East Bay Fund for Artists Commission

We’re thrilled to announce that the East Bay Fund for Artists at the East Bay Community Foundation has awarded Idiot String a matching grant to support the development of a new site-specific play in Port Costa — part of our residency hosted by the Port Costa Conservation Society — that will premiere in 2019.

It’s a challenge grant, so we need your help! We have until July 15 to raise $4000 in individual donations, to match EBFA’s pledge.

Your donation will support us today, and commission a new play for next year!

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Sam Bertken and Marlene Yarosh in Elixir of Life (2017)

Port Costa Residency

Exciting News!

At the invitation of the Port Costa Conservation Society, Idiot String is beginning an artistic residency in Port Costa. We’re thrilled to be deepening our relationship to this magical town by spending more creative time there, finding inspiration in the history and landscape, and activating spaces inside the historic Port Costa School with rehearsals, workshops and other activities. While there, we’ll be developing new plays for site-specific performances in Port Costa and for touring on our mobile stage; and will begin to offer occasional education programs — in the hopes that they’ll become regular education offerings — as early as fall 2018.

Help commission a new play

The East Bay Fund for Artists at the East Bay Community Foundation has awarded us a matching grant to fund the creation of a new play in Port Costa that will premiere in 2019. In order to receive this funding, we need to raise $4,000 from individual donors before July 15, 2018. Donate today to help us create this new play!

 

Thank you!

We’ve been visiting Port Costa with the Peripatetic Players each year since their inception in 2014, and have always been thrilled at the warm welcome we’ve received there from locals and visitors alike. The Burlington Hotel and Bull Valley Roadhouse have helped to keep us fed and housed; Wendy Addison and her magical shop, Theatre Of Dreams, is a true inspiration (and creative consultant to Elixir of Life); and the dedicated folks at the Port Costa Conservation Society have made the Port Costa School a delightful stop on each of our tours. Throughout 2017 we also developed (the entirely fictional play) Elixir Of Life with inspirations from Port Costa and the surrounding area — including bona-fide history as well as tall tales and the general feeling of what it’s like to live in a small community.

Stay tuned for more about our Port Costa projects in the works!

Meanwhile, enjoy these photos from some recent exploratory days in Port Costa…

 

A Port Costa sneak peek at ELIXIR

Against a backdrop of an ornately carved wooden bar decorated with barren branches, Josephine, dressed in dark lace with a locket at her neck, receives a drop of mysterious liquid from Doctor Vitae, who wears a top hat and gently holds a vial.

On September 30, we accepted the invitation of artist Bethany Carlson Mann to present excerpts from Elixir of Life at the opening of Bethany’s art show, Fairytales for Feral Children, now on exhibit at the Burlington Hotel.

Serena Morelli photographed the event — enjoy! — and don’t forget… Elixir of Life starts October 20!

Elixir Inspirations

Take a peek inside some of what’s inspired our development of Elixir of Life, playing October 20 – November 12.

Port Costa, California

Our friends at the Bull Valley Roadhouse, Burlington Hotel, and Port Costa Conservation Society generously co-sponsored three weekends of on-site devising and research in Port Costa, California. There we had the privilege to study the history of Port Costa and the surrounding area, and to talk to residents about their experiences of living in a small community amidst the larger Bay Area.

With a generous helping of poetic license, we’ve based aspects of our characters and the town of Port Promise on stories we’ve gathered in Port Costa, and hope to honor Port Costans sense of pride in their community and sense of connection to one another in the themes of our play.

Some photos from our time in Port Costa: (l-r) examples of artist Wendy Addison’s Victorian-inspired poster designs for her shop, Theatre of Dreams; two photos (both courtesy of Wendy Addison), one featuring some Port Costans around the turn of the century; the other a circus parade through town (notice the elephant!) from the early 20th century; and the Elixir workshop ensemble outside the Port Costa School.

Crockett Historical Museum

We hear that it is also called the “Hysterical Museum”… and the wealth of artifacts, photos, ephemera, and oddities is a wonder to behold. There we were inspired by the good works and mysterious rites of fraternal orders, old pharmaceutical bottles, and the sense that storytelling can take many forms. Here’s a fun article about the museum from Roadside America. And photos we took there:

Our Collection of Images

Visit our Pinterest Board

This is a small sampling of some of our inspirations and research… we hope you enjoy exploring them as much as we have!

Elixir of Life – Coming October 20

We’re making a new play!

Elixir of Life will tour Bay Area parks October 20 – November 12 aboard and around FluxWagon, our mobile stage.

If you’re familiar with the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players, you’ll note some similarities and some differences.

Similarities: Outdoor performances with FluxWagon (our mobile stage); no one turned away for lack of funds; a story featuring a sprightly ensemble, physical comedy and songs.

Differences: The audience will follow the action around FluxWagon and other spots nearby, sometimes standing and sometimes sitting; reservations are recommended; there are themes of contemplation, grief, and mystery (as well as comedy); the story is best enjoyed by ages 9-ish and up.

On September 18, all venues will be announced, and we’ll start taking reservations.

Read more and reserve your spot here!

The Peripatetic Players present a Port Costa Flux Fest

Happening just a moment from this writing, the Peripatetic Players will conclude their 2016 tour of Shakespeare or Space Wars with a weekend-long mini-festival in Port Costa, Flux Fest ’16. We’re just pleased as punch that the Players are now officially fictionally Port Costa’s resident traveling troupe of thespians, and we’re looking forward to creating all kinds of lore and faux ephemera to document our years in that fantastic hamlet.

Here’s a collage from last fall’s performance of Romeo & Juliet in Port Costa, featuring Reece Santos’s fabulous painted proscenium in the alleyway of the Bull Valley Roadhouse:

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