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!

 

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.

IMAG2358

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.

IMAG2441

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.

IMG_4761

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!

POOC17_by_Tim_Guydish (1)

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

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

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!

Mom’s Are Great

Let me preface this by saying that having a mom who sews and crafts is amazing.

Let me also preface this by saying that having a mom who is creative is amazing … and dangerous.

Now, let’s blog!

Every year for a Peripatetic Players show, I like to help make our costumes. In O Best Beloved, I made Elly the Elephant’s Tutu, and in Aesop Amuck! I made the Fox hat and tail. This year, I am undertaking the task to make a costume that reflect not only Juliet, but also a certain space princess. Here are two pieces of art that are inspiring me:

f8963474919cf387481f504c041b6ecb

Princess Leia drawing by Cryssycheung, via etsy.

juliet-2-garden

Juliet costume sketch by Carlo Poggioli and Swavorski.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How would Princess Gwen wear a costume that says both of these characters at the same time? Well, this is where Mom comes in!

My mother is a great seamstress and makeup artist, and has a large stock of old costumes, fabrics, and other goodies. I remembered a box of fabric that I had set aside on a visit that I thought would be good for SPPP, and I asked my mom to send it to me. The box was finally delivered yesterday, and lo and behold… a confetti bomb!

confetti bomb

She got me, and she got me good. Thanks, Mom!

Next up — picking out all of the confetti and starting to sew!

Our Particularly Obstinate Obstacle-A-Thon Recap!

Howdy Partners!

Marlene is here for her first post of the 2016 season to give you a (hopefully) thrilling recap of our Particularly Obstinate Obstacle-A-Thon!

On Sunday, July 24th, the Peripatetic Players and some of their most ardent supports made their way to the grassy knolls of Lake Merritt in Oakland, California. Thumper found a lovely spot under some trees, and the rest of the gang began to help her set-up.

Here is our final list of obstacles:

  1. High Five
  2. Power Flower Crown
  3. Rope Swing 
  4. Over the Log and Through the Bog
  5. Verbal Essay
  6. Charades
  7. Meek Sneak
  8. Madame D’s Interpretive Dance
  9. Smiler’s Fish Toss
  10. 3-Legged Droid Race
  11. Fruit Neck Pass
  12. 70 Seconds of Heaventy
  13. Fly a TIE Fighter
  14. 60-second Birdhouse
  15. Kazoo
  16. Skarkline
  17. Costume Grand Prix
  18. Slow-Mo Tour de Scroll
  19. Flaming Ring of Peaches
  20. Picture O’ Picture (booth) Finish!
13654324_638734122947896_7716761247946157850_n

Some of our participants warming up.

Following a flurry of last-minute slaloms for the TIEFighter Race, we were on our marks, and ready to go!

Our first batch of participants included Guy Hank, Percival Perkins, Tina Ballerina, and Julie D..

Here we see our contestants at Obstacle #2: (Flower) Power Crown. Terms of Success for this obstacle were to successfully create and wear your own unique (flower) power crown (obstacle designed by Princess Gwen).

Group one

Heat One: Obstacle Two!

Guy Hank is pictured here creating a 60-Second Birdhouse, complete with perch and feeding trough.

13667903_10210465621022293_273025673299173294_o

Photo by Tim Guydish.

Guy Hank and Tina Ballerina are successfully avoiding the asteroids in the TIEFighter Race.

13701200_10210465669263499_1510451307014182740_o

Photo by Tim Guydish.

Percival Perkins has over taken the lead in the Slow-Mo Costume Race!

13767241_10210465698184222_917107680029902139_o

Photo by Tim Guydish.

But was quickly over taken as Guy Hank jumped through the Flaming Ring of Peaches!

13767356_10210465706744436_8158682014723891445_o

Photo by Tim Guydish.

AND THAT WAS ONLY THE FIRST HEAT!

Our second heat saw Thumper finally running the course, Meekins, Princess Gwen, and Kristen M.

Look at the concentration while our participants attempt to make a 60 Second Birdhouse!

birdhouse collage

concentrate, grasshoppers…

We even had some amazing audience participation this heat:

signs collage

gasp, yay, ooh/ahh, yay, boo!

Our personal favorite obstacle, Skarkline, is pictured here in all it’s glory:

skarkline

Terms of Success: Successfully Skarkline.

And then, finally, the finale for heat two!

picture finish

There must be at least one meta-moment in all SPPP things.

Hooray Obstaclers!! Yay Spectators!! Ooohhs and Aaahs for Pledgers!! The First Ever Particularly Obstinate Obstacle Course was a ton of fun. Thanks to all who came out to play or cheer, and to everyone who has pledged and/or donated to help make SHAKESPEARE OR SPACE WARS travel the Bay!

We cannot thank you enough!

The Peripatetic Players perform Shakespeare!

The Peripatetic Players have debuted a new performance!

While Samuel Peaches was busy pining away, singing himself love-songs and composing eloquent missives to woo Blueberry Starshine (that he was unlikely to ever deliver), Mdme Directrix was charged with preparing the Players for their latest performance. The Bull Valley Roadhouse had requested a special one-night performance in honor of their 3rd anniversary party, and Mr. Peaches and company were happy to oblige. Rehearsals were undertaken in Samuel’s absence, and the Players arrived on the appointed night, November 8, 2015, eager to debut their latest production. SPPP R&J Collage

But the Players had not correctly understood Samuel’s instructions. Expecting to perform Mdme D’s new Viking play, “Shakes Spear,” the Players were surprised but delighted to learn that Mr Peaches thought them ready to undertake the work of one of the greatest dramatists in the English language.

Mr Meekins warms up for what will be, unbeknownst to him, a stunning turn as the young lover Romeo

Mr Meekins warms up for what will be, unbeknownst to him, a stunning turn as the young lover Romeo

With aplomb, Samuel Peaches and the Peripatetic Players made their inimitable way through the tale of star-crossed lovers in about 30 minutes, playing to a standing-room-only crowd who cheered and threw money (literally!) at the bows.

We’ll have to ask Mr Peaches if his inspiration to tackle Shakespeare came from the Players’ improvised Hamlet that was offered on a whim at the Last Hurrah party for Main Street Theatre, the Players’ first rehearsal space, located in San Francisco’s Excelsior district.

Thumper isn't sure of the plot, but succeeds in looking rather guilty as a winged Claudius.

Thumper isn’t sure of the plot, but succeeds in looking rather guilty as a winged Claudius.

Where will the Players appear next? We’re not sure, but we’ll be sure to let you know!

Stay tuned for a new, all-Peripatetic website, where all the Players’ antics can come together under one virtual roof.

In the meantime, please be sure to Like Us on Facebook!