Today we’re bringing you some treats from our resident illustrator, Mr. Meekins’ very good friend, Sam Bertken. Sam has been making illustrations for our shows since the very first one, O Best Beloved, before the Peripatetic Players even knew how to peripatet.
For O Best Beloved (2013), Sam drew each of the animals who starred in the stories:
The Elephant’s Child
Old Man Kangaroo being chased by Wild Dog Dingo
Aesop Amuck (2015) also featured some animal stars:
The Ill-Fated Mouse Council
Beat Poet Crow
Town Mouse & Country Mouse
A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
And this year, he’s drawn the pirate Players mid-adventure aboard their ship! Click the image to download a coloring page of your very own!
…here’s how we colored it in for our poster!
There are just FOUR MORE PERFORMANCES of Shiver We Timbers… click here to see the full schedule!
Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at today’s Peripatetic photo shoot!
Guy and Thumper setting up the scrolling backdrop
Guy is solving a problem
Meekins at work on a likeness of his idol and mentor, Samuel Peaches
The dashing Mr Peaches
Ready to tackle SHAKESPEARE!!
Shakespeare vs. Space Wars photobomb
Space Wars vs. Shakespeare photobomb
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:
Princess Leia drawing by Cryssycheung, via etsy.
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!
She got me, and she got me good. Thanks, Mom!
Next up — picking out all of the confetti and starting to sew!
He’s a noble beast, but he’s got a lot to learn…
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!
Help take Aesop Amuck around the Bay Area this summer!
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…
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.
A Wenceslas Hollar illustration found at Wikimedia Commons
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!
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)!