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!

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.

Character Profile: Frogs!!!

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Illustration by Sam Bertken

How did this frog get so big? Through her own folly, I’m afraid…

She’s from The Frogs and the Ox, and she’s trying to make herself as big as an ox. It doesn’t turn out well.

In fact, the frogs always seem to be coming up with bad ideas… Like, for instance, in The Frogs Who Wished for a King or The Frog and the Mouse. Unlike the mice, who come up with bad ideas after a lot of thought and deliberation in their mouse councils, the frogs just don’t seem to think things through. Naturally, this leads to plenty of mishaps for the frogs.

The frogs are also scared of everything, perhaps with good reason considering all the misfortune that befalls them. They run for their lives in The Hares and the Frogs and The Boys and the Frogs.

What with all that running in fear and being prone to mishaps, we see some great opportunities for slapstick. That might be why the Frog sections of Aesop Amuck are some of the most hilarious to rehearse.

Here’s a little taste of our rehearsal shenanigans

Aesop Online

Thanks to the Library of Congress, many of Aesop’s fables are online in a gorgeous, interactive edition with illustrations by Milo Winter.

Google Books also has many electronic editions of Aesop collections, including a free public domain volume illustrated by Harrison Weir.

There’s a searchable collection at www.aesopfables.com, which also includes fairy tales from Hans Christian Andersen and others. This is likely the most extensive collection, and you’ll find many fables that are nearly identical but with slight variations in the details.

Who was Aesop anyway? Wikipedia can tell you a little more about who he might have been. But no writings attributed directly to “Aesop” survive. We do know that many philosophers and poets, including Aristophanes and Sophocles, knew of Aesop’s stories; Sophocles composed some of them into verse poems. We also know Aesop didn’t write down any of the morals; the lesson of each story was thought to be clear without articulating it, but later authors have added them and today we recognize many familiar aphorisms in the morals of “Aesop’s Fables.”

And for more images, head to Wikimedia Commons for a wealth of public domain illustrations from historical editions of the fables.

Happy exploring!

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A Wenceslas Hollar illustration found at Wikimedia Commons

Character Profile: Mouse Council

With a ton of fables featuring Mice, you can be sure that Mice will have a starring role in the Peripatetic Players’s Aesop Amuck!

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The Mice in Aesop’s Fables always seem to be having councils. They have a lot of important decisions to make, like how to get away from the Cat, or to better organize their mouse armies. And of course there’s songs to be sung… But we’ll let that be a surprise.

Stay tuned for more character profiles, and more fabulous drawings from Mr Bertken (a.k.a. Meekins)!