And we’ve got some fun pictures to show you!
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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…
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
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.
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!
Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek at today’s Peripatetic photo shoot!
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!
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 Course! Run, 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!
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!
The Peripatetic Players opened Aesop Amuck this past weekend with shows at DeFremery Park in Oakland and the Noe Valley Town Square in San Francisco. Next stops: Hayward at 1pm on August 8 and Glen Park, SF at 2pm on August 9. Here’s our full schedule of performances… and you can help keep us going by donating to our Kickstarter campaign! And now — pics from the show!
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!
Good Morning All! Here is our third installment of our “behind-the-scenes/meet our players” special: THUMPER!
Samuel Peaches managed to tear Thumper away from making the trapdoor on Flux Wagon to give this interview:
HI! MY NAME IS THUMPER. I WONDER WHAT YOUR NAME IS.
I DIDN’T HAVE TO JOIN SAMUEL PEACHES PERIPATETIC PLAYERS BECAUSE I’M SAMUEL’S SISTER, AND I STOWED AWAY IN HIS TRUNK.
SAMUEL, I HAVE A QUESTION…SAMUEL…SAMUEL…
PERIPATETIC MEANS WANDERING.
HI! MY NAME’S THUMPER. MAYBE YOU’LL TELL ME YOUR NAME AT THE SHOW!
MY FAVORITE FABLE IS CALLED THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE…
MY FAVORITE FABLE IS THE ONE WITH A LION, A WITCH AND A WARDROBE…
MY FAVORITE FABLE IS THE ONE WHERE A LION, A WITCH AND A WARDROBE…
SAMUEL JUST TOLD ME THERE IS NO FABLE WITH A LION, A WITCH AND A WARDROBE IN IT. I THINK THAT WOULD MAKE A GOOD STORY THOUGH.
HI! MY NAME IS THUMPER! YOU ALSO HAVE A NAME!
MY FAVORITE PERSON TO PLAY WITH IS THE TRAP DOOR, WHICH IS NOT ACTUALLY A PERSON, BUT A TRAP DOOR. IF I HAD TO CHOOSE SOMETHING THAT IS A PERSON, I WOULD CHOOSE PRINCESS GWEN AS PRINCESS GWEN, GUY AS GUY, SAMUEL AS MY BROTHER AND MEEKINS AS A FROG. I ALSO LOVE THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. NONE OF WHICH ARE PEOPLE. WELL, MAYBE THE WITCH. BUT SHE WOULD BE A MAGICAL PERSON, WHICH ISN’T ACTUALLY A REAL PERSON. AND THE WARDROBE IS DEFINITELY NOT A PERSON, LIKE THE TRAP DOOR.
SAMUEL WOULD LIKE ME TO MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THERE IS NO FABLE CALLED OR ABOUT OR STARRING A LION, A WITCH AND A WARDROBE IN THIS PLAY.
HI! MY NAME IS THUMPER! MAYBE YOUR NAME IS ASLAN?
I WOULD LIKE SAMUEL PEACHES PERIPATETIC PLAYERS TO PERFORM THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE.
I KNOW WE’RE DOING AESOP AMUCK.
I AM JUST SAYING THAT THERE IS A LION IN MANY OF AESOP’S FABLES, AND I ACTUALLY THINK HE WOULD NEED A WARDROBE TO GET DRESSED IN THE MORNING. AND, A WITCH TO MAKE THE WARDROBE MAGICAL. LIKE MY TRUNK. I DO NOT HAVE A MAGICAL WARDROBE, BUT I DO HAVE A MAGICAL TRUNK. I KNOW IT IS MAGICAL BECAUSE WHEN I WENT IN IT TO STOW AWAY, AND THEN I GOT BACK OUT, I WAS IN A WHOLE NEW WORLD.
I LOVE YOU TOO, SAMUEL.
I KNEW I MADE IT IN SAMUEL’S TROUPE WHEN I GOT TO WEAR THE PITH HELMET AND TELL THE STORY OF HOW THE RHINOCEROS GOT ITS SKIN IN OUR FIRST SHOW, O BEST BELOVED.
THE PLURAL OF RHINOCEROS IS RHINOCEROS.