Port Stories - An interactive theater adventure coming to Port Costa, June 8-23 2019


Port Stories An interactive theater adventure coming to Port Costa, June 8-23 2019 There was an earthquake last night… did you feel it? Strange things happen after earthquakes. Some say that cracks in time open up, like cracks in the earth. Folks can slip through the fissures, especially if they’re on their way to somewhere else. Especially if they’re far from home.

This mysterious legend launches Port Stories, a theatrical exploration of Port Costa, migration in California, and the meaning of home created by Idiot String Theater Company. The play is a site- specific adventure, performed at the Port Costa School and other locations throughout downtown Port Costa. The audience will meet and interact with characters inspired by history, imagination, and the actors’ own stories.

About the Show

Port Stories is a collaboratively devised production, meaning that the actors, along with the director and a small group of writers, are working together to develop the characters, story and script. Port Stories collaborators are professional theater artists from around the Bay Area, who have worked with companies including the East Bay’s Ubuntu Theater Project and Shotgun Players; SF’s Cutting Ball Theater; and the site-specific troupe We Players, among others. Port Stories is directed by Idiot String co-founder Rebecca Longworth, with design by Joan Howard and Megan Hillard. Soren Santos, a Port Costa native, is heading up script development and research. The audience of Port Stories will experience a very interactive production. Characters may interact directly with audience members, and on occasion the audience will get to explore some facets of the story on their own, both by speaking with the characters, and discovering objects and letters they leave behind. The scenes of the play take place in rooms in the schoolhouse, and in both outdoor and indoor locations throughout downtown Port Costa. The audience will be asked to walk between performance sites, and may stand for some of the scenes. Anyone that has trouble with walking or standing can make arrangements to attend the show by contacting Idiot String in advance at 510.542.9009 or idiotstring@gmail.com.

Port Stories tickets are on sale now at idiotstring.org. Tickets are just $5 for residents of Port Costa, Tormey, and Crockett.

Thanks to the support of the Crockett Community Foundation, who are also sponsoring Idiot String’s public workshop series and in-school programs. Port Stories is also made possible by funding from the Edward J. Daly Foundation, East Bay Fund for Artists at the East Bay Community Foundation, and generous in-kind donations from the Bull Valley Roadhouse, Burlington Hotel, TBD* design consultancy at CCA, and of course the Port Costa Conservation Society.

Idiot String’s History in Port Costa Idiot String has visited Port Costa each year since 2014 with the Samuel Peaches Peripatetic Players’ touring productions. These shows feature a recurring cast of lovable misfits -- the Peripatetic Players -- and FluxWagon, a mobile stage that looks like a circus wagon before it is unfolded to become the Players’ open-air theater. Peripatetic Players productions have included O Best Beloved, an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling stories; Aesop Amuck, based on the famous fables; Shakespeare or Space Wars, an homage both to Romeo and Juliet and Star Wars: A New Hope; and Shiver We Timbers, a pirate-themed choose-your-own-adventure play. On Friday evening, August 15, 2019, the Peripatetic Players will kick off a summer tour of The Suitcase Show in Port Costa. Rather than a performance aboard FluxWagon, The Suitcase Show is an adaptation of popular stories that fits entirely in a load of vintage suitcases. Idiot String also performed a different sort of original play, Elixir of Life, in Port Costa during Fall, 2017. Elixir of Life was a touring production, performed outdoors near sunset, that followed the story of a travelling salesperson who claims to sell an elixir that can raise the dead.

Artists-in-Residence In 2018, the Port Costa Conservation Society invited Idiot String to be artists-in-residence at the Port Costa School. Despite the term “residency,” no one is actually living at the schoolhouse! Idiot String offers public workshops in theater and performance skills at the School. Since early 2019, the company has also been developing Port Stories on weekends at the School, and is currently rehearsing the show at their home base in Oakland as well as in Port Costa. Other Events Idiot String’s residency in Port Costa is about a lot more than producing plays. The company has also begun to offer workshops and community events, with more on the horizon for fall 2019. This spring, teaching artists from Idiot String are visiting classes at John Swett High School and Carquinez Middle School to offer instruction in theater and performing skills, sponsored by the Crockett Community Foundation. For adults and local residents, Idiot String’s public workshop series at the Port Costa School offers a variety of classes. Upcoming workshops include Site-Specific Creation on May 19 and Physical Comedy on June 16. Both will be taught by Joan Howard, a co-founder of Idiot String and professional clown who teaches physical comedy and clowning with props at the San Francisco Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory, and social clowning through Clown Corps. Joan’s Site-Specific Creation workshop will focus on finding the fun in interacting with the physical environment, while her Physical Comedy workshop will cover slapstick skills like comic slips, trips, slaps, and falls. Autumn 2019 will bring workshops in Story Adaptation and Character Creation. Artist Mini-Retreats and Salons occur approximately every month on the second or third Wednesday. During the day, participants are invited to work on creative projects at the Port Costa School. In the late afternoon, they share their work with each other and then move to the Dram Shop at the Bull Valley Roadhouse for cocktails. If you’re a local artist who would like to attend, contact the company at 510.542.9009 or idiotstring@gmail.com.

To meet Port Costa neighbors, Idiot String recently hosted a community BBQ and obstacle course at the Port Costa School, with hopes to repeat this event in the late summer. The obstacle course also kicked off an ongoing fundraising campaign, in which donors can pledge an obstacle-course runner to help support the company’s upcoming productions: Port Stories and The Suitcase Show. If you’d like to make a donation, please visit go.rallyup.com/idiotstring2019. Donations are fully tax-deductible through the fiscal sponsorship of Independent Arts and Media. Get Involved or Learn More! If you’d like to get involved, either with the Artist Mini-Retreats and Salons or as a volunteer for Port Stories, or if you have questions about any of our upcoming events, please contact Idiot String at 510.542.9009 or idiotstring@gmail.com. Upcoming Events: Port Stories: a site-specific, interactive theater adventure June 8-23: Saturdays at 1pm & 5pm and Sundays at 5pm Port Costa School, corner of Canyon Lake Drive and Reservoir Street, Port Costa, California Ticket Information: idiotstring.org

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