Peripatetic Illustrations

Hi friends!

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:

Aesop Amuck (2015) also featured some animal stars:

 

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!

Print

…here’s how we colored it in for our poster!

Pirate Poster Illustration RGB

There are just FOUR MORE PERFORMANCES of Shiver We Timbersclick here to see the full schedule!

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!

 

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.

SPPP SorSW Photo Shoot!

Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at today’s Peripatetic photo shoot!

IMG_4547

Guy and Thumper setting up the scrolling backdrop

IMG_4957

Musical interlude

IMG_4952

Guy is solving a problem

IMG_4948

Meekins at work on a likeness of his idol and mentor, Samuel Peaches

IMG_4694

Princess Gwen!

IMG_4522

The dashing Mr Peaches

IMG_4521

Mr Meekins

IMG_4597

Ready to tackle SHAKESPEARE!!

IMG_4640

Shakespeare vs. Space Wars photobomb

IMG_4699

Space Wars vs. Shakespeare photobomb

IMG_4520

Costume pieces

Hark! SPPP and FluxWagon ride again!

Friends, it is that time of year when the Peripatetic Players dust off their ragamuffins and saddle up their slipperywidgets…

IT’S TIME TO PUT ON A SHOW!

SvSW_comingsoon.jpg

This summer, the Players put their inimitable spin on two star-crossed tales of daring and destiny. Although Thumper and Samuel are still in heated negotiations over what constitutes canonical entertainment, be assured that SOMETHING will happen… but even we are not entirely sure how it will all turn out.

Will Samuel achieve his dream of becoming a renowned and respected tragedian?

Will Guy Hank be able to power this hunk of junk to hyperspace? 

Will Princess Gwen be able to climb down from that balcony?

Will Meekins stare down the hilt of a rapier with both eyes open and a minimum of whimpering?

What is Thumper doing with that bucket?

We will endeavor to answer these enduring questions and more… BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…

For the first time ever, the Players invite YOU — yes, you! The one in front of the screen! — to partake in a Particularly Obstinate Obstacle CourseRun, hop, skip, jump, saunter, sashay, stroll or simply stumble your way through 20 outrageous obstacles delightfully designed to test your physical, mental and theatrical vim and vigor. This Thon to out-thon all Thons is like no Thon you’ve ever Thonned. Thonestly. Don your most eccentric costumes, pull out all your stops, and join us as we face our least known fears over and through obstacles both literal and metaphorical!

You can sign up to pledge a player or play the course here!

If you’d rather spectate, cheer on, and/or picnic — be sure to come out to Lake Merritt on July 24 for an afternoon of comradely challenge and comic competition. No reservations required!

On Adaptations of Children’s Literature…

An interview with Rebecca & Joan

Rebecca and Joan — who when not embodying Mdme. Directrix and Thumper, respectively, are the SPPP’s producing organization, Idiot String — sat down after one of the final Aesop Amuck rehearsals with none other than Sam Bertken (a.k.a. Meekins) to talk about their inspirations for both Aesop Amuck and the Peripatetic Players’ debut adventure, O Best Beloved.*  Sam writes for S.F. Theater Pub,** a great blog about theatre and the independent theatre scene in the Bay Area that is run by producer, playwright & director Stuart Bousel.

We talked about influences like Mercer Mayer & Maurice Sendak, the Muppets, and Medieval & Renaissance theatre, as well as why performing on FluxWagon and breaking the fourth wall are so important to us. Read the interview here!

*Please note there are a couple words bleeped out with asterisks in this article that, if unbleeped, would be inappropriate for young audiences!

**Please also note that the content of S.F. Theatre Pub in general is aimed at adult audiences, and some topics elsewhere on the site may  not be appropriate for kiddos.

Guess what else?

We have three more shows — including today’s 5pm performance in Pleasanton

There’s still time to donate to our Kickstarter Campaign — until late Monday night!

It’s Guy, Guy Hank — our NEWEST Peripatetic Player!

Photo by Rebecca Longworth.

Why hello there faithful followers! Here is our latest installment in our “behind-the-scenes/meet our players” special: Guy Hank

Guy Hank himself:

Joining the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players has really changed my life . . . who knew? Certainly, not me. Whew! It gets me excited just thinking about it. Let me just get right down to it. My whole life I had dreamed of performing one day on the stage. When I was younger, I saw a show that had been put up in our small town of Georgia, California. I. Was. In. Awe. Just dazzled by the magic of the story. I believe it was a production of “The Princess and the Pea” and what was just a story I glanced over in my children’s books became alive before me on the stage! I was pulled into the story. I was “bit”, as they say, by the “theatre bug.”

I just never got the chance to aspire to these dreams of mine. My Dad insisted I learn the auto mechanics trade and help build his business. I thought perhaps my dream was ridiculous and worked with him in his shop. I did, however, secretly work on my acting craft in my room reading wonderful plays and stories from around the world. I learned their lingo too – words like “blocking” and “props” and “inner monologue”. Another good thing was that since Georgia, California sees a great many travelers and tourists on their way to the beautiful sites of this Golden State, I was able to meet so many great people and hear their stories. I found that they trusted me to help get their autos to the next destination and it filled me with joy seeing them wave as they happily left our service station. Moments after they left though, I would get that sad though wishing I could travel with them.

At last, the day came when the Peripatetic Players pulled into our station on their way to their next show! They needed some minor service repairs and I jumped at the chance to work on the “Flux Wagon” and was in awe that it could transform into a magical stage to share stories from. In a casual conversation to Thumper about the troupes “props”, I relayed to her my dreams and get this – she told her brother, Samuel Peaches, about my dream, my secret studies, and petitioned on my behalf to help join the troupe! Seeing that I may come in handy working on the Flux Wagon, he invited me along!

My favorite story I’ve performed with the troupe to date has to be “Wind & the Sun”! Thumper and I get to compete with Samuel and Meekins (as the Wind) to see who can get a young chap (Princes Gwen) to take of her coat. There is movement and sound and it really takes off. However, I am dying to play the lion in the upcoming Aesop stories (Fables, I meant “fables”). I’ve been working on my roar, the Flux Wagon is running in top notch shape, and I am ready to take my acting to next level.

My favorite person to play with is everyone in the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Player troupe! You put me with any one of those guys and I instantly come alive. Their creativity is mind boggling – it instantly gets my own creative juices flowing. Although, I have to say, Thumper and I have really good chemistry. She just gets it, you know? She has an uncanny ability to tap into whatever is happening right at that exact moment.

I would like to see the Flux Wagon pull into Georgia, California again someday so we could perform for the town. Perhaps, I could invite my Dad out so he could see what an amazing life this is! So he would know that my dreams were not ridiculous – that following your heart is the only way to go especially when you don’t know what is gonna happen. Perhaps he would be inspired by one of our stories or the morals they contain.

I knew I made it with the troupe – meaning I was “in” when after weeks of rehearsal and months of only being allowed to work on the Flux Wagon, Samuel Peaches asked me to lead a story. It has only gotten better since! I can’t wait for this show to tour near YOU, our wonderful audience! May you be dazzled and delighted and maybe even inspired!

Your Guy,

Guy Hank

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.

Hello There from Meekins!

Photo by Serena Morelli.

Hi everyone! Here is the second installment of our “behind-the-scenes/meet our players” special: Meekins!

From Meekins:

Oh boy! Well, uh, I guess… Oh, come on, get it together, Meeks! How hard is to tell your own life story? Well, in my case, as a man who has traveled from coast to coast, sea to shore, polar ice cap to polar ice cap, I can say with total certainty: life can be a real doozy, altogether dark sometimes, unfortunately, but the happiest I’ve ever been was when I was brought in by good ol’ Samuel Peaches and his performing troupe. Ever since then, all the misadventures with Mole People, unnecessary abductions while lost out in cornfields, and head-to-head battles with mother sea lions are a thing of the past! Now, I just PRETEND to get in fights with animals, and I couldn’t be happier for it.

Oh, here I go, rambling again. The way I joined the Samuel Peaches’ Peripatetic Players was straightforward enough: tasked by a mysterious witch doctor to return a crystalline skull that would presumably imbue with great power, I was kidnapped by headhunters along the rushing Amazon River. There, it seemed, they aimed to make a sacrifice to their elder gods, and had me fully trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey! It wasn’t looking good for ol’ Meeks just then, I’ll have you know (although, I have escaped from much gnarlier situations)! Right about that time when I was beginning to maybe start saying my prayers, out of the brush came bounding the same wagon you see before you today, and atop it, seemingly having lost control, was the man himself- Samuel Peaches! He grabbed hold of the rope that I was strung up to try and stop the catastrophic caravan and ended up freeing me in the process. Of course, I was ever so thankful, and even though he wasn’t too sure, I eventually won him over with my ardent, repeated pleas for help, just like my momma taught me!

Since then, I’d have to say my favorite story has been, without a doubt, the Crow. Nothing bad ever happens to him! He just dances around in a very safe manner and makes little rhymes that are of insult and harm to no one, including himself! Surely, you see the appeal? Another great thing about playing the Crow is that I get to play with the ever-so-beauteous Princess Gwen! Sure, she steals the tasty cheese I was planning on saving for myself, but she’s so nice and and strong that I’m happy to relinquish it on a daily basis at our performances.

If I’m being perfectly honest with you, my dream destination for a Samuel Peaches’ Peripatetic Players performance (woo, mouthful!) would be any sort of sterile room with padded walls and ceilings where nothing is hidden and there are no noxious fumes in the air! I can’t think of anything safer than that.

My fondest memory that isn’t related to an actual performance is certainly the time when Samuel Peaches finally made me a full-time performer. Up until then, I had just been chasing the caravan across desert, mountain, ocean- you name the biodome, I crossed it chasing that wagon! Finally, he stopped the wagon to do a show and I was able to meet everyone in the cast. After the show, I stowed away and pestered him with notes from my hiding place on the wagon that read, “Please please please let me be in the show please please please I’ll do anything pleeeeeaaaaaase,” until he finally sent me one back that said, “Yeah, okay, whatever.” That’s when ol’ Meekins was finally able to graduate to an actual spot inside the wagon itself.

This sure wins the cake for the best thing I’ve done in my life! Cheers!

Photo by Serena Morelli.

Meekins as The Mariner in How the Whale Got Its Throat, in last year’s production of O Best Beloved.