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)

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…

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.

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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.