Thank you, new funders!

It is with deep gratitude and excitement for the year ahead that we announce two new Idiot String supporters: the Crockett Community Foundation and the Edward J. Daly Foundation.

The Crockett Community Foundation will make it possible for us to offer both a public workshop series in Port Costa, and in-class programs for students in the John Swett Unified School District. The Foundation is also underwriting a reduced-cost ticket program for residents of Port Costa, Crockett and Tormey. If you’re a local, you can attend our workshops for $10 and shows for just $5!

The Crockett Community Foundation is dedicated to supporting local projects that foster volunteerism and strengthen the local community. If you’d like to volunteer with Idiot String at one of our events, please drop us a line at idiotstring@gmail.com.

Idiot String in Port Costa: at the Port Costa School setting up a Peripatetic Players summer tour performance, exploring the Theatre of Dreams during a sneak preview of Elixir of Life, and preparing a thirty-minute version of Romeo and Juliet in honor of the Bull Valley Roadhouse’s anniversary. 

The Edward Joseph Daly Foundation is sponsoring design elements for our new site-specific production in Port Costa that will premiere this June. As the audience discovers the play taking place all around them at the Port Costa School and throughout downtown Port Costa, they’ll get up close to the props and costumes made possible by the Daly Foundation.

Edward Joseph Daly, who was the owner of Oakland-based World Airways, and his wife June V. Daly, were lifelong philanthropists who quietly supported humanitarian causes, arts education, and social justice efforts. Less quietly, Mr. Daly is known for audaciously airlifting 57 orphans out of South Vietnam in 1975. Since his death in 1984, his family has been carrying on his legacy of giving through the Foundation that bears his name.

Some of the props and costumes featured in Elixir of Life. Photos by Serena Morelli.

Thank you to our new funders!

It’s the support of organizations like these — and individuals like you — who make it possible for us to create plays, workshops, and other events for you. Learn more about donating here.

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2019 Workshop Series begins Jan 27

Announcing workshops in Port Costa!

In connection with our residency at the Port Costa Schoolhouse, sponsored by the Port Costa Conservation Society, Idiot String is proud to announce our 2019 Workshop Series in Port Costa. This workshop series is supported by generous funding from the Crockett Community Foundation.

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Testing the acoustics in the Schoolhouse’s main lobby

Every workshop is an all-levels creative workout, geared to accommodate folks with little to no performing experience and to challenge veteran performers. Individualized attention at each workshop will ensure that you can come as you are. We’ll work to be sure you leave inspired!

Most workshops are suitable for ages 14 to adult. Participants under 18 must have their parents’ permission. Port Costa, Crockett, and Tormey residents can attend any workshop for just $10!

Workshop #1: January 27 2019
Ensemble Character Creation in the Peripatetic Mode!

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Some of the Peripatetic Players, playing peripatetically

Idiot String’s resident troupe, the Peripatetic Players, are known as eccentric actor-characters who never met a stage on which they couldn’t shine. In this workshop, led by Idiot String Artistic Director Rebecca Longworth, participants will engage in acting warm-ups, games, and exercises that will build on each individual’s unique qualities to create a new fictional character. Then all the new characters with interact with each other, play, and create together. Finally we’ll work together to adapt a short fairy tale, and perform our “rough draft” of this original play at the end of the session. It’s a great way for anyone to experience acting and performing in a low-pressure, fun environment that’s rooted in creativity and playfulness. It’s also an opportunity for more experienced actors and performers to stretch their creative muscles in character-building, comedic performance, and ensemble connection. Learn more and sign up here.

Look for more workshop announcements soon!

Workshops will be held in early March, mid-May and mid-June. Here’s a sneak peak of upcoming workshop titles:

March: Physical Comedy

May: Creative Exploration on the Carquinez Strait

June: Stories & Adaptation

Peripatetic Rehearsal
People, props, stories and creativity in action

Be sure to join our mailing list so you’re the first to know about upcoming events.

Learn more about the January 27 Character Creation workshop here!

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…

 

 

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)

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!