Midsummer of love, 2017

“A very good piece of work, I assure you, and a merry”

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love with We Players! 

Midsummer of Love

Written by William Shakespeare

Adapted and Directed by Ava Roy

An erotic comedy of consent, cruelty, and control...

June 22 - July 30

Midsummer of Love Program Guide

Strawberry Hill, Golden Gate Park

Kennedy Grove, El Sobrante

Journey into a forest full of fairies and lovers with We Players’ six-person adaptation of Shakespeare's steamy, summer, all time favorite. A dark and hilarious exploration of the complexities of love, our complicated human relationships, and the boundaries between reality and imagination. Lush, effusive, bursting at the seams - like nature in the middle of summer.

Double the magic with performances in two fantastical forests...
We Players is thrilled to work with the San Francisco department of Recreation and Parks for the first time, offering a dozen performances in Golden Gate Park. We're breaking ground in the East Bay as well, offering four performances in Kennedy Grove, part of the East Bay Regional Park District.  


"...the funniest “Midsummer” I’ve ever seen.... moments of sheer inspiration abound." - SF Examiner


Strawberry Hill
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

A moderate climb.  Bring water and plenty of warm layers - when the fog rolls in, it will get COLD and damp!  Bring a scarf, hat, gloves, and winter coat. As always with We Players productions, please wear comfortable close-toed walking shoes. Strawberry Hill is not a fully accessible site. If you have mobility concerns, please contact loe@weplayers.org to explain your needs and we will do our very best to accommodate you.

6:30PM, Thursday - Sunday
June 22-25
July 6 - 9  
6PM, Thursday - Sunday
July 27 - 30

Kennedy Grove
El Sobrante, East Bay

One of the East Bay's hidden gems, this wild park is just 20 minutes from Berkeley.  Choose this site if you are up for a rigorous 20+ minute hike up hill through beautiful forest that emerges to an sunny vista before tucking back into a cool grove of live oaks.  It will be HOT!  Bring water, sunscreen, sun hat, layers - and of course, comfortable close-toed walking shoes.  We are unable to accommodate guests with mobility needs at this site due to the steep incline, narrow trails, and uneven terrain. 

6PM, Saturday and Sunday
July 15 & 16
July 22 & 23

(Kennedy Grove performances are now ended)

+ FAQ - click to expand

How long is the performance?
Approximately 2 hours, and there is no intermission. Restrooms are accessible before the show begins, but not during the performance.

How accessible is this production?
Strawberry Hill is not a fully accessible site. If you have mobility concerns, please contact loe@weplayers.org to explain your needs and we will do our very best to accommodate you. Folding stools will be provided for the audience.

My budget is very limited, how can I get discounted tickets?
You can join the "Midsummer of Love" Rush Ticket mailing list for a chance at last-minute half-price tickets if they become available.

This project looks really interesting! Can I volunteer with We Players?
Absolutely! Join us in bringing magic to the glade! Click here to learn more and sign up.

How do I get there? Where do I park?
Strawberry Hill, Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Please arrange to carpool with friends or travel by bus if possible, as parking is limited.
Some parking can be found at the Stow Lake boat house and all along Stow Lake drive.
If you are a Midsummer of Love at Strawberry Hill attendee and you have not received your How to Prepare email, please click here to view a copy.

Is this production suitable for children?
The short version: Midsummer of Love is rated PG-13 for overt themes of sexuality and is not recommended for children.
The long version: A Midsummer Night's Dream is Shakespeare's most erotic play, and our production of Midsummer of Love explores the intense sexuality of the language and celebrates the freedom of expression in the counter-culture of "flower children" throughout the ages. Parents should be advised that although there is no full nudity, the production includes sexual content and situations.

What should I wear?
Comfortable close-toed walking shoes are a good foundation for any We Players experience. Veterans of our performances know that light and warm clothing layers help one avoid over- or under-heating during the journey --- add or remove them as needed. Top your layers off with a knitted hat, gloves, and a wind- and water-proof shell jacket, and you're ready for almost anything the sky chooses to share with us.

To help you carry the items you're not wearing, a small pack is handy, plus you can stash snacks and a water bottle.

Please plan to turn your cell phone completely off. Photos and video are not permitted during the performance. Besides, we're making a trip into another realm - immerse yourself completely and leave the distractions behind...

What about food and drinks?
We Players' productions are intended to engage ALL of the senses. Succulent summer fruits will become a part of your Midsummer of Love experience. Please plan to bring your own water bottle.

What if my question is not answered here?
For questions about the production and performance, please contact We Players at info@weplayers.org.

+ The Buzz


"...the funniest Midsummer I’ve ever seen"
SF Examiner: We Players get right down to sex in ‘Midsummer of Love’, June 28, 2017

"Audiences willing to gamely brave the elements and relax into fantasy will enjoy this romp in faerie land, in the hands of a sexy and capable company of actors..."
Theatrestorm: Review: ‘Midsummer of Love’ (an adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’) from We Players, July 21, 2017

Ava discussed Midsummer of Love on KPOO's Let Me Touch Your Mind on June 12- you can listen to the interview on our Radio page.

Ava on KDFC's The state of the Arts, two minutes about creating Midsummer of Love and site-integrated theatre.

We Players forges a new era of art in the parks, Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, June 23, 2017.


"surpassingly transcendent acting and staging"

"Bottom's turn as the ass was beautifully realized"

"I was totally blown away..."

"...utterly original and hilarious..."


+ The Cast

Nathaniel Justiniano: Bottom/ Lysander (June 22-25)
Nick Medina: Bottom/ Lysander (July 6-30)
Amy Nowak: Snug/ Hermia
Nick Dickson: Flute/ Demetrius
Ava Roy: Quince/ Helena
Chris Steele: Puck: Titania
Britt Lauer: Puck: Oberon

+ The Production Team

Adapted and Directed by Ava Roy

Nathaniel Justiniano: Assistant Director

Charlie Gurke: Music Director & Composer
Anne Kelly: Production Stage Manager
Brooke Jennings: Costume Designer
John Steele Jr: Makeup Design
Lauren "Loe" Matley: House Manager, Photographer
Ting Na Wang: Props Artisan
Briana Schwartz: Production Intern
Katori Knight: Production Assistant, Strawberry Hill
Nicholas Sherwin: Production Assistant, Kennedy Grove

+ The Play

The Dream like you’ve never seen before! Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love; our Midsummer is an erotic comedy of consent, cruelty, and control. Conceived by We Players’ Artistic Director Ava Roy, this six person adaptation is a dark and hilarious exploration of the complexities of love, our complicated human relationships, and the boundaries between reality and imagination. Lush, effusive, bursting at the seams - like nature in the middle of summer.

Staged in both Golden Gate Park and Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Center, we leave the coastline that is present in so many of our productions and head into the verdant, lush, and luxurious forest. This faeryland is one of wonders both luminous and darkly twisted, a world containing both whimsy and frightening displays of power. At first, you’ll meet the four mechanicals - Bottom, Quince, Snug, and Flute - following them into the forest where they plan to rehearse their play, “Pyramus and Thisbe”. But once in the woods, a pair of wickedly mischievous pucks begin to work their magic, transforming the mechanicals into the lovers and back again, taking on roles of royalty themselves, and delighting in the chaos of unexpected love pairings - all while working out their own terrific and terrible fantasies. In the forest, anything can happen.

In classic We Players style, we invite our audiences to engage with all of their senses. Get your blood pumping as you hike uphill, then rest in the shade of trees and feel the moss underfoot, tune in to the gorgeous original musical score as well as quacking and splashing ducks from nearby Stow Lake or the hawks screeching overhead in Kennedy Grove, and savor luscious, juicy summer fruits provided by the devilishly seductive pucks.