Workshop: Site-Specific Creation Lab – May 19

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Explore site-specific stories and characters in this laboratory-style performance workshop in Port Costa. Through physicalization, movement exercises and reflective writing, you’ll develop creative tools to interact with the world and the objects in it.

This workshop is for anyone interested in exploring a physical relationship to their environment, and finding the fun in everyday moments. No performing experience is necessary; aimed at participants age 15+.

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The basics:

What: Site-Specific Creation Lab
When: May 19, 2019, 12pm – 3pm
Where: Port Costa, California
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How To Sign Up: Register at this link!

More details:

Cost is just $40, which supports both Idiot String and the Port Costa Conservation Society. Residents of Port Costa, Crockett, or Tormey pay just $10 thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Crockett Community Foundation.

This workshop is part of Idiot String’s residency in Port Costa sponsored by the Port Costa Conservation Society.

After the workshop, explore the wonderful and tiny town of Port Costa, where you can hike the hills, relax with a book, or discover whimsical artwork and fabulous antiques — making the whole day an invigorating experience.

We are excited to play with you!

What to bring:
  • Water bottle
  • Notebook or journal and pen(cil)
  • Snacks if you need them
  • Closed-toe shoes and clothes you can move in
  • Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, etc) and anything else you’ll need to be comfortable outdoors

Joan Howard (workshop leader) is a physical theatre performer and clown. She plays Thumper of Idiot String’s resident troupe, the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players, and is one-half of the acrobatic clown duo Max & Antoinette, who have appeared at San Francisco Theater Pub and the foolsFURY Factory Parts Festival. Joan teaches the next generation of professional clowns at San Francisco Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory, where she is co-director of a new social clowning program called ClownCorps. Joan also feels particularly fortunate to visit hospitals with the Medical Clown Project. She has performed with We Players and foolsFURY, and has presented original performances at Physical Theatre Salon at Main Street, LEVYSalon, Barbary Coast Amusements, Literary Clown Foolery, The Clown Cabaret, and Ei8ht. In 2010, she co-founded Main Street Theatre in San Francisco’s Excelsior district, an alternative performance venue dedicated to physical theatre and the variety arts. Joan studied clowning and pedagogy with Giovanni Fusetti of Helikos, is a graduate of Flying Actor Studio’s Physical Theatre Conservatory, and holds a BFA in Sculpture/Performance Art from California College of Arts & Crafts. She is the designer and builder of FluxWagon and co-creator of Idiot String.

Port Costa Residency 2019

Our Residency in Port Costa, sponsored by the Port Costa Conservation Society, is underway! Throughout 2019, residency activities include:

img_20190123_134531_282Port Stories (working title)

Idiot String’s site-specific, interactive, original production will take place at the Port Costa School and throughout downtown Port Costa in June, 2019. Development workshops and rehearsals for Port Stories are being held throughout the winter and spring at the Port Costa School. Port Stories has been commissioned by the East Bay Fund for Artists at the East Bay Community Foundation, and is also supported by the Edward J. Daly Foundation.

Public Workshop Series

Sponsored in part by the Crockett Community Foundation, Idiot String is offering a series of creative workshops open to the public at the Port Costa School. Each workshop focuses on a different set of performance skills or artistic techniques related to our work. They’re a great way for folks of all experience levels to try something new, or dive deeper into an established practice.

Artists’ Mini-Retreats and Salons

Are you an artist who could use some time set aside for your own artistic practice? Would you value the opportunity to build a community of creative folk around cocktails and conversation? Contact us for an invitation to our Artists’ Mini-Retreats and Salons. Held almost monthly on Wednesdays, each Mini-Retreat concludes with a visit to the Dram Shop at the Bull Valley Roadhouse with that day’s cohort of artists.

Port Costa_3048circleEducation Programs

Sponsored by funding from the Crockett Community Foundation, Idiot String is offering in-school performing arts education workshops and master classes to the John Swett Unified School District.

Community Outreach

We’re delighted to be able to offer $5 show tickets and $10 workshop admissions to residents of Port Costa, Crockett, and Tormey, also thanks to funding from the Crockett Community Foundation!

Read more about the Crockett Community Foundation’s support here.

 

2019 Workshop Series

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.

Next Workshop:

Site-Specific Creation with Joan Howard – May 19, 2019

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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!

Ensemble Character Creation in the Peripatetic Mode!
January 27, 2019

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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 engaged in acting warm-ups, games, and exercises that will build on each individual’s unique qualities to create a new fictional character.  Learn more here.

Site-Specific Creation
May 19 2019

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Sky, hills, and a teeny tiny actor near the Carquinez Overlook Loop Trail.

Explore site-specific stories and characters in this laboratory-style performance workshop in Port Costa. Through physicalization, movement exercises and reflective writing, you’ll develop creative tools to interact with the world and the objects in it. This workshop is for anyone interested in exploring a physical relationship to their environment, and finding the fun in everyday moments. .  Learn more and sign up here.

Physical Comedy with the Peripatetic Players
June 16 2019

The Peripatetic Players also never met a situation they couldn’t turn to chaotic comic gold. Led by Idiot String Co-Founder Joan Howard, this workshop for all levels will teach you to trip, slip, fall, and bounce right back! Learn more and sign up here.

Story Adaptation
Date to be announced!

In this workshop, we’ll explore some tools for adapting stories — both old favorites and new — to the stage. We’ll have more information and a sign-up link here shortly.

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

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!