Inching towards Middle Earth.

One year ago we started inching towards Middle Earth…

Throughout 2020 and 2021, Marlene (Princess Gwen) started adapting The Two Towers and The Return of the King. With the help of friends near and far (and the power of ZOOM!), we hosted a private online reading of this version (Version 2) of the script. This reading was incredibly helpful, showing us where big thorns were, and where moments of delight happened. Without the help of our friends, we wouldn’t be where we are today: hosting auditions for our production, under-going another major rewrite (Version 4!), and standing on the precipice of actual rehearsals!

A Lord of a Zoom Screen

Just like Fellowship supporting Frodo and Sam from Rohan, Gondor, and fields beyond, the support of your friends near and far is one of the best feelings you can feel. Is there something you can do to support a friend today?

The Peripatetic Players would like to personally thank Kristen Matia, Holly Kenney, Phill Correa, Julie Douglas, and Radek Antzak!

Audition Announcement! Join us for A Lord of a Ring…

The Peripatetic Players are seeking 1-2 additional performers to join us for our summer performance & tour, A Lord of a Ring in a Suitcase: The Two-Part Trilogy (The Extend-ish Edition), an original adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.  This is in part a remount of our 2019 production (Part 1), and an original production (Part 2). 

We are looking for actors who love working in collaboration with an ensemble and who are comfortable with physical/devised theatre, movement, and music. We are looking to diversify our current ensemble, so we especially encourage femme- and woman-identified performers of color to audition.

Our production features imaginative leaps, incredible assertions, feats of theatricality, and a whole lot of mystical beings, far away places, and rings. Performers will embody characters and help  create the ensemble-driven music, atmospheres and settings of the play.

For more information and to read the full audition announcement, please visit this link!

The Peripatetic Players Are Back!

Greetings, Friends of Idiot String and The Peripatetic Players,

The Peripatetic Players are back at it again, and we need YOUR help!

In 2019, we created an original work based on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Our goal was to re-mount this production and adapt the other books in the trilogy into two plays.

This year we begin our quest again!

The Peripatetic Players are raising funds to re-start their quest across Middle Earth! This summer, we will be performing A Lord of a Ring in Suitcase: The Two-Part Trilogy (The Extendish Edition) across Bay Area parks and public spaces.

We’ll be at a different park each weekend, offering several performances at each location. So you can see one show, two shows in two days, or both shows in one day! All performances are offered FREE to the public, and your donations help keep this possible.

Even the smallest donations can change the course of this play! Here are some examples of what your contributions can do:

$5 – Gives us Warm Fuzzies

$10 – Ensures our First Aid Kit is well-stocked

$25 – Transports the Players to (approximately) one performance

$50 – Creates a set of mini-costumes for the audience to wear

$100 – Subsidizes the average park permit fees for one performance

$250 – Provides us with printed materials, such as scripts, postcards, and posters

$500 – Buys paint and supplies to make our scenery merry and bright

The lighting of the beacons (aka the start of the fundraiser) will begin on March 13 and concluding on April 3 with a celebratory feast (picnic) at The Golden Hall in Rohan (Cedar Rose Park in Berkeley). Whether you pledge your support with a donation or a social media share, we hope you can join us!

To make a donation, please visit our Go Fund me page!


The Peripatetic Players:

Sam Bertken, Joan Howard, Rebecca Longworth, Casey Robbins, Soren Santos, Kenny Scott & Marlene Yarosh


Idiot String (and thus The Peripatetic Players) is fiscally sponsored by Independent Arts & Media, a 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax deductible through IAM. Independent Arts & Media (“IAM,” a tax-exempt public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code) offers fiscal sponsorship to projects and producers which advance IAM’s charitable purpose: to raise the educational and social levels of the residents of the San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding regional and national communities, through the development of noncommercial, educational and cultural media, news and arts projects for the benefit of the general public.

More information about Independent Arts and Media: IAM is a San Francisco-based fiscal sponsor with a mission to support independent, non-commercial art and media projects and producers for the purpose of building community and civic participation and facilitating cultural engagement and free expression. IAM currently supports over 60 affiliates dedicated to non-commercial work in media and the arts, including publishing, theater, dance, music, visual art, film and video, journalism, history, and public-events production.

Resetting & Recharging

Hi Friends!

It’s been some time since you’ve heard from the Peripatetic Players, and we wanted to tell you – WE’VE MISSED YOU!

The past year (and then some) has been EXTREME in all the ways it could be. Ensemble members have begun and completed grad school, started new jobs and kept old ones, performed in and produced online performances, and some are even in the process of buying a home! Amidst all of that, we continue to learn and educate ourselves on how to defy white supremacy culture, in all its forms, and work towards consensus-based decision making.

It’s *a lot* and we are so happy to be doing it!

Our ensemble has been fortunate to safely gather a handful of times this late spring and summer, we look forward to continuing to come together as an ensemble and create art not only for ourselves, but for you!

Here are some things that we would love to share with you!

You know how Shakespeare wrote all of those plays during the plague? Well, earlier this year, Marlene (Princess Gwen) finished writing the first draft of an adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. She started adapting The Two Towers in 2020, and finished The Return of the King in 2021. She hosted an online (private) reading, with friends near and far.

Rebecca (Madame D.) spent quarantine in graduate school at UC Berkeley, working toward a Masters in Education. This August she begins teaching 9th and 12th grade English at Albany High School.

An eye to the future!

Our next moves, so to speak, are to shake off the dust from our costumes, stretch our muscles, pull out our notebooks, and really start to train together as a theatrical ensemble. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with that means (and what we keep referring too), here’s an idea of what an afternoon (~4 hours) might look like when we participate in ensemble development:

  • We start by checking-in with each other, how we are doing, what are our access needs, and what we need to be present in the moment.
  • We then proceed to do a physical warm-up, including stretching, vocal exercises & singing, and playing games (Pass the Face is an eternal favorite).
  • Next, we usually “take a walk around the room” to get into the mindset of our Peripatetic Players characters. Sometimes we repeat gestures, or small vocal phrases to help!
  • Once we feel like we are in the “body” of our Peripatetic Players characters, we start to play! This can be different theatre games, or reading stories, or singing songs, but this is when the real magic begins!

One thing from these longer ensemble days is that we also look towards what we might want our next production to be. Part of this is us as a group learning how to reclaim/restructure/reinvent stories in a way that feels safe, appropriate, inclusive, exciting, and worth telling.

We hope to use the above work to develop an informal, invitation-only performance of A Lord of a Ring In A Suitcase for the winter, where we will formally introduce and welcome Crash and Inspector Quimbley. Check them out here & here!

Our utmost goal is to back in parks and public spaces by Summer 2022 for our annual summer performances! We’ve missed you all so much, and we hope you are finding ways to thrive in your homes & communities, and raising up those around you.

We can’t wait to see you in person, and until that time, remember –

“The Road goes ever on and on // Out from the door where it began…”

Checking In & Notes from the Apartment

So much has happened since my last blog post in March. We of the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players have been busy behind the screens meeting virtually, generating material, and exploring current events to create artistic performance. The most important question, however, is:

How are you? 

Can you believe that we are only halfway through 2020? What are some moments that you’d like to remember or let go of? These seven months have brought a myriad of life experiences to the forefront of our lives, and I invite you to reflect on what has happened in your life as I reflect what’s been happening for us.

The COVID-19 pandemic quickly thrust our theater company into an online forum, something that we chose to embrace whole-heartedly as a creative challenge. Our #POOOC2020 was such a fun experience, and what brought me the most joy was trying to come up with Obstacles for folks to do at home, and find something delightful inside. All of the Obstacles we created were designed to be done at home with common objects. We had “Gear Up to Get Down”, a dancing competition, and a DIY At-Home Obstacle course. We celebrated live on Zoom and Facebook on April 5th with our “Celebration of Obstacles Overcome” and had a great time.

We had been working towards producing our “main-stage marquee” show, a sequel to our last show, A Lord of a Ring In A Suitcase from Summer 2019. On Wednesday nights you would have found us virtually developing a script, making each other laugh, and participating in creative development exercises with our newest ensemble members, Kenny Scott and Leigh Rondon-Davis (check out our ensemble bio page for updates!).

With health restrictions changing so frequently, we decided to change course and started thinking of ways we could present a “To-Go” show to smaller audiences.

And then, in July, our community and our country were shocked into action by the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many other names to count. We reached out to our community, as did many other groups we admire, to provide resources to start discussions about examining racism and systematic violence against Black people, and how we can work to end racism within ourselves, our ensemble, and our society. While the work has been vital for us, the true intent is to build up our capabilities as an ensemble, and as individuals, to defy white supremacist culture, in all its forms; forms that we had unwittingly implemented into our regular way of making art. This kind of behavior, this kind of structure, has been learned and normalized and we are actively trying to unlearn and unnormalize it within our organization. 

What does that all mean?

Personally, I’ve been reading great books, including Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster by Stephen L. Carter, and How To Be An Antiracist Ibram X. Kendi. I’ve also been attending virtual meetings through SURJ Bay Area

Administratively, we’ve been examining the “power structures” within the ensemble and learning more (and working towards) consensus-based decision making. We are taking turns being the agenda maker, facilitator, note taker, and time keeper in our meetings and rehearsals. (For a recent agenda I created, I brushed off some old improv games from college – there! Using my degree!)

And yet, still, with all of these things going on, there is one thing most on my mind:

You, dear audience.

How are you? I hope you are safe, and healthy. I hope you are finding ways to thrive in your home and in your community, and raising up those around you.

We can’t wait to see you in person, and until that time, remember –

“In the end it’s only a passing thing, this shadow; even darkness must pass.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Behind the #POOOC2020 – Gwen Edition

Hi Everybody!

I hope you all are enjoying our #POOOC2020 Obstacles as much as we are, and if you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, here’s the inside scoop!

The Particularly Obstinate ONLINE Obstacle Course, #POOOC2020, is an entirely at-home, online version of our annual obstacle course FUNdraiser. Now even more people can participate, with adventures designed to help you fill your days at home with creative fun!

Our #POOOC2020 officially kicked off on March 23rd, with much fanfare, and the first obstacle on the list is….


Like past obstacles, I like Princess Gwen’s challenges to include a bit of costuming and crafting fun:


Can you spot Jay Robinson?

Since we our #POOC has become a #POOOC, I had to pull out my trusty costume box (see above).

And, since the point of GEAR UP and GET DOWN  is to gear up as many costumes as you can, and boogie as hard as you can, I then had to choose the perfect music. This is where Carly Rae Jepsen, the 21st Century’s Queen Of A Million Kingdoms, comes in!

(If you are in desperate need of a jam right now, take a listen, and I guarantee you’ll want to dance!)



I really hope you all are having a good time engaging with our Obstacles — who doesn’t need a bit of fun right now?

Love, Always,

Princess Gwen!


#POOOC2020 Official Obstacles

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

Seven Obstinate Obstacles await you for stay-at-home fun! 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

Table of Obstinate Online Obstacles:


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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! 


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


  • 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.


  • 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!


  • 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”)


  • 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!


  • 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.


  • 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!

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

Howdy Friends!

No, I’m not referring to Christmas, I’m referring to the Peripatetic Season!

I’d like to start off this over-due post by talking about how amazing performing in A Lord of A Ring In A Suitcase was. Performing with the Peripatetic Players is always a delight. Being able to create fantastic stories, create meaningful relationships, and create joy FOR YOU is one of the things I’m most proud of.


Dimond Park, Oakland, 2019

A particular moment in A Lord of a Ring that brought me joy was actually towards the end of the show. [SPOILER ALERT?!] At the end of The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo decides that it is better for him to journey to Mordor alone. His best friend, Samwise Gamgee notices Frodo is leaving alone and follows him:

FRODO picks up an oar and starts rowing. SAMWISE sees him and calls out.
SAMWISE: Mister Frodo, no! Not without me!
FRODO: Sam, you can’t swim! Not across the river of the audience!
SAMWISE: It doesn’t matter — you’re my friend, and that’s all that matters!


“Not alone, Mister Frodo!”

The line, “You’re my friend, and that’s all that matters!” always struck me in my heart, and I was constantly reminded how special it was to be performing in this play, with this group of performers, and for the audience that took time out of their day to see this show.

Thank you!

And now, we are getting ready to do it all over again!

We’ve started developing our 2020 summer tour, and while we waiting just a bit longer to make our official announcement, I can tell you that you will have an Extended Amount of Fun (perhaps TWO TIMES?!) this summer!

Screen Shot 2020-03-11 at 7.37.47 PM

Cookin’ stuff up for our #summertour !

On Sunday, April 5th we will be hosting our annual Particularly Obstinate Obstacle Course FUNdraiser! Last year was tons of fun — please check out the link above and stay tuned for more details!

Sending you all lots of love,

Princess Gwen
and also, AKA
Frodo Baggins, Arwen, and Galadriel