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.
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
This is a small sampling of some of our inspirations and research… we hope you enjoy exploring them as much as we have!
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.
As reported at the Peripatetic Players online HQ by intrepid correspondent Percival Perkins, the 2016 summer hit Shakespeare or Space Wars will be touring Bay Area parks and public spaces again in summer, 2017.
“The audience should understand that we ourselves do not entirely know how this is going to play out,” commented Princess Gwen.
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:
A behind-behind-the-scenes look at the inspirations for AESOP AMUCK and O BEST BELOVED…
Sam Bertken steps in to guest write and interview Joan Howard and Rebecca Longworth, the producing/directing team behind “Aesop Amuck.”
A few weeks ago, I took some time after a weekend rehearsal to sit down with Rebecca Longworth and Joan Howard, the collaborative force that founded Samuel Peaches’ Peripatetic Players, winners of the 2013 Best of SF Fringe Award for “O Best Beloved,” a devised adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. Sprawled cross-legged on the mats at the Main Street Theater in the Excelsior, I got to know more about what drove them to start the company, the source of their passion for children’s theater, and why audience participation might not be something to dread.
SB: What in particular draws you to staging children’s literature, adapting them for the stage?
RL: What draws me to children’s literature… I think, because it’s imaginative and kind of magical without necessarily…
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Come along and join the fun! All shows are free of charge — though donations are gratefully accepted!
Enjoy this video the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players created for their Kickstarter campaign:
Check out this article on the WPA’s mobile stage:
With many thanks to Nikloas for sending along this link!