Farewell… for now!

What a great 2017 tour! The Peripatetic Players took Shakespeare or Space Wars to Alameda, Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, Port Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo, and hither and yon and back again for 12 performances this July and August.

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Shakespeare or Space Wars at Franklin Park, Alameda, on July 23, 2017.

We performed for more than 1300 people, some of whom may have been actual Jedi knights, and about 20 dogs! For a while, a spaceman and a lion who had been separated from their families joined our merry band.

 

We were a Staff Pick in the East Bay Express, were featured on ABC-7 News’s Hoodline segment, and chronicled in the Santa Clara Weekly.

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A pick of the week from East Bay Express

And now the Peripatetic Players have packed up our trunks for the summer and hunkered down for their autumnal naps, all cozy inside FluxWagon, our folding mobile stage…

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Here’s FluxWagon arriving at Precita Park in San Francisco!

(who is writing this in their sleep, one wonders?)

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This monster never sleeps, but can give you a monster’s-eye view of the monster lair under the stage.

…but we’ll have to wake up and move out soon, because FluxWagon will be hitting the road this October and November with a new play, Elixir of Life, produced by our very good friends at the theatre company Idiot String. You may even recognize some of the actors as the Peripatetic Players’ friends and fans!

Read more about Elixir of Life here.

And stay tuned! The Players will be back throughout the year with lots of fun projects. What sorts of creative projects do you think the Peripatetic Players should take on before our next summer tour?

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Adventures!

SHAKESPEARE OR SPACE WARS comes to Franklin Park, Alameda today at 1pm! Here are some behind-the-scenes shots from our tour thus far! 

Follow our adventures on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #SPPPSSW17 #fluxwagon #peripateticlife 

And be sure to catch a show! Here’s the full schedule.

FluxWagon in Santa Clara

Percival Perkins rescues a rebel fighter

Buzz Lightyear makes a cameo appearance! Is he yours? He was left behind after a recent show…

Tech Rehearsals: A Checklist

We are a couple of short days away from opening Shakespeare or Space Wars, and we find ourselves in the middle of tech rehearsals in Alameda. Here is my checklist for a smooth rehearsal:

  • Headlamp
  • Wool Socks
  • Hooded Sweatshirt
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Water
  • Night Vision
  • Hawk Ears
  • More Forks Than You Think You Need
  • More Snacks Than You Think You Need
  • In-N-Out Milkshake
  • Invigorating Music Jams
  • Sparkly Pipe Cleaners
  • 5 Pens
  • Extra Birds
  • 3 Undershirts
  • A Smile

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.

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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.

Particularly Obstinate Obstacles Obtained!

P. O. Obstacle #3: Thumper and friends Percival (aka Soren) & Rapscallion (aka Ross) hurdle a swamp, or swim a river, or all of the above.

We lucked out with a bunch of sunshine for Sunday’s Particularly Obstinate Obstacle Course — THANK YOU all who came out in person or virtually to offer your cheers of support!

As expected, it was relatively ridiculous…

 

Awesomepants (aka Kristen) momentarily trails Princess Gwen in a leap through the ring of fire held bravely by Mr Peaches himself in P. O. Obstacle #12.

 

P. O. Obstacle #5: Awesomepants, Princess G, and a Masked Meekins expertly executing some improvised choreography.

And in the BEST NEWS, we’ve raised over $500 in the 24 hours immediately following the event! Which is fantastic — because we have only until May 1 to meet our goal!

Do you know someone who would like to help bring FREE performances to parks & public spaces around the Bay Area? Please share this link: https://go.rallyup.com/sppp-a-thon2017

In P. O. Obstacle #7, Thumper bravely takes on the role of Rebel Scum as “Storm Troupers” take terrible aim. It’s hard to see in those helmets!

We’ll receive the funds of all pledges no matter how much we raise, but hitting our goal will go a long way toward ensuring that we can bring Shakespeare or Space Wars to Bay Area parks, offering FREE performances for neighbors of all ages.

Explore the website for more about the show — and coming soon: tour dates and locations!

You can also sign up for our mailing list to be in the know about upcoming shows.

Awesome photos in this update from the wonderful Tim Guydish, a Peripatetic Patron who works wonders with his cameras!

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P. O. Obstacle #8: Tea with Mdme. D, in which obstaclers hold forth on artistic matters whilst maintaining impeccable manners.

Join the Peripatetic Players for FluxFest ’16!

The Peripatetic Players present a Port Costa FluxFest!
Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25

The Peripatetic Players’ final stop on their 2016 tour will be Port Costa, where the Players are traveling-troupe-in-residence (though they’re rarely spotted in town).

The Players’ performance of Shakespeare or Space Wars at 2pm on Saturday, at Port Costa School House will feature delicious picnic fare available for sale from the Bull Valley Roadhouse — so save some room in your picnic bellies! And that’s not all… the performance kicks off a weekend-long festivity of music, comedy and clowning. The festivities continue thusly:

7-10pm Saturday 9/24:
Fluxxie Cabaret – music next to the Bull Valley RoadhouseCome and go as you wish and your dinner reservations allow!

10am-noon Sunday 9/25:
Flux Brunch – chill morning music and performance next to the Bull Valley Roadhouse
Come and go as you wish and your needs for caffeine and brunch dictate!

2pm Sunday 9/25:
FluxWagon Variety Show – comedy, clowning and music for all ages, in a variety-show format aboard FluxWagon at the Port Costa School House.
Bring a chair or blanket – this is the highlight of the weekend! Clowning from Slater Penny and Danielle Gray, music from Carl & Beatrice and The Port Costa Darlings, and more — hosted by your favorite Peripatetic Players, with eats available from the Bull Valley Roadhouse.

Have you not yet visited Port Costa? Now is your chance!

Be sure to refresh yourself at the Bull Valley Roadhouse or The Warehouse, delight your whimsy at Wendy Addison’s Theatre of Dreams, or stay all night at the Burlington Hotel — and soak up some casual summertime performance in picturesque Port Costa.

No reservations required; donations for performers accepted — that’s how they get paid!

Click here for the full lineup of FluxFest festivities.

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The Peripatetic Players first presented Romeo & Juliet in Port Costa in November, 2015

Shakespeare or Space Wars is open! Just three performances left…

Opening day of Shakespeare or Space Wars happened this past Saturday at the Berkeley Marina on a glorious sunny day; and Sunday we visited our friend The Yak (a bronze sculpture by Joseph Anthony McDonnell) at Centennial Park, Pleasanton.

Here’s a trailer made by Dave Coyne, an audience member at the Berkeley show. We think he captured the zeitgeist of the show very well. Thanks, Dave!

You’ve got three more chances to see it:

Saturday 9/17 @ 2pm, in Santa Clara
Sunday 9/18 @ 2pm, at Dimond Park in Oakland
Saturday 9/24 @ 2pm, in Port Costa

Here’s a link to the full schedule.

And don’t forget — in Port Costa not only will there be yummy picnic fare available for sale from the Bull Valley Roadhouse, but we’re also kicking off FluxFest 2016, with music and special clown guests performing all weekend. We’ll have music outdoors near the Bull Valley Roadhouse so you can drop by before or after delicious dinner on Saturday or their phenomenal brunch on Sunday; and comedy, music and clown performances Sunday at 2pm on FluxWagon at the Port Costa School House, hosted by the Port Costa Conservation Society. Here’s a link to the FluxFest lineup.

And that’s not all! We’re pretty chuffed because Sam Hurwitt of the East Bay Times says: “Whether your destination is fair Verona or the fearsome Death Moon, you couldn’t ask for a more diverting rest stop than the Peripatetic Players’ folding FluxWagon stage in a park not far away.”

We hope to see you at the show!

Influences & Inspirations Part Deux

Shakespeare or Space Wars opens in less than a week! As the Players put the finishing touches on props, costumes and scenery… and even our script… we want to share an inspiration that has had a big influence on those essential elements of the play: Little Monster’s Mother Goose by Mercer Mayer. It’s a children’s book that features monster-creatures putting on a play — not unlike the Players!

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Little Monster’s Mother Goose was published in 1979, meaning it was just in time for Madame D’s childhood bedtime reading list. And it must have had an impact… Little Monster must be convinced to put on a play, and how the play happens — including what happens in the audience — is more interesting than the nursery rhymes themselves.

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In fact, it’s almost impossible to read this book in any sort of linear or methodical fashion — visual and word puns are scattered about, and the pleasure in reading it is seeking them out and finding something you hadn’t seen before.

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What’s more, none of the characters can let an opportunity for a comment, question, or delicious opportunity to lap up spilled milk pass them by.

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The audience is having a great time, too — even if they’re not behaving “properly.” 🙂

We hope you’ll be part of our audience for Shakespeare or Space Wars September 10-24!