How Samuel Peaches writes a song…

Last week I sat down with Mr. Samuel Peaches himself to ask him about his creative process. My primary question?

“How do you write a song?”

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He gave me his answer in the form of a short essay, which was… interesting to transcribe to say the last. I bring it to you here:

How To Write A Song
by
Samuel Nathaniel Xavier Peaches III esq.

Writing a song is my Favorite Thing To Do.

I often write such terrible and precious songs that I am unable to continue for my eyes weep rivers or my body reels so. I’ve had songs whisper to me from the driest darkest corners of the earth. Songs that have crushed my back as the sun falling from the sky. Songs that have splintered my core and like the Fearsome Phoenix streaking from the ashes I am Reborn! I have tasted starlight on my tongue, and felt the molten core of Earth almighty on my footsoles.

You must turn yourself inside out and backside in to write a song. Upside Down and Rightside over Left. Only when you are bereft of every single faculty your mind and heart can offer, do your begin to realize your song just might be finished.

But there are many more steps to take and paths to follow before peaking through the leaves: just ahead of you is that little moonlit harbour, sparkling reflections of silvers dance across the water, contrasted by the slowly bobbing amber glow of windows in the village, smoke ambling lazily up into our diamond fretted roof. Grazing clouds feast on the warm tropical air. Fireflies drift past hunting for love and a drink. In the purple distance your ship floats anchored. Dark sails hoisted, gaping portholes slowly lilting back and forth.

You leave the black humming jungle and start down the grassy path, gravity filling your bones with buzzing we haven’t tasted since our youngest years. Your feet pick up speed on the hot earth as your crew lies snoring; dreaming and resting for the voyage that leaves at daybreak; the journey across the sea to lands unknown and wilds untamed.

Samuel Singing

I think that means that Samuel must travel on a boat to a jungle at sunset to write a song…

How do you write songs?

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Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

Hello All!

It has been far too long since our last blog post, so I am here to give you all a special delight today!

The SPPP’ers have been meeting every other week or so since the beginning of the year to …. play. We have playdates. Sometimes cool things emerge, sometimes business-type things emerge, and then sometimes…. feats of greatness emerge.

Like what happened on Sunday, February 25th 2018.

Sunday saw Samuel Peaches, Thumper, Princess Gwen, Guy Hank, and Madame D. starting to make their adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring entitled: A Lord of A Ring.

And it was delightful.

I can honestly say that I don’t think the five of us have laughed so much in so long — we laughed so much we all started crying at one point!

We can’t wait to keep creating things for you — if you have something you’d like to see, send us a message, and we will see what we can whip up for you!

Love,

Marlene (Princess Gwen)

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.