Amy Brees, Lauren Dietrich Chavez and Ava Roy share an awareness of the varied history and vivid energy of Alcatraz. We can feel the land’s desire to be listened to and learned from. An honest look at the history of The Rock demands that we acknowledge the dark horrors and bright hope within our human struggles for freedom.
This partnership between We Players and the National Park Service is challenging, edge-pushing and inspiring. As the steel and concrete are gradually corroded by the elements, plants, birds and visitors breathe new life through this once impenetrable rock. Likewise, we examine the bound places winthin ourselves and notice this work softening our edges and strengthening our vision for justice and peace. We are constantly reminded of nature’s persistence and hopeful for the unstoppable forces of growth and change. We hope this production of Hamlet inspires visitors to take a deeper look at this place, at the present realities of justice and injustice in our world, and their own understanding of freedom.
Ava Roy (Director/ Producer)
Lauren Dietrich Chavez (Producer)
Amy Brees (Alcatraz Site Supervisor) started her National Park Service career in 1996 at Cedar Grove in kings Canyon National Park. She has traveled the country, with posts at 11 different National Park areas; her blood runs grey and green like the uniform. She thinks the best way to experience a place is to live there and allow yourself to be fully steeped in your surroundings. She hopes that this performance experience gives you an accelerated immersion in this place. She takes great pride in working for the agency that protects America’s best ideas, and is proud to collaborate with We Players on this project. She looks forward to developing other creative ideas for ways to experience our National Parks throughout her career. Amy hopes this performance journey provokes all to think about this place and its purpose in being a National Park.
Alejandro Acosta (Lighting Designer) is also working on the Campo Santo production of Habibi, a new play by Sharif Abu-Hamdeh, opening @ Intersection For the Arts on October 18. Thanks: Jim Cave, Andrew Packard, and Sean San Jose.
Amit Bhalla (Production Assistant) graduated from Yale in 2009, where he produced, directed or designed a variety of theatrical performances from Our Town to Elizabeth Bam. This past summer he co-wrote and staged The Privilege of Death in Hunter, NY. This is his first show with the We Players.
Steve Boss (Assistant Director, Production Assistant, Outreach Facilitator, Composer tune for Gravediggers’ song) Hamlet on Alcatraz would not have happened without Steve! See full bio in “Performers” section.
Tim Brown (Fight Trainer) is an actor, stuntman, and fight director, and has worked on everything from Shakespeare to Sketch Comedy, from Soap Operas to Zombie Movies. Some highlights of his fight direction include – NYC productions of Zastrozzi, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth; Porgy & Bess, Otello at LA Opera; Warriors – Miyamoto Musashi for the History Channel; the films Open House, and Privateer. Tim lives in Los Angeles where he also teaches stage combat at the American Musical & Dramatic Academy, and budo taijutsu through the Muzosa Bujinkan Dojo of Los Angeles.
Phoebe Gelfand (Production Assistant) has worked with We Players since 2008, when she performed in Macbeth at Fort Point. Taking on the fools roll, she is ecstatic to wrestle with the birds and the elements, and play a small part in bringing this incredible artistic monolith to life. She is spreading her own wings into the world of public relations and is honored to talk with folks about We Players work. She thanks everyone who made this possible, really digs her friends and family and couldn’t be happier to be here now! She lives and works in San Francisco and is a pretty big fan of life in general.
Charlie Gurke (Composer/Musical Director) is thrilled to be working on his first We Players production. A native of the Bay Area, Charlie performs and records with numerous ensembles around northern California and the world. To find out more about Charlie, go to www.gurkestra.com
Julia Rose Meeks (Costume Designer) graduated from San Francisco Sate University with a degree in Apparel design, completing one year of her studies in Milan at La Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti. She considers herself both an apparel designer and social entrepreneur and is connected to any project that is attempting to use art to open up a dialogue around social issues—in particular the things we hide, mask, and ignore. She has designed and self-produced 2 collections on her own, co-designed and created start-up company, “Eclissi,” co-designed for the fair trade organization AltroMercato in Milan, participated in fashion shows, showcases, and exhibits including the San Francisco Fashion Awards and De Young college night, team designed a collection for Made In Oakland, and most recently designed a woven’s collection for Barley and Birch children’s wear. This is her first dive into the world of theater and she is loving furthering her creativity with this new forum. email@example.com
Elizabeth Nichols (Asst. Production Manager/ Outreach Facilitator) is a recent graduate of Harvard University, where she studied History and Literature, and History of Art and Architecture. She is on the Board of Directors of Circle of Women, a non-profit organization that promotes women’s education in the developing world. She has long held an interest in community arts. This is her first experience working in the theatre. She is grateful to her family for their support, and the last little cormorant for his courage to take flight.
Tanya Orellana (Production Manager/Lead Designer) is a graduate of the San Francisco State Theatre Arts Program and Company member of Campo Santo. For the past two years she has worked as both technical coordinator of Intersection for the Arts and scenic painter on their past four productions: Cherrie Moraga’s Semilla Caminante; Campo Santo/ESP’s Future Project; Junot Diaz’ Fuku Americanus; and Adam Mansbach’s Angry Black White Boy. She has designed for Z-Space’s resident company Word for Word, Mama Calizo’s resident Company, Guerrilla Rep Theatre, and The Thick House. Tanya has had the pleasure of working with artists Danny Hoch, Erika Chong Shuch, Celia Rodriguez, Paul Flores, Octavio Solis, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Sean San Jose. She would like to thank We Players for bringing such an interesting project into her life and to all her Hamlet collaborators for there dedication and hard work. Many, many thanks to my family for their never ending support.
Trampas Thompson (Fight Choreographer) is a professional stuntman and stunt coordinator who lives in Los Angeles with Holly (his lady friend) and Josey Wales (his canine companion). Trampas has appeared in over 50 films including all four Pirates of the Caribbean movies (having just completed working all summer in Hawaii on Pirates 4). He also recently coordinated the film, The Gardener for director Chris Weitz. Trampas prides himself on being one of the few stuntmen in Hollywood who is well versed in Shakespeare. He met Ava and Andrus in 2009 at Shakespeare and Company and is happy to see the Hamlet Project finally realized on Alcatraz, and happy to be playing with Ava and Andrus again, as well as the entire cast. Tramp wants to thank Tim for helping with the choreography and making it possible given his ridiculous schedule.
Anna Whitehead (Puppet Designer) is a movement and media artist who often uses puppets to help discuss disremembered histories and ignored realities. She is delighted to be working in collaboration with We Players for the first time, as well as an amazing team of first-time and returning artists from the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department. Read More>>
Patrick Gillespie (Gallery Curator)
Allison Keeley (Documentary Coordinator)
Peter Merts (Photographer)
Mark Kitaoka (Photographer)
Tracy Martin (Photographer)
Jacob Simas (Videographer)
Jesus Contreras (Videographer)