#POOOC2020 Official Obstacles

Welcome to #POOOC2020 — the Peripatetic Players Particularly Obstinate Online Obstacle Course! 

Seven Obstinate Obstacles await you! They will test your merit, your mettle, your moxie, and even your manners.

Some tips:

  • Read through the Obstacles first so that you can collect everything you need and understand how the challenges work. 
  • All the Obstacles can be done at home with common objects. Some obstacles require a partner, who can be someone in your household or someone you can call or video-chat with. 
  • Each Obstacle can be modified for each participant’s ability, dexterity, and size.
  • Bonus Points are ways to add challenge to any Obstacle!
  • You can tackle one Obstacle at a time, or do all of them in a row! The Official Online Obstacle challenge lasts through April 5. Challenge yourself to complete your Obstacles by then if you like!
  • Be sure to ask permission to use the household items you’ll need for the challenge, and have an adult approve the safety of your course before you begin. (If you are an adult, it’s up to you how much permission and safety is required.)
  • If you wish, you can post photos or videos of your glorious Obstacle attempts with the hashtag #POOOC2020. The Peripatetic Players will be posting theirs, too. You can also tag @PeripateticPlayers on IG or TikTok, and @SamuelPeaches on Twitter!
  • Join us for a Celebration of Obstacles Overcome live-streamed on the Peripatetic Players Facebook Page, April 5 at 2pm!
  • Also optional: If you register as an Official Obstacler, you can donate or collect pledges to help the Peripatetic Players raise money for their summer production, A Lord Of A Ring: The Extend-ish Edition, a two-part trilogy inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous adventure saga. For more information, please visit https://go.rallyup.com/poooc2020

Table of Obstinate Online Obstacles:

1. GEAR UP and GET DOWN!

Gear up for your great quest! Every undertaking requires the proper attire and bomb moves. For obstacles of this obstinacy, the more layers and the more moves the better! Each member of the Fellowship had at least a few layers of cool cloaks and protective gear, even if they didn’t wear shoes. In your awesome attire, with your amazing moves, you will defeat any foe!

Get Ready…

  • Gather some clothes — as many as you can put on at once over whatever you are wearing now.
  • Find a music player.

Get Set…

  • Choose a song to play, and cue it up on your player… or just use the next song that comes on the radio.

Go!

  • Start the music!
  • Put on as many pieces of clothing as you possibly can! Remember, you’re preparing yourself for a great challenge!
  • NOW DANCE! Dance defiantly in the face of adversity! You have til the music stops to continue being amazing!
  • Bonus Points: Be wearing all of the costume pieces at the end of the dance that you started your dance with. More clothes and more vigorous dancing = more bonus points!
Princess Gwen, Some Strange Pink Monster, and Dr. Reindeer dancing in sync during P.O.O.C. 2017. Photo by Tim Guydish.

2. GALADRIEL’S MIRROR of “Things That Have Not Yet Come To Pass”

What are your predictions for things that have not yet come to pass, a.k.a. The Future? The elf queen Galadriel looks into her mirror (which looks an awful lot like Dumbledore’s Pensieve) to see the past, present, and future. Your mirror will help you give a hopeful prediction!

Get Ready…

  • Find a Mirror or other reflective object (like a window) in which to look for your predictions.

Get Set…

  • Sit or stand in front of your mirror.

Go!

  • Wave your hands mystically in front of your mirror while you speak your question aloud: “What is something good that can happen while we shelter in place?” or “How might the world change for the better after this quarantine?”
  • Close your eyes for 10 seconds while you summon all your visionary powers…
  • Now open your eyes, strike your most Powerful Pose…
  • And in your biggest voice, Speak Your Prediction! Try starting with “I hope that…” or “I’m glad that…” or “I predict that…” and fill in the rest. Examples: “I hope that I will be stronger and more resilient than before!”, “I’m glad that I can write messages to my friends!”, “I predict that we will all be happy to see each other again!”
  • Bonus Points: Sing your prediction, and keep singing all about it! Make it up as you go along… aim for 30 seconds and see how long you can keep your song going!
Princess Gwen as Galadriel in A Lord Of A Ring In A Suitcase, summer 2019.

3. AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: DIY Obstacle Course

When Frodo started on his quest to destroy the One Ring, he had no idea what would happen… and sometimes, the obstacles he faced were challenges he created! Now it’s your turn to show everyone your best talents and qualities. You’re going to make an obstacle course in your own space, using items from the lists provided. 

Get Ready…

  • Create five obstacles, one from each object in List A. Here’s how: Draw one line from each object in List A to match up with one task from List B (you can write in a couple others if you like). Then draw a line from each chosen task in List B to one way from list C. This is your guide to making your obstacle course… feel free to add your own embellishments and get creative! 

List A: OBJECTS

  • A Chair
  • A Doorway
  • A Pillow
  • A Blanket

List B: TASKS

  • Go Under
  • Go Over
  • Go Around
  • Go Through
  • Go Inside
  • Balance On
  • Jump Over
  • Hide From
  • Travel Along
  • [Create Your Own!]

List C: WAYS

  • Stealthily
  • Quickly
  • Softly
  • Loudly
  • Strongly
  • Gracefully
  • Secretly
  • Invisibly
  • Pompously
  • [Create Your Own!]
  • Collect the objects in List A. For Bonus Points, also collect something to toss (like a pair of socks folded into a ball) and something to toss it into (like a bowl, basket, or other container.)
  • Find something to use for a starting line and a finish line. Long pieces of yarn, long scarves, or a piece of removable painter’s tape on the ground work nicely. 
  • You may want some music for this challenge. Choose your soundtrack wisely.

Get Set…

  • Set up your obstacle course, using your objects, tasks and ways to create your own Unexpected Journey! 
  • Bonus Points: Set up a Final Challenge to do when you’ve finished the others: like Frodo tossing the One Ring into the fires of Mount Doom, you’ll toss your tossing-thing into your container!
  • Turn on your music.

Go!

  • Complete your Unexpected Obstacles!
Meekins as The Hare, ready to win all the races in Aesop Amuck, summer 2015.

4. THE TWO TOWERS: Messages To Faraway Friends

What happens when you need help, but your friends are far away? You send messages, of course! In this challenge, you represent a whole castle or city. You can be Gondor lighting the beacons to ask for help from Rohan, or (if you’re a villain) Sauron up in Orthanc commanding Saruman in Isengard, or (if you have no idea who or what we’re talking about) you could be San Francisco sending signals to New York City. Your goal is to get a message to your friend across a distance, without using words. 

Get Ready…

  • Find a partner (virtually or online) 
  • Find something to wear that represents your castle, city, or community. (If you are already wearing a costume, this should somehow fit on top!)

Get Set…

  • You and your partner should be in two different places. You could be in different houses (via video chat), different rooms of the same house, or just on opposite sides of one room.
  • Put on your costume! 
  • Decide on a simple task for your partner to do. Each partner should come up with a task, but don’t tell each other what the task is! Examples of simple tasks: Do jumping jacks, Drink a glass of water, Sit down in a chair, Clap your hands. 
  • Decide on a way to communicate. Remember – you must communicate without words, and without leaving your spot. Examples of ways to communicate: hand signals, Morse code, semaphore, gestures, sign language, or invent your own! 
  • Bonus points: Don’t decide on the means of communication in advance, just wing it, and trust your partner to understand!

Go!

  • Communicate, without speaking, what you want your partner to do. 
  • Once the first partner successfully completes their task, switch
A small pirate, Meekins and Samuel Peaches with a punny obstacle at the 2018 P.O.O.C.

5. LEGOLAS & GIMLI’S Conquer-Clutter Competition!

Work with a partner to destroy the clutter around your house in a friendly competition, like Legolas and Gimli clearing Orcs out of the Battle of Helm’s Deep!

Get Ready…

  • Find a partner (online or in person)
  • Find a timer, or find a helper to keep an eye on the clock

Get Set…

  • Agree with your partner on how long the challenge will last, anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Set your timer (or have your helper say when to “go”)

Go!

  • Pick up pieces of clutter in your house, like toys, socks, pencils, junk mail  — anything that’s out of place — and put them where they belong!
  • Count your conquests: loudly call out a number each time you put something away so that your partner knows how awesome you are at this challenge. 
  • Compete to be the partner with the most items of clutter vanquished when the time is up!
  • Bonus Points: Count your conquests in the voice of your favorite character.
This competition between two Veronese ruffians (played by Princess Gwen and Percival Perkins) in Shakespeare or Space Wars (2017) wasn’t so friendly.

6. The RIDICULOUS RINGWRAITH Drawing/Describing Challenge! 

Those creepy Ringwraiths are always after our hero, Frodo Baggins… but they don’t know who he is, they can only talk in screeches and shrieks, and they can’t see so well under those heavy black cloaks! In this challenge, you’re a Ringwraith trying to find your favorite hero… but you have difficulties. Choose whichever challenge appeals to you: DRAWING or DESCRIBING!

Get Ready…

  • DRAWING: Grab a maker, some paper, and something to cover your eyes with, like a scarf you can tie into a blindfold or a hoodie you can wear backwards.
  • DESCRIBING and DRAWING: Decide who is your favorite hero. It could be yourself in your Obstacle Course costume, one of your Obstacle partners, Aragorn, Gandalf, Princess Leia, Wonder Woman, or any other hero.

Get Set…

  • DRAWING: Cover your eyes. Make sure you have your marker in your drawing hand and your paper on a table in front of you, under your other hand.
  • DESCRIBING: Take a deep breath!

Go!

  • DRAW a picture of your hero! No peeking! When you are done, show off your masterpiece — while still blindfolded.
  • DESCRIBE your hero using only gibberish! Be sure to use gestures or sounds that will help us get a sense of your hero’s awesomeness. Don’t leave out any details!
  • Bonus Points for DRAWING or DESCRIBING: you can only talk in screeches and shrieks!
Meekins, Thumper, and Samuel Peaches as Ringwraiths in A Lord Of A Ring In A Suitcase, summer 2019

7. The Most Obstinate of Obstinate Obstacles: SKARKLINE

Sometimes, you are called upon to Skarkline. What is Skarkline? Only you know.

Get Ready… 

  • Prepare the Skarkline Arena.

Get Set… 

  • Enter the Skarkline Arena.

Go! 

  • Successfully Skarkline!
  • Bonus Points: Skarkline in the character of your favorite hero (like Eowyn), villain (like Saruman), or anti-hero (like Gollum).
We are not sure if anyone is Skarklining in this picture from Aesop Amuck. There do seem to be Players wearing frog feet, and toddlers throwing projectiles.

Have fun!

Please let us know about your Obstacle Attempts by posting them on social media with the hashtag #POOOC2020! You can also tag @PeripateticPlayers on IG or TikTok, and @SamuelPeaches on Twitter!

Get Ready to Roam Middle Earth… Peripatetically!

The Peripatetic Players are back this Summer for six performances only with a new adaptation, A Lord Of A Ring In A Suitcase, August 17-25, 2019.

But this isn’t the first time the Players have tackled Tolkien’s epic tale! In early 2018, Samuel tried his hand as an artiste in a new medium, the silver screen… and the Players bravely filmed several scenes of The Fellowship Of The Ring starring Princess Gwen as Frodo, Guy Hank as Gandalf, Madame Directrix as both Merry and Pippin, Mr. Peaches as Samwise Gamgee, and Thumper and Meekins as two terrifying Ringwraiths. Percival Perkins made a detailed shotlist and kept the shoot running on schedule.

Have a look at some of the film stills here, and join the Players in Santa Clara, Oakland, Alameda, or Port Costa this summer!


Samuel Peaches is nearly as brilliant a film director as he is a stage director, as evidenced here by his groundbreaking use of perspective to make the Hobbits appear smaller than the Ringwraiths.
Thumper also played Bilbo, pictured here on his eleventy-first birthday as Gandalf (Guy Hank) gives a thumbs-up.
The dianoga from Shakespeare or Space Wars had a guest appearance as the Eye of Sauron.
In this dramatic scene, Gandalf fails to notice the similarities between the names “Sauron” and “Saruman.”

Physical Comedy with the Peripatetic Players – June 16

Learn to slip, trip, fall and bounce back on June 16!

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Thumper‘s very good friend, Joan Howard, will lead this Physical Comedy workshop. This workshop was postponed from its original date of March 17.

You’ll learn the basics of physical comedy and knockabout clowning, from solo slapstick to group melees and building comedic bits. You’ll build essential skills like tripping, tumbling, falling, and running into walls. We’ll also cover comic slaps, hair pulls, foot stomps, and head bonks. Finally, we’ll explore comic structure, and you’ll string your skills together to create a short slapstick performance with other workshop participants that will serve to develop character and tell a story.

This workshop is for actors, improvisers, clowns, comedians, and anyone who is excited to develop their physical funny. Open to all skill levels and ages 15 and up. Sign Up Here!

The basics:

portcostamap

What: Physical Comedy with the Peripatetic Players
When: June 16, 2019, 12pm – 3pm
Where: Port Costa, California

How To Sign Up: Register at this link!

More details:

Cost is just $50, which supports both Idiot String and the Port Costa Conservation Society. Residents of Port Costa, Crockett, or Tormey pay just $10 thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Crockett Community Foundation.

After the workshop, explore the wonderful and tiny town of Port Costa, where you can hike the hills, relax with a book, or discover whimsical artwork and fabulous antiques — making the whole day an invigorating experience.

We are excited to play with you!

What to bring:
  • Snacks and/or a bag lunch
  • Water bottle
  • Notebook or journal and pen(cil)
  • Closed-toe shoes and clothes you can move in
How to sign up:
sppp_signup_button

Joan Howard is a physical theatre performer and clown. She plays Thumper of the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players, and is one-half of the acrobatic clown duo Max & Antoinette, who have appeared at San Francisco Theater Pub and the foolsFURY Factory Parts Festival. Joan teaches the next generation of professional clowns at San Francisco Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory, where she is co-director of a new social clowning program called ClownCorps. Joan also feels particularly fortunate to visit hospitals with the Medical Clown Project. She has performed with We Players and foolsFURY, and has presented original performances at Physical Theatre Salon at Main Street, LEVYSalon, Barbary Coast Amusements, Literary Clown Foolery, The Clown Cabaret, and Ei8ht. In 2010, she co-founded Main Street Theatre in San Francisco’s Excelsior district, an alternative performance venue dedicated to physical theatre and the variety arts. Joan studied clowning and pedagogy with Giovanni Fusetti of Helikos, is a graduate of Flying Actor Studio’s Physical Theatre Conservatory, and holds a BFA in Sculpture/Performance Art from California College of Arts & Crafts. She is co-creator of Idiot String.

Ensemble Character Creation – Peripatetic Style!

Come play with us on January 27!

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Mdme Directrix’s very good friend, Rebecca Longworth, will lead a workshop on January 27 called Ensemble Character Creation with the Peripatetic Players.

This workshop is open to all! In it, you’ll create your very own character, and play together with other workshop participants to perform an original adaptation of a short fairy tale… just like the Peripatetic Players do it! Read on for more info, then Sign Up Here!

The basics:

portcostamap

What: Ensemble Character Creation with the Peripatetic Players
When: Sunday, January 27, 10am – 2pm
Where: Port Costa, California

How To Sign Up: Register at this link!

Cost is just $40, which supports both Idiot String and the Port Costa Conservation Society. Residents of Port Costa, Crockett, or Tormey pay just $10 thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Crockett Community Foundation.

The details:
Stretch your theatrical muscles, develop your own eccentric character, and hone your ensemble-creation skills!

In this workshop, Idiot String’s Artistic Director, Rebecca Longworth, will guide you through the Peripatetic Players’ signature style of character-building and collaborative creation, rooted in delight and play. You’ll come away with a new character ready to hit the stage in a variety of settings, new insight and confidence as a performer, and new collaborators dedicated to accessible ensemble theatremaking. You’ll also laugh a lot!

Using methods developed by the Peripatetic Players use to create their actor-characters, you’ll cultivate delight, vulnerability, and authentic presence on stage. You’ll gain insight into your habits as a performer, using those as strengths to build from. Then, through improvisation, eccentric exploration, and play, you’ll develop a brand-new character that’s unique to you! Your character will find their voice and form relationships, then build an ensemble with other delightful weirdos to adapt a short fairytale together.

After the workshop, explore the wonderful and tiny town of Port Costa, where you can hike the hills, relax with a book, or discover whimsical artwork and fabulous antiques — making the whole day an invigorating experience.

We are excited to play with you!

Who is this workshop for?

We’re looking for participants from a variety of backgrounds with a range of performing experience…

  • Actors who want to incorporate more physicality, playfulness, or vulnerability into their character work
  • Physical performers ready to deepen ensemble skills, mindfulness, vulnerability and play
  • Performers of all stripes seeking to gain insight into their habits, incorporate a sense of delight and play into their practice, or explore new ways of collaborating in ensemble
  • Anyone seeking more relaxation, confidence and delight on stage and working in groups
  • Those interested in devised theatre-making, collaboration creation, or the Bay Area ensemble theater community
  • Non-actors with an openness to learning new techniques, accessing vulnerability, and building ensemble
What to bring:
  • Snacks and/or a bag lunch
  • Water bottle
  • Notebook or journal and pen(cil).
  • Closed-toe shoes and clothes you can move in, preferably solid, neutral colors.
What’s provided:
  • Some costumes and accessories to try on — we encourage you *not* to bring your own, but instead to surprise yourself with something new!
  • A creative environment rooted in connection, support, and delight.
How to sign up / cost:
sppp_signup_button

Your investment of $40 supports Idiot String, our workshop leaders, and the Port Costa School as a community space. Residents of Port Costa, Tormey, and Crockett pay just $10, thanks to generous sponsorship from the Crockett Community Foundation.

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Come one, come all – to the SPPP’s first workshop!

Come play with the SPPPs!

*Update: this workshop has been RESCHEDULED for Sunday January 27*

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The Peripatetic Players and their very good friends Rebecca, Joan, et. al. will be leading a workshop this November 3 [rescheduled for January 27!] called Ensemble Character Creation with the Peripatetic Players.

This workshop is open to all! In it, you’ll create your very own character, and play together with other workshop participants to perform an original adaptation of a short fairy tale… just like the Peripatetic Players do it! Read on for more info, then Sign Up Here!

The basics:

What: Ensemble Character Creation with the Peripatetic Players
When: Saturday November 3, 10am – 2pm
Where: Port Costa, California
portcostamap
How To Sign Up: Register at this link!

Cost is just $40 to pay workshop leaders, and help support Idiot String and the Port Costa Conservation Society. No one turned away for lack of funds.

The details:

Stretch your muscles of eccentricity and ensemble with the Peripatetic Players!

In this workshop, you’ll experience the Peripatetic Players’ signature style of character-building and collaborative creation, rooted in delight and play. You’ll come away with a new character ready to hit the stage in other settings, new insight and confidence as a performer, and new collaborators dedicated to accessible ensemble theatremaking. You’ll also laugh a lot!

With methods the Peripatetic Players use to create their actor-characters, you’ll cultivate delight, vulnerability, and authentic presence on stage. You’ll gain insight into your habits as a performer, using those as strengths to build from. Then, through improvisation, eccentric exploration, and play, You’ll develop a brand-new character that’s unique to you! We’ll help them find their voice and form relationships, then we’ll take our characters for a spin… building an ensemble with other delightful weirdos, and adapting a short fairytale together.

After the workshop, explore the wonderful and tiny town of Port Costa, where you can hike the hills, relax with a book, or discover whimsical artwork and fabulous antiques — making the whole day an invigorating experience.

We are excited to play with you!

Who is this workshop for?

We’re looking for participants from a variety of backgrounds with a range of performing experience…

  • Actors who want to incorporate more physicality into their character work
  • Physical performers ready to deepen skills, mindfulness, and play
  • Any performers seeking to gain insight into their habits, incorporate a sense of delight and play into their practice, or explore new ways of collaborating in ensemble
  • Anyone seeking more relaxation, confidence and delight on stage
  • Those interested in devised theatre-making, collaboration creation, or the Bay Area ensemble theater community
What to bring:
  • Snacks and/or a bag lunch
  • Water bottle
  • Notebook or journal and pen(cil).
  • Closed-toe shoes and clothes you can move in, preferably solid, neutral colors.
What’s provided:
  • Some costumes and accessories to try on — we encourage you *not* to bring your own, but instead to surprise yourself with something new!
  • A creative environment rooted in connection, support, and delight.
How to sign up / cost:
sppp_signup_button

Cost is just $40 to pay workshop leaders, and help support Idiot String and the Port Costa Conservation Society. No one turned away for lack of funds.

You did it — THANKS!

Thanks to our fantastic donors and supporters, we met our challenge grant goal!

Goal Met

Through our spring & summer fundraising campaigns, we met our matching challenge of $4000 from the East Bay Fund for Artists! In face, we exceeded the goal by about $400, which will cover the associated costs of credit card and fiscal sponsorship fees. Hurrah! and THANK YOU!

You’re the wind in our sails.

Not only do these dollars help the Peripatetic Players to sail around the Bay this summer, the matching funds from the East Bay Fund for Artists at the East Bay Community Foundation will help Idiot String (the Peripatetics’ parent company) create a new play in Port Costa in 2019.

It’s all because of folks like YOU!

Thank you to all our generous supporters of the matching campaign who donated online or by filling out yellow slips or swiping a card at our shows… to those who pledged a Player for the Third Annual Particularly Obstinate Obstacle Course… and everyone who helped us meet our match!

And thank you also to everyone who gives at our performances. Your kind words and smiles put the wind in our sails, and the dollars that you drop in our hats keeps our shows accessible to all!

THANK YOU!

Here’s what it takes to put on an SPPP summer tour…

  • $4500 pays artists (actors, designers, director and technicians)
  • $1500 creates sets, props & costumes
  • $2500 helps us get the word out
  • $3500 pays for park permits, truck rental, and insurance
  • $1365 covers banking fees, office supplies, and other expenses

That’s $13,365 for the whole summer tour — or about $1215 per show. Yay, math!

Is it too late to donate? It’s never too late! We’re still counting on donations throughout the summer to meet our overall budget for the tour. If you’re moved, you can donate right here, right now! Or, come to a show and drop some dollars in our hat. In either case, we hope to see you soon!

On Your Marks, Get Set, OBSTACLE!

It’s that time again Players and pals!

We need your help!

Announcing the Third Annual Particularly Obstinate Obstacle Course — P.O.O.C.#3!

May 19, 2018 @ 2pm
Mosswood Park, Oakland

obtacle 2016 4

Our first foray into the P.O.O.C.!

The P.O.O.C. is our annual crowdFUNding event that helps raise the cash needed to send the Peripatetic Players around the Bay on their Summer Tour. It’s also a lot of fun, so come on out to Mosswood Park on May 19 to cheer on the Players and witness Feats of Foolishness and Daring!

Pledge a Player now!

The Periapetic Players

Photo by Serena Morelli

Not only will your cash bring delightful, free theatre to communities around the Bay, every dollar donated through July 15 will be matched 1:1 by a grant from the East Bay Fund for Artists of the East Bay Community Foundation.

The Players operate on a shoestring budget, and the support of our donors is what allows us to keep doing what we do! We literally couldn’t do it without you…

$5

On average, if every person who sees our shows contributed $5, we’d cover our budget. Consider $5 your ticket price — what a deal!

$10

Of course not everyone who sees our shows can contribute — $10 covers your “ticket” plus a spot for someone else!

$25

Is our sunscreen budget for the summer.

$50

Helps us purchase materials to make audience participation supplies, like hats and vests!

$100

On our double-header days, this would go towards feeding the SPPPs — we need energy to to perform.

$250

Rents a pickup truck to haul FluxWagon, our folding mobile stage, for one weekend.

$500

Covers our General Liability Insurance for the Summer Tour. Insurance is really exciting! Just ask Meekins.

No matter what we spend it on, every dollar goes toward connecting people through the joyful shared experience and participatory fun of our interactive theatrical adventures… So what are you waiting for?

Pledge a Peripatetic Player today!

Thank you to Points West, the High Seas, and the Ends Of The Earth!

Recommended!

Hear ye, hear ye! The venerable institutions 510Families, East Bay Express, and now Theatre Bay Area have all recommended Shakespeare or Space Wars!

And we’ve got some fun pictures to show you!

 

A Peripatetic Adventure Into the Unknown Set for Summer 2017

by Percival Perkins, reporting from Port Costa, California

During July & August 2017, the Peripatetic Players will perform Shakespeare or Space Wars, described by the troupe’s lead songbird-whisperer, Princess Gwen, as “an homage to two classic star-crossed tales of destiny and daring.” I caught up with the Players during a recent respite from their grueling rehearsal schedule in Port Costa, California, where they are the resident travelling theatre troupe.

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A Peripatetic Performance in Port Costa, California. File photo.

My first curiosity was about the name of the show, particularly its lone and ambiguous preposition: “or.” Princess Gwen explained that she coined the title herself when the Players were unable to agree on their next production, allowing the Players some extra time to iron out the details. The Players are currently deciding between realizing the long-held dream of Samuel Peaches, their troupe’s leader, to perform Mercutio’s famous “Queen Mab” speech; and conceding to the urge of their Properties Master, Thumper, to build legions of droids and spaceships.

princess gwen by marlene yarosh

Princess Gwen takes a break from the Second Annual Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players Particularly Obstinate Obstacle Course. Photo by Sell Fee.

Impresario and head artiste Samuel Peaches says that he has long yearned to perform the works of William Shakespeare, whom Mr. Peaches describes as “the greatest dramatist in the English language–performing his works is the pinnacle of any actor’s career, and after years of preparation, we are finally ready.”

In past years the troupe has performed O Best Beloved, an adaptation of several of Rudyard Kipling’s Just-So Stories, and Aesop Amuck, a mashup of more than a dozen of the classic fables.

“It is time we turned our attention to the literary greats,” Mr. Peaches explained, contemplating a plastic skull he had recently extracted from an antique trunk full of stage props. “While Hamlet is really the role of my dreams, I have not yet found actors able to create the properly dour atmosphere of Elsinore. So instead I will direct this troupe in our own inimitable version of Romeo and Juliet. In adapting this great story to our actors’ abilities, we have of course updated most of the language and generally butchered the play to leave only the most basic plot points,” he sighed.

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Mr. Peaches gestures for someone else to do something to set up FluxWagon, the Peripatetic Players’ mobile stage. Photo by Madame Directrix.

When asked about the “Space Wars” angle, Thumper, an actor and the troupe’s Properties Master, eagerly interrupted Mr. Peaches. “Actually, the greatest story of all time is the original space opera trilogy created by Mr. George Lucas. We will perform the original original part of the original trilogy outdoors on our mobile stage with original props that I have created especially for this original production.” Thumper paused to inhale and Mr. Peaches sighed again. 

Thumper continued: “Samuel. Did you know you can do a lot in the way of space props with buckets and trash cans?!” Mr. Peaches was unavailable for comment on the props, as he was called away to autograph a copy of his recently-published tome on the art of acting.

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Thumper models a costume prototype. Photo by Madame Directrix.

Widely substantiated rumors indicate that indecisiveness amongst the troupe during the summer of 2016 resulted in a frantic attempt to perform the two classics at once. When pressed on the subject of past Shakespeare or Space Wars performances, one of the actors, Meekins, shuddered and let out a piercing but unintelligible cry of terror. Guy Hank, actor and troupe mechanic, first calmed Meekins down, then turned to me to explain the remount. “We’ve put in a lot of rehearsal for this show, or these shows. Both shows. All the shows. So it will be great to really put something out there again this year.” He paused, seemingly lost in a momentary thought, then added, “however it happens.”

“The audience should understand that we ourselves do not entirely know how this is going to play out,” commented Princess Gwen.

Ready or not, Shakespeare or Space Wars will tour July 8 – August 13 to Bay Area parks and public spaces. Tour venues will be announced on the sleekly-designed and thoroughly futuristic Peripatetic Players website.

Kicking Off 2017!

It always feels like coming home when the Peripatetic Players get together — albeit a wacky, loud, hilarious home.

Last evening we gathered to plan our 2017 Obstacle-A-Thon, our annual fundraiser for our summer tour. This year’s Obstacle-A-Thon will be held on Sunday, April 23rd at 3:00pm at Mosswood Park in Oakland. Please stop on by to witness our silliness and help us raise money for our tour!

Some of this years obstacles will include:

  • Something with Meekins?
  • Finding Your Way To Mantua
  • Skarkline (a 2016 favorite)
  • Shakespearean Soliloquies and Sonnets with Samuel Peaches!
    • Want a teaser? Here you go:PROMPT:  Perform as the clueless Friar from Romeo and Juliet, apologizing to the emotional Lady Capulet about Juliet’s suicide.

And many, many more that I cannot reveal to you!

So join us! Don your most eccentric costumes (or borrow one of ours), pull out all the stops, face your least-known fears and join us for the Thon to out-thon all Thons! THIS Thon is (kinda like last year’s Thon but still really like) no Thon you’ve ever Thonned before.

Love,

Marlene, Princess Gwen, and Jay Robinson