a faire where anything can happen, L.U.T.E. encourages guests to Lift. Up. Thine. Eyes.
The Shire of Glynn Rhe is a local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international, not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to the research and recreation of pre-17th century European history. Whether you would be a warrior, scholar, or artisan, there is a place for you and your family in the current Middle Ages. If you’ve ever had the dream of seeing what it was like to fight in armored combat like a knight, or dance courtly dances far into the evening, or feast at great feasts with kings and barons and other nobles, come check us out!
Bards of Birmingham was informally launched in 2008 as the “Cahaba Valley Players.” Bards is the brain child of Laura Heider, who conceptualized the group while serving as a minister for children and youth. In 2010, Bards of Birmingham became an independent non-profit theatre company. Bards of Birmingham was formed with the intention of providing an opportunity to engage in theatre to all young people in the Greater Birmingham area, regardless of experience, education level, age, race, and/or economic constraints. Bards’ primary focus is on classical theatre, particularly the works of Shakespeare.