‘Tis the Season of Peaches!

Rehearsals are underway for Shakespeare or Space Wars, and Mr. Samuel Peaches has been training Percival Perkins in his (patent pending) “Peaches’ Peaches” performance practice. Pfantastic work, Percival! 

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Influences & Inspirations!

We of the Peripatetic Players are influenced by a great many groundbreaking works of art and legendary theatrical ensembles, which inform both our process and our craft. One of the most seminal of these is surely The Muppets — and for Shakespeare and Space Wars, no Muppet episode is more resonant with our own creation than “Pigs in Space with Luke Skywalker”

I particularly love Piggy’s classic handling of the inappropriate comments about her weight — it’s clear she’s had to develop an iron-fist style of management to keep the show on track. Perhaps Mr. Peaches could learn a few things.

But that’s not all… the stars of Star Wars appear in the entire Muppet Show episode, number 17 from Season 4 of the show, and perform a spectacular dance number at the end.

And, many years and one corporate purchase later, Muppets cast as Star Wars characters to create mashed-up action figures have striking similarities to the casting of Peripatetic Players as both Muppets and Star Wars personalities. Gonzo as Darth Vader? Beaker as C3PO? Obviously.  And make special note of the Storm Troopers…

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Disney’s Muppet Star Wars action figures

We have our own ideas as to which Peripatetic Players correspond to various Muppets… some of them are definitely reflected above.

Which Muppets do you think most accurately reflect Peripatetic Players?

Thumper has been lobbying the Players to determine how they’d cast themselves in Thumper’s adaptation of Star Wars, named Space Wars. You’ll have to see the show to find out who’s who!

Shakespeare or Space Wars opens Sept 10, 2pm at the Berkeley Marina! 

SPPP SorSW Photo Shoot!

Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at today’s Peripatetic photo shoot!

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Guy and Thumper setting up the scrolling backdrop

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Musical interlude

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Guy is solving a problem

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Meekins at work on a likeness of his idol and mentor, Samuel Peaches

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Princess Gwen!

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The dashing Mr Peaches

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Mr Meekins

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Ready to tackle SHAKESPEARE!!

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Shakespeare vs. Space Wars photobomb

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Space Wars vs. Shakespeare photobomb

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Costume pieces

Character Profile: Lion

He’s a noble beast, but he’s got a lot to learn…

The Lion & The Mouse -- illustration by Sam Bertken

The Lion & The Mouse — illustration by Sam Bertken

When we first meet the Lion, we know he’s impressive as the King of the Forest… but even he can learn from his mistakes. To play the lion. an actor must have a strong presence and and even stronger ROAR… He’ll be hunting, but he might also become the hunted!

There are plenty of stories about animals trying to imitate the lordly lion, but we’ve selected just a couple stories in which the lion gets to show the more complicated sides of his character. Any actor would be eager to sink teeth into this meaty role… making it the perfect fit for our own leader and impressario, Samuel Peaches.

See for yourself this weekend, when Aesop Amuck opens at DeFremery Park in Oakland on Saturday and the Noe Valley Town Square on Sunday. And help support the whole tour on Kickstarter!

Link to our project on kickstarter

Help take Aesop Amuck around the Bay Area this summer!

FluxWagon Needs a Makeover!

It’s true! We are underway with modifications to makeover FluxWagon for her new adventures with Aesop’s Fables. She’ll still be the same lovely red-and-yellow on the outside, with colorful worlds on the inside. But the Fables require a much more pastoral setting than the exotic locales of the Kipling tales we told in O Best Beloved. Allow the Players to tell you more:

And you can help! Just click on over to our new Kickstarter campaign, where any amount will help not only get FluxWagon ready to roll, but pay for boring things like insurance, park permits, and artists’ rent.

Thank you!!

It’s Guy, Guy Hank — our NEWEST Peripatetic Player!

Photo by Rebecca Longworth.

Why hello there faithful followers! Here is our latest installment in our “behind-the-scenes/meet our players” special: Guy Hank

Guy Hank himself:

Joining the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players has really changed my life . . . who knew? Certainly, not me. Whew! It gets me excited just thinking about it. Let me just get right down to it. My whole life I had dreamed of performing one day on the stage. When I was younger, I saw a show that had been put up in our small town of Georgia, California. I. Was. In. Awe. Just dazzled by the magic of the story. I believe it was a production of “The Princess and the Pea” and what was just a story I glanced over in my children’s books became alive before me on the stage! I was pulled into the story. I was “bit”, as they say, by the “theatre bug.”

I just never got the chance to aspire to these dreams of mine. My Dad insisted I learn the auto mechanics trade and help build his business. I thought perhaps my dream was ridiculous and worked with him in his shop. I did, however, secretly work on my acting craft in my room reading wonderful plays and stories from around the world. I learned their lingo too – words like “blocking” and “props” and “inner monologue”. Another good thing was that since Georgia, California sees a great many travelers and tourists on their way to the beautiful sites of this Golden State, I was able to meet so many great people and hear their stories. I found that they trusted me to help get their autos to the next destination and it filled me with joy seeing them wave as they happily left our service station. Moments after they left though, I would get that sad though wishing I could travel with them.

At last, the day came when the Peripatetic Players pulled into our station on their way to their next show! They needed some minor service repairs and I jumped at the chance to work on the “Flux Wagon” and was in awe that it could transform into a magical stage to share stories from. In a casual conversation to Thumper about the troupes “props”, I relayed to her my dreams and get this – she told her brother, Samuel Peaches, about my dream, my secret studies, and petitioned on my behalf to help join the troupe! Seeing that I may come in handy working on the Flux Wagon, he invited me along!

My favorite story I’ve performed with the troupe to date has to be “Wind & the Sun”! Thumper and I get to compete with Samuel and Meekins (as the Wind) to see who can get a young chap (Princes Gwen) to take of her coat. There is movement and sound and it really takes off. However, I am dying to play the lion in the upcoming Aesop stories (Fables, I meant “fables”). I’ve been working on my roar, the Flux Wagon is running in top notch shape, and I am ready to take my acting to next level.

My favorite person to play with is everyone in the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Player troupe! You put me with any one of those guys and I instantly come alive. Their creativity is mind boggling – it instantly gets my own creative juices flowing. Although, I have to say, Thumper and I have really good chemistry. She just gets it, you know? She has an uncanny ability to tap into whatever is happening right at that exact moment.

I would like to see the Flux Wagon pull into Georgia, California again someday so we could perform for the town. Perhaps, I could invite my Dad out so he could see what an amazing life this is! So he would know that my dreams were not ridiculous – that following your heart is the only way to go especially when you don’t know what is gonna happen. Perhaps he would be inspired by one of our stories or the morals they contain.

I knew I made it with the troupe – meaning I was “in” when after weeks of rehearsal and months of only being allowed to work on the Flux Wagon, Samuel Peaches asked me to lead a story. It has only gotten better since! I can’t wait for this show to tour near YOU, our wonderful audience! May you be dazzled and delighted and maybe even inspired!

Your Guy,

Guy Hank

Hola! Ahoj! Bonjour! from Princess Gwen!

Halo everyone! Here is our fourth installment of our “behind-the-scenes/meet our players” series: Princess Gwen!

My journey with the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players began on a clear, blue morning a few summers ago. As I was walking through the forest with my best friend Jay Robinson, I heard wonderful music coming through the trees! I followed this beautiful melody and I stumbled upon the Flux Wagon! Boy, was Fluxxie a wonderful sight after my trek through the forest!

Once Samuel accepted me into the Players (maybe it had something to do with the fact that I a) can skin a wild boar in under seven seconds, b) had a bag of gold, or c) I can talk to birds), my first real break (or trial by fire) came as playing Elly the Elephant in How the Elephant Got Her Trunk. As Elly, I got to wear a tutu, travel through the Limpopo River, and head off the Precession of the Equinoxes!

One of the great things about playing Elly was that Meekins played half of the silly animal duos in that story. It is always so electrifying to see what Meekins is going to come up with! Sometimes he retreats back into his memories and gets a little too intense for the kiddos, and when that happens I just let him talk to Jay Robinson and he calms back down.

I think going to the beach would calm everyone down. Don’t you think that taking Flux Wagon to the French Riviera would be amazing? Imagine Fluxxie covered in lavender and cheese! Too bad I can’t eat cheese…

Anyway, thank you all for coming on the lovely adventure with Jay Robinson and myself! I can’t wait for you all to join us one sunny weekend!

Photo by Serena Morelli.

Princess Gwen as Elly in How the Elephant Got Her Trunk in last year’s O Best Beloved.

Thumper Gets Interviewed!

Good Morning All! Here is our third installment of our “behind-the-scenes/meet our players” special: THUMPER!

Samuel Peaches managed to tear Thumper away from making the trapdoor on Flux Wagon to give this interview:

HI! MY NAME IS THUMPER. I WONDER WHAT YOUR NAME IS.

I DIDN’T HAVE TO JOIN SAMUEL PEACHES PERIPATETIC PLAYERS BECAUSE I’M SAMUEL’S SISTER, AND I STOWED AWAY IN HIS TRUNK.

SAMUEL, I HAVE A QUESTION…SAMUEL…SAMUEL…

PERIPATETIC MEANS WANDERING.

HI! MY NAME’S THUMPER. MAYBE YOU’LL TELL ME YOUR NAME AT THE SHOW!

MY FAVORITE FABLE IS CALLED THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE…

MY FAVORITE FABLE IS THE ONE WITH A LION, A WITCH AND A WARDROBE…

MY FAVORITE FABLE IS THE ONE WHERE A LION, A WITCH AND A WARDROBE…

WHAT, SAMUEL?

OK, SAMUEL.

SAMUEL JUST TOLD ME THERE IS NO FABLE WITH A LION, A WITCH AND A WARDROBE IN IT. I THINK THAT WOULD MAKE A GOOD STORY THOUGH.

HI! MY NAME IS THUMPER! YOU ALSO HAVE A NAME!

MY FAVORITE PERSON TO PLAY WITH IS THE TRAP DOOR, WHICH IS NOT ACTUALLY A PERSON, BUT A TRAP DOOR. IF I HAD TO CHOOSE SOMETHING THAT IS A PERSON, I WOULD CHOOSE PRINCESS GWEN AS PRINCESS GWEN, GUY AS GUY, SAMUEL AS MY BROTHER AND MEEKINS AS A FROG. I ALSO LOVE THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. NONE OF WHICH ARE PEOPLE. WELL, MAYBE THE WITCH. BUT SHE WOULD BE A MAGICAL PERSON, WHICH ISN’T ACTUALLY A REAL PERSON. AND THE WARDROBE IS DEFINITELY NOT A PERSON, LIKE THE TRAP DOOR.

WHAT, SAMUEL?

OK, SAMUEL.

SAMUEL WOULD LIKE ME TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THERE IS NO FABLE CALLED OR ABOUT OR STARRING A LION, A WITCH AND A WARDROBE IN THIS PLAY.

HI! MY NAME IS THUMPER! MAYBE YOUR NAME IS ASLAN?

I WOULD LIKE SAMUEL PEACHES PERIPATETIC PLAYERS TO PERFORM THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE.

WHAT, SAMUEL?

I KNOW WE’RE DOING AESOP AMUCK.

I AM JUST SAYING THAT THERE IS A LION IN MANY OF AESOP’S FABLES, AND I ACTUALLY THINK HE WOULD NEED A WARDROBE TO GET DRESSED IN THE MORNING. AND, A WITCH TO MAKE THE WARDROBE MAGICAL.  LIKE MY TRUNK. I DO NOT HAVE A MAGICAL WARDROBE, BUT I DO HAVE A MAGICAL TRUNK. I KNOW IT IS MAGICAL BECAUSE WHEN I WENT IN IT TO STOW AWAY, AND THEN I GOT BACK OUT, I WAS IN A WHOLE NEW WORLD.

I LOVE YOU TOO, SAMUEL.

I KNEW I MADE IT IN SAMUEL’S TROUPE WHEN I GOT TO WEAR THE PITH HELMET AND TELL THE STORY OF HOW THE RHINOCEROS GOT ITS SKIN IN OUR FIRST SHOW, O BEST BELOVED.

THE PLURAL OF RHINOCEROS IS RHINOCEROS.

Photo by Serena Morelli

Thumper with the Rhinoceros Diorama in last year’s production of O Best Beloved.

Hello There from Meekins!

Photo by Serena Morelli.

Hi everyone! Here is the second installment of our “behind-the-scenes/meet our players” special: Meekins!

From Meekins:

Oh boy! Well, uh, I guess… Oh, come on, get it together, Meeks! How hard is to tell your own life story? Well, in my case, as a man who has traveled from coast to coast, sea to shore, polar ice cap to polar ice cap, I can say with total certainty: life can be a real doozy, altogether dark sometimes, unfortunately, but the happiest I’ve ever been was when I was brought in by good ol’ Samuel Peaches and his performing troupe. Ever since then, all the misadventures with Mole People, unnecessary abductions while lost out in cornfields, and head-to-head battles with mother sea lions are a thing of the past! Now, I just PRETEND to get in fights with animals, and I couldn’t be happier for it.

Oh, here I go, rambling again. The way I joined the Samuel Peaches’ Peripatetic Players was straightforward enough: tasked by a mysterious witch doctor to return a crystalline skull that would presumably imbue with great power, I was kidnapped by headhunters along the rushing Amazon River. There, it seemed, they aimed to make a sacrifice to their elder gods, and had me fully trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey! It wasn’t looking good for ol’ Meeks just then, I’ll have you know (although, I have escaped from much gnarlier situations)! Right about that time when I was beginning to maybe start saying my prayers, out of the brush came bounding the same wagon you see before you today, and atop it, seemingly having lost control, was the man himself- Samuel Peaches! He grabbed hold of the rope that I was strung up to try and stop the catastrophic caravan and ended up freeing me in the process. Of course, I was ever so thankful, and even though he wasn’t too sure, I eventually won him over with my ardent, repeated pleas for help, just like my momma taught me!

Since then, I’d have to say my favorite story has been, without a doubt, the Crow. Nothing bad ever happens to him! He just dances around in a very safe manner and makes little rhymes that are of insult and harm to no one, including himself! Surely, you see the appeal? Another great thing about playing the Crow is that I get to play with the ever-so-beauteous Princess Gwen! Sure, she steals the tasty cheese I was planning on saving for myself, but she’s so nice and and strong that I’m happy to relinquish it on a daily basis at our performances.

If I’m being perfectly honest with you, my dream destination for a Samuel Peaches’ Peripatetic Players performance (woo, mouthful!) would be any sort of sterile room with padded walls and ceilings where nothing is hidden and there are no noxious fumes in the air! I can’t think of anything safer than that.

My fondest memory that isn’t related to an actual performance is certainly the time when Samuel Peaches finally made me a full-time performer. Up until then, I had just been chasing the caravan across desert, mountain, ocean- you name the biodome, I crossed it chasing that wagon! Finally, he stopped the wagon to do a show and I was able to meet everyone in the cast. After the show, I stowed away and pestered him with notes from my hiding place on the wagon that read, “Please please please let me be in the show please please please I’ll do anything pleeeeeaaaaaase,” until he finally sent me one back that said, “Yeah, okay, whatever.” That’s when ol’ Meekins was finally able to graduate to an actual spot inside the wagon itself.

This sure wins the cake for the best thing I’ve done in my life! Cheers!

Photo by Serena Morelli.

Meekins as The Mariner in How the Whale Got Its Throat, in last year’s production of O Best Beloved.

Greetings and salutations from Samuel Peaches!

Hi everyone! We are doubley delighted to present to you our Peripatetic Player’s mini-autobiographies! The first up in this “behind-the-scenes” special is Samuel Peaches himself!

In his own words…

Samuel Xavier Peaches from the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players was born in England to parents richer than the king and queen combined. Groomed to be a doctor of science and law, his family was terrified he would follow in the footsteps of Thumper, his older and impractically creative older sister, who was determined to make whirligigs instead of a decent living.   When Mr. Peaches discovered the female kind midway through university he suddenly realized he had been building a life he didn’t even want remotely!  Mr. Peaches, keeping it a secret from his family, dropped out and left for the adventure of the new world: America.

Upon reaching the new world and his fresh start, Samuel Peaches discovered his sister had stowed away on his flight from pretentious English academia journey.  He saw nothing but opportunity; Thumper, a technical and mechanical genius, could provide Samuel with anything and everything needed to further his adventures… They didn’t get very far…

Then, down on their luck, on a late night in a dimly lit, unknown establishment deep in New Orleans, Peaches and Thumper met the beautiful and talented Blueberry Starshine.  She gave them the Just So Stories by Kipling, Thumper in one single night of intense focus, built the flux wagon and the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players were born.

Sadly after many glorious years and too many adventures to count, Blueberry left the troupe to pursue her own interests… Unfortunately taking with her the Peripatetic Player’s rights to perform the Just So Stories.

Peaches favorite story to perform has always been The Camel’s Hump (as he got to work closely with Blueberry in fantastical characters) but will most likely shift to the Race of the Tortoise and the Hare for this new adventure in the lands of Aesop.  Peaches favorite players to work with are Thumper and Meekins due to the random and highly excitable energy of both performers.  Samuel Peaches is both terrified and anxious to perform back at Port Costa.  The memories of Blueberry are strongest there.

Mr. Peaches simply invites you, his beautiful audiences, to dream, to delight, and to dare!

Photo by Serena Morelli

Samuel, Thumper, and Blueberry Starshine begin to tell how the Rhino Got Its Skin, in last year’s production of O Best Beloved.