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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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)

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!