History of SPPP

Samuel Peaches’ Peripatetic Players arrived in the Bay Area in Fall, 2013, with a trunkload of tall tales of world travel. Since then they have performed at theatres, schools, parks, and public spaces around the Bay Area, usually aboard FluxWagon, their folding mobile stage.

They made their debut at the 2013 San Francisco Fringe Festival with O Best Beloved, their adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Just-So Stories. Their performance was named a Best of Fringe and earned a Stuart Award for Excellence.

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The Parsee reluctantly removes his splendid hat while three storytellers try to tell his tale correctly in O Best Beloved, September 2013. Photo by Serena Morelli.

In 2014, the Players remounted O Best Beloved for encore performances at Main Street Theatre and Prospect Sierra Middle School, and took O Best Beloved to nine Bay Area parks and public spaces aboard FluxWagon, their folding mobile stage.

A Mariner, Stute Fish and Whale in O Best Beloved, August 2014. Photo by Serena Morelli.

During Summer, 2015, the Peripatetic Players premiered a new show, Aesop Amuck, their madcap retelling of more than a dozen of the famous fables, and again toured the Bay, including stops in San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, Port Costa, Pleasanton, and Santa Clara.

The Hare gets a running start in Aesop Amuck, August 2015. Photo by Tim Guydish.

That fall, fulfilling a long-held yearning of impresario and artiste Samuel Peaches, the Players began to dabble in Shakespeare. First, they honored Main Street Theatre with an ill-fated improvised performance of Hamlet. Next, by invitation of Port Costa’s Bull Valley Roadhouse, the Players spontaneously tossed aside a Viking-themed script that Mdme. Directrix had prepared in Mr. Peaches’ absence and treated revellers at the Bull Valley’s Third Anniversary Party to their semi-improvised version of Romeo and Juliet.

Paris (Thumper) is a man of wax! Romeo and Juliet, November 2015. Photo by Charlie Gray.

Fraught with some consternation and disagreement (mostly between Mr. Peaches and Thumper) as to which star-crossed tale of destiny is truly the most classic, in September 2016 the Players premiered their daring mashup entitled Shakespeare Or Space Wars. As Princess Gwen explained before the premiere, “the audience should understand that even we do not know how it will turn out.”

Samuel Peaches as Prince Escalus tries to break up a brawl between Capulets and Montagues in the more Shakespearean portion of Shakespeare or Space Wars, September 2016 at the Berkeley Marina. Photo by Tim Guydish.

It either turned out well or the Players’ hope springs eternal, because the Players remounted Shakespeare or Space Wars for a 2017 tour.

In 2018, the Players undertook another daring adventure, this time “daring” the audience to choose the course of the Players’ pirate adventure aboard the Good Ship Peripatetic, in Shiver We Timbers. During this production the Players encountered all manner of dangers, from evil pirates to cursed treasure to stormy seas, scurvy, and mutinous intent… all depending on votes from the audience.

A sea storm hits the Good Ship Peripatetic! Photo by Soren Santos.

In early 2019, the Players began hosting public workshops under the auspices of their parent company, Idiot String, and in association with Idiot String’s artistic residency in Port Costa, California sponsored by the Port Costa Conservation Society. In these half-day sessions, participants learn how the Players create their characters; adapt great works of literature into sublime ridiculousness; slip, trip and fall without serious injury; and construct their particular brand of immensely obvious theatrical magic.

This Summer, the Players return with Samuel’s epic adaptation of Princess Gwen’s favorite novel — this time with the entire production packed into a few suitcases. A Lord Of A Ring In A Suitcase plays August 17-19, 2019.