Renaissance Faires Are a Way of Life for These Traveling Performers


When the Renaissance faire comes to town, most of us visit for the day, indulge in a few giant turkey legs, watch some jousting, and go back to our 21st century reality. But for some performers and fans, the Renaissance faire is a way of life.

In the short documentary American Renaissance, directors Jarred Alderman and Ryan Scafuro go behind the scenes at the New York Renaissance Faire, uncovering the stories of its jugglers, mimes, historical impersonators, and most ardent enthusiasts. From the 13-year-old juggler who was born into a family of traveling Ren faire performers to the woman who has played Queen Elizabeth I for more than two decades, many of the film’s subjects have made Ren faire performance a lifelong pursuit. 

The film reveals the fascinating ways folks at the Faire blend historical fact, contemporary pop culture, and mythologies all their own to create their unique costumes and performances (including a Renaissance-era court jester who lists Charlie Chaplin and Marcel Marceau as his greatest influences). Check it out above.

[h/t Aeon Video]

Banner Image Credit: Aeon Video, Vimeo