Help bring Aesop Amuck to Bay Area parks and public spaces this summer!
We are the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players -- you'll meet us in the video above. We perform adaptations of favorite stories outdoors, in the open air and free of charge. This year, we present Aesop Amuck -- a madcap romp through nearly twenty fabulous fables, full of adventure & adages, mishaps & morals, and a smattering of ridiculous songs.
FluxWagon, our mobile stage, is designed to look like a colorful gypsy wagon as she travels. Arriving at an outdoor performance site, FluxWagon ‘magically’ unfolds into a stage before the audiences’ very eyes -- with the help of an eccentric troupe of thespians (that's us, of course!). Inspired by medieval pageant wagons and renaissance troupes with their brightly painted scenery and simple mechanics, FluxWagon unfolds to evoke the wonder of human ingenuity and inspire delight in imaginative storytelling.
Our performances hearken back to the days when Medieval troupes engaged an entire community’s interest and imagination with their traveling productions. In that spirit of engagement, we take FluxWagon to community parks and public spaces to create family-friendly events that are intimate, easily accessible and more than a little magical. With its bright and bold design and delightfully ingenious mechanisms and whirlygigs, FluxWagon does not need the big-budget trappings of other outdoor productions, like microphones and semi-permanent stages. We believe that by presenting a self-contained, mechanical, acoustic and intimate performance with a DIY aesthetic, we come ever closer to achieving our mission of inspiring delight in imagination and community, and demonstrating that artistic expression is accessible to all.
Last year, we presented O Best Beloved, our award-winning, family-friendly ensemble adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s "Just-So Stories," aboard FluxWagon. This year, FluxWagon rides again to bring Aesop Amuck to communities around the Bay.
For Aesop Amuck we will make over FluxWagon and her trappings to transform the stage from the jungles, deserts, and exotic locales of Kipling’s stories to the pastoral landscape of Aesop’s fables. An oak tree must grow where an acacia tree once stood, our desert rocks must become granite boulders, and our scrolling backdrop need scroll past lush spring meadows, golden wheat fields and Arcadian towns. Our bright and merry gypsy wagon must be repainted - her panels repainted to announce “AESOP AMUCK!”, and her doors adorned with portraits of Aesop’s favorite anthropomorphic animals.
We will also add mechanics that will help Aesop truly run Amuck while making FluxWagon more surprising and theatrically spectacular for years to come. A trap door will allow ridiculous reveals and exciting escapes, while a new fabric skirt will mask the mystery. A swiveling archway (like a “hell mouth” found on a medival theatre wagon) will appear and disappear from the side of the stage.
Your support will help makeover FluxWagon for a new performance as well as investing in her longevity as a flexible, traveling stage. Your contributions will allow us to pay our scenic artist and carpenters, and purchase paint, materials and hardware for FluxWagon’s new face and mechanisms. What's more, we'll create new costumes for our characters -- and even some for the audience to borrow. We'll pay the players themselves, and we'll even shell out for much more boring things like insurance, permits, and gas.
We've re-assembled much of the same team that helped us create FluxWagon for its inaugural performance, O Best Beloved, including our spectacular scenic painter, Megan Hillard, and the ingenious designer of FluxWagon herself, Joan Howard. In addition, we're joined by actor/builder Paul Collins and costume designer Vivi Matsuda. The team is standing by with designs and sketches, plans and patterns!
You can help put them to work! Any amount you can give will help make it possible to bring FluxWagon and Aesop Amuck to a park or public space near you.
Risks and challenges
Every live performance has its risks -- according to Mr Meekins, they're too many to count! We've been doing this sort of thing for a while now, and we're ready to handle the surprises. Last year, we encountered a dog running under the stage and barking, not once but three times; and Samuel Peaches himself kicked a kickball back into play in the middle of his line. We've driven FluxWagon over ditches (not doing that again), contended with wind rearranging the props, and prompted preschoolers to sob after stealing their food (we gave it back!).
In our travels we've also encountered generous hospitality, elicited belly laughter, and made an enormous number of new friends -- from the pre-teen siblings who became our roadies for a day to the church picnicers who fed us fried chicken and cake. We're working with a tried and true team to makeover FluxWagon and to perform AESOP AMUCK, and we've learned valuable lessons from O BEST BELOVED. Since every venue we visited last year asked enthusiastically to have us return, we think we're on the right track.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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