Regal Reveille

Awake the White and Wint’ry Queen awakens after seven-year sleep


From 2007 to 2012, Scott Fray and Madelyn Greco produced an original multimedia play, Awake the White and Wint’ry Queen. Now, after a seven-year hiatus, the couple, known collectively as Livingbrush Bodypainting, is remounting the play at the Van Dyke Performance Space December 20 and 21, which — not coincidentally — is the weekend of the Winter Solstice.

In a nutshell, the play is a celebration of the longest night of the year and the return of the light. The thread woven through the story is the passing of the seasonal torch in search of the Wint’ry Queen. It is elaborately told through music, dance, costumes, bodypainting and an ever-changing video backdrop.

Fray, who wrote the script and composed all the music, had intended for the play to go dark in 2012, the year the Mayan calendar ended. But last year, after several cast members performed some of the musical numbers in the show, he realized that a revamping was in order.

“People who are familiar with the storyline will recognize it,” he says, “but we’ve streamlined it and pared it down from around 40 people to 20.” Technology and a new orchestral backdrop provide more with less: “The idea was to create more richness and depth while retaining the essence of the story.”

Otherwise, you can expect to see Fray and Greco, multiple-time, international champions in bodypainting, playing another role as roving goodwill ambassadors for their chosen art form. Since bringing the Livingart North American Bodypainting Championship  from Atlanta to Greensboro and winning the Betty Cone Medal of the Arts two years ago, they’ve been quite busy as advocates for art and cosmetic products.

Greco, in fact, organized a bodypainting component for the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival, held at various sites around the world. The result is the Jan Tana Bodypainting Revolution, which has taken the pair to various points on the globe in conjunction with “The Arnold.”

The addition of locations as far away as Norway and Australia warms the heart of this wint’ry queen of bodypainting.

“I’m enormously grateful,” Greco says with a smile. “But mostly I’m incredulous.”— Ogi Overman

Tickets to Awake the White and Wint’ry Queen are available through

Recommended Posts