One more chance to see O Best Beloved on Tour!

Coming up at 2pm this Saturday, September 13 at the Parker Street Odditorium (2310 Parker Street, Berkeley) — the final performance of the O Best Beloved 2014 Tour!

Kolokolo bird in the Wait-a-Bit thorn bush. Noe Valley, August 24. Photo by Tim Guydish.

Kolokolo bird in the Wait-a-Bit thorn bush. Noe Valley, August 24. Photo by Tim Guydish.

Elly and the Giraffe at Noe Valley, August 24. Photo by Tim Guydish.

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Samuel Peaches’ Peripatetic Players get serious about a song in Noe Valley on August 24. Photo by Tim Guydish.

During our tour, we’ve played to almost 1,000 people, paused for the BART to go by, chased after dogs running under the stage, shared our playing space with a Yak, performed for at least three princesses, paraded with kids from 2 to 82, and been gifted more cake than anyone could possibly eat. The FluxWagon has both gained and lost a couple of deedles (ask us for the story on that one, as well as what “deedles” are), drawn delighted crowds wherever we’ve unfolded her, hosted a concert, and traveled more miles than we can count.

We hope you’ll join us for Saturday’s performance, and please stay in touch — we won’t be performing soon, but you never know where we might appear next!

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Particularly pleasant performances in Precita Park and Pleasanton!

Wow, it’s like a magic box! That is so cool!

Audience member in Pleasanton on August 17, watching FluxWagon fold up.

FluxWagon with Doris at Precita Park, SF, August 16

FluxWagon with Doris at Precita Park, SF, August 16

The audience at Precita Park, SF 8/16/14

The audience at Precita Park, SF 8/16/14

Samuel Peaches’ Peripatetic Players had two spectacular shows this weekend, full of sunshine and lively audiences! The players told tales of the High and Far-Off Times to over 200 people this weekend from Precita Park to Pleasanton.

Join us next weekend for an extra-special performance in Port Costa on Saturday, with lunches available from the Bull Valley Roadhouse, or Sunday in Noe Valley at the “Noe Valley Town Square.”

The many faces of The Professor, PhD

The Professor, PhD pretty much knows it all — or thinks s/he does. Our ensemble can’t quite decide who has the final say on how the world began… and everyone has a different idea of who The Professor is. Who’s your favorite?

Catch The Professor expounding and expostulating at any of our 2014 Tour performances around the Bay Area.

This weekend: San Francisco’s Precita Park on 8/16 at 2pm, and Pleasanton’s Centennial Park on 8/17 at 5pm!

Thumper on book helps fact-check Samuel Peaches and Blueberry Starshine

Thumper makes sure that the stories are accurate to Mr. Kipling’s originals

Meekins as The Professor, PhD

Meekins is always a little shocked.

Blueberry Starshine as The Professor, PhD

Blueberry Starshine can tell you all about the fauna of the turbid Amazon.

Samuel Peaches as The Professor, PhD

Samuel Peaches takes us to the plains of Africa

Princess Gwen (Marlene Yarosh) as The Professor, PhD

Princess Gwen tells us how the Whale got his throat.

And will anyone ever let Arby-Darby wear the Professorial pith helmet?

Arby-Darby lobbies the audience

FluxWagon Update, vol. 1

Fluxxie is looking all grown up these days. But not so long ago, she was a lot of wood, metal, and raw materials. Here’s some step-by-step photos from FluxWagon-In-Progress!

First the metal structures were cleaned, painted & primed

Once Fluxxie came home from metalworking at The Gate, her metal structures were cleaned, painted & primed…

While the wooden walls got a few coats of circus-wagon red

…while the wooden walls got a few coats of circus-wagon red. “Red Licorice” was too lipstick-y, so we settled on “Heirloom Red.”

Here's Megan attaching wooden walls to the metal structure

Next, the wooden walls were to the metal structure – here’s Megan drilling in some awesome self-tapping screws. Note the step units at the top of the frame – you’ll see more of those in our next installments!

The walls all will all fold down to become floors

The walls all will all fold down to become floors, so they get a layer of pretty-looking floorboards, too.

Here's Gus and Joan on a short break from finishing walls, building stairs, and a million other details

Here’s Gus and Joan on a short break from finishing walls, building stairs, and a million other details.

A side wall, ready for decor

A side wall, ready for decor.

Next it's time for painting...

Next it’s time for painting…

...and stenciling!

…and stenciling!

Want to see FluxWagon in all her glory? Come on out to a show! Next stop: Precita Park, San Francisco on August 16 at 2pm; then Pleasanton August 17 at 5pm.

Here’s our full tour schedule.

…And stay tuned for the next installment in our gripping new series, FluxWagon-In-Progress!

Hooray! for Cayuga Park

That show was awesome!

–Cayuga Park audience member, age 7

We had a great preview performance at Cayuga Park last Sunday, with lots of kids in attendance and even a runaway kickball that was batted back into play by Samuel Peaches.

Our next performances are Saturday, August 16 at San Francisco’s Precita Park at 2pm, and Sunday, August 17 at Pleasanton’s Centennial Park at 5pm. We hope to see you there!

Click here for the full Tour Schedule.

Audience at our Cayuga Park show, August 3. Photo by Serena Morelli.

Audience at our Cayuga Park show, August 3. Photo by Serena Morelli.

Pingle the Stute-Fish (played by Blueberry Starshine) and Smiler the Whale. Photo by Serena Morelli

Pingle the Stute-Fish (played by Blueberry Starshine) and Smiler the Whale. Photo by Serena Morelli

A taste of Tour 2014 – “The Beginning of the Armadillos”

Photos from one of our new stories, “The Beginning of the Armadillos,” by the phenomenal Serena Morelli. Here’s a link to the original story by Mr. Kipling.

Our first performance is this Sunday, August 3 at Cayuga Playground, San Francisco!

Check out our full 2014 Tour Schedule.

Blueberry Starshine (Sam Jackson) as the Professor

Thumper (Joan Howard) plays Painted Jaguar, about to surprise the two Armadillos -- played by Samuel Peaches (Casey Robbins) and Arby-Darby (Juliana Frick)

Thumper (Joan Howard) plays Painted Jaguar, about to surprise the two Armadillos — played by Samuel Peaches (Casey Robbins) and Arby-Darby (Juliana Frick)

 

SamBertken_SamJackson_MarleneYarosh

Blueberry Starshine also plays Mama Jaguar and Meekins and Princess Gwen are her Jaguar Posse

SamBertken_SamJackson_MarleneYarosh (2)

Rawr! Meekins, Blueberry and Princess Gwen as the Jaguars

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Samuel Peaches and Arby-Darby as the Hedgehog and Tortoise, hatching a plan to surprise Painted Jaguar

Rehearsal Report: Special Guest Soren

At yesterday’s rehearsal we had a special guest, Soren Santos, an actor and theatremaker who is also an associate producer for O Best Beloved. One of his specialties is physical partner work, and he was super helpful coaching Sam B and Juliana on the fantastic duo animals they’ve come up with–and helped them create a couple more. Some of Soren’s credits include the American premiere of Maurice at New Conservatory Theatre Center (Maurice), the professional west coast premiere of Orlando at TheatreFIRST (Marmaduke and Ensemble), and the world premiere adaptation of Jane Eyre with Counter-Balance Theater (St. John and Ensemble). Soren is currently associated with Counter-Balance Theater and foolsFURY Ensemble. When not on stage, he can be found co-teaching Foundations of Flight, an ongoing acting/movement workshop with fellow Counter-Balance company member Anika Solveig. Visit Soren on the web at www.sorensantos.com and catch him in Mugwumpin’s Super:Anti:Reluctant July 10-12.

Rehearsal collage! Featuring Nquong (Sam Jackson) in his bath in the blue gums, Uncle Giraffe (Sam Bertken and Juliana Frick), and the ensemble with Mdme. Directrix. Photo by Soren Santos.

Rehearsal Report: Character Solo Shows

We’ve just finished a little more than a week’s worth of rehearsals for our Summer Tour, and OH BOY OH BOY are we excited to share this version of the show with you!

Today we had a special guest, Julie Katz, who introduced us to some fantastic improv games. We had a great time playing with the troupe: Thumper, Samuel Peaches, Blueberry Starshine, and our newest members (drumroll please….) Arby Darby and Princess Gwen. (Meekins was unfortunately out sick… or traumatized.)

Section Titles from "Thumper... the Solo Show!"  an improvised work of pure performance genius.

Section Titles from “Thumper… the Solo Show!” an improvised work of pure performance genius.

One of our favorite games was Character Solo Shows. Each ensemble member took a turn presenting an improvised solo show. In advance, we each wrote a title for a section of the show on a slip of paper. Julie introduced each character, who then opened one slip of paper and began performing that section of his or her solo show. The section had to continue until Julie called for the next section. High pressure, high entertainment, and very revealing! We sure know a lot more about these characters now… and it’s juicy.

FluxWagon: Born in **FIRE**

Joan and our dear friend Gus are busy this month, welding FluxWagon’s metal skeleton together at The Gate in San Leandro. It’s exciting to see FluxWagon being born — in sparks and plasma!

measuretwice

You know what they say… measure twice, cut once.

Joan and Gus at work assembling FluxWagon's structural skeleton.

Joan and Gus at work assembling FluxWagon’s structural skeleton.

Gus is aglow in sparks as he works on one of FluxWagon's stage panels.

Gus is aglow in sparks as he works on one of FluxWagon’s stage panels.

Baby Fluxie: FluxWagon in progress

FluxWagon is being born!

In an arts/industrial space in San Leandro called The Gate, FluxWagon is under construction to become our mobile stage for the summer tour of O Best Beloved. Baby Fluxie (her prenatal name) currently looks like a utility trailer, the framing of one wall, and a lot of metal sticks. Her neighbors, apparently, are a great many pianos. Seems appropriate.

Thanks to help from Gustavo Alonso, Joan is cutting and welding to her heart’s content. Gus is also an actor and artist who creates metalwork at The Gate with the bEEcHARGE arts collective.

Baby Fluxie, pulled by Doris the Truck. Doris is a snappy dresser, as you can see by her seat covers.

Baby Fluxie, pulled by Doris the Truck. Doris is a snappy dresser, as you can see by her seat covers.

Baby Fluxie's space at The Gate. Note the numberous pianos.

Baby Fluxie’s space at The Gate. Note the notably numberous pianos.

Lots of metal goes into the framing of FluxWagon

Lots of metal goes into the framing of FluxWagon

Framing for one wall of FluxWagon

Framing for one wall of FluxWagon