A Look Back at 2017

We in your Words

With Mother Lear, you told us that you experienced:

“A powerful sense of Love.”
“The universality of the loss of control in the face of aging, death, and grief.”
“A passion in the text that I never knew was there.”
Loss, grief, fear, life, humor, family
“Beautiful, tiny moments of familial love.”
“Immediate and visceral humanity”

 
And you shared personal discoveries:
“I feel like I could talk about this for 20 hours.”
“It’s not one conversation, you talk about this your whole life.”
“I felt everyone stop and be still like the trees around us.”
“You don’t have to be suffering from Alzheimer’s to be speaking your own language and not be understood.”



Earlier this year, you couldn’t get enough of our very sexy and silly romp in the woods!

You told us that Midsummer of Love made you feel:
          "Amused, intrigued, alive"
                 "Delighted, transported, charmed, enchanted, amused, and amazed"
                                                             "Excited, curious and enthralled"
                                       “Transported”
          “Uplifted"
                           "Grateful for such talented and innovative theater.”
             “Amazed, invigorated.”
                                                 “Reaffirmed my love of my favorite play”


Our collaboration with Rova quartet and ink Boat in BEOWULF inspired lyrical and poetic reactions:

  “Hauntingly well-hewn. Led me... into the chilling folds of my subconscious fears and our collective monstrosities.”  

“At the end of the work I was born from the darkness of the Mead Hall into the crisp night with newfound caution for our times, empathy for our monsters, and a sense of belonging in the ancient cycle of forgetting, fearing, fighting, mourning, and forgetting again.” 

                       “The haunting sounds enveloped my innards at their core, leaving me wanting for more.”

“I felt like we were collectively mourning for our country, mourning for our fallen humanity that has departed from nature, from instinct, from listening.”

                                 “A musical score like none any of us has likely ever heard nor will long forget.”


Thanks for your enthusiastic words and for your support of our work in 2017! Can’t wait to see you in 2018!

Our 5th annual Canciones del Mar concert was a dream!

"THE SACRED RADIANCE OF THE SUN"

- King Lear

Our 5th annual Canciones del Mar concert was a dream. Thank you dancers, listeners, and stellar musicians! 

Photos: ACT OUT Photography, Jim Norrena

Photos: ACT OUT Photography, Jim Norrena

A standing ovation for the jaw-dropping sunset streaking resplendent colors across the sky, melting everything into liquid gold, and slipping off into violet clouds. 

Big thanks to our friends at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and to the warm wooden embrace of ferryboatEureka. We'll be back! 

Meantime, the songs of el pulpo (the octopus) y el calamar (the squid), of sailboats and canoes and the teasing love affair of the waves against the sand, murmur in our memories...

Photo: Lauren Matley

Photo: Lauren Matley


Mother Lear starts this weekend with private home performances in SF and San Anselmo!

On opening weekend you can find mama Lear on the roof of a dramatic SOMA warehouse, surrounded by the urban jungle, as well as amongst live oaks upon a golden hilltop. 

Be sure to catch We Players' trademark exterior open space performances of Mother Lear in the South Bay at Montalvo Arts Center, and in San Francisco at the beautifully expansiveMcLaren Park. Find unique intimate performances under The Sukkah at The Jewish Community Center East Bay, and at other spectacular private residences around the Bay Area.

Nick Medina: nominated for Outstanding Male Actor in a featured role

The 2017 Theatre Bay Area Awards ceremony arrives on October 30th and We Players is nominated for eight (eight!) awards for our recent productions of Romeo & Juliet, BEOWULF, and Midsummer of Love.

For Midsummer of Love, Nick Medina was nominated for Outstanding Male Actor in a featured role. This is especially impressive given that Nick gallantly stepped in with three days of rehearsal! Congratulations, Nick, and thank you. And a big shout out to Nathaniel Justiniano, who originated the role!



Photos by Lauren Matley

We Players lands 8 Theatre Bay Area Awards nominations

The 2017 Theatre Bay Area Awards ceremony arrives on October 30th and We Players is nominated for eight (eight!) awards for our recent productions of Romeo & Juliet, BEOWULF, and Midsummer of Love.

For BEOWULF, Yoshi Asai is nominated for Outstanding Properties Design, Allen Willner for his Outstanding Lighting Design, and Maria Chenut for her Outstanding Costume Design! Congratulations!

Photos: Lauren Matley

HEAR THE SONGS OF THE SEA

Canciones del Mar pulls into port in just ten days!
Saturday, 9/23, 6:30pm

We Players' Music Director, Charlie Gurke

We Players' Music Director, Charlie Gurke

Come celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month at Canciones del Mar, aboard Eureka, the 1890 side-wheel paddle steamboat at Hyde Street Pier.

Have a listen to La Piragua, from Canciones del Mar!

Join our "Captain's Club"! 
Any donation to We Players made between now and 9/23 in the amount of just $10 or more puts you in the Captain's Club!

We're delighted to offer complimentary  Canciones del Mar drinks to our Captain's Club members.

Please note: We can not accept any donations on-site at the event and drinks will not be available for purchase.

So wet your bosun's whistle and join the Captain's Club today!  

Mother Lear draws ever near

"YOU ARE WELCOME HITHER"

- King Lear

We Players - Mother Lear 2017 - 750px.jpg

We are thrilled to announce our next production!

MOTHER LEAR

An irascible scholar with dementia communicates with her caretaker daughter using only the text of Shakespeare's King Lear, as the two struggle with aging, love, and their own balance of power. 

A facilitated conversation on the themes of death and dying immediately follows each performance.

Join us at unique and intimate venues around San Francisco Bay this autumn to experience this powerful two-person distillation of one of the Bard's greatest works.


Actor Spotlight: Nick Dickson

We’d like to introduce you to our friend Nick Dickson, playing Flute/Demetrius!

Long-time We Players’ fans will remember Nick as Sebastian in our production of Twelfth Night all the way back in 2012. We’re so happy to finally be working with him again! Nick’s clown training and movement skills have been indispensable in helping to create this physically complex show. During long rehearsals Nick keeps us all laughing with a great sense of humor and we couldn’t be more grateful for his constant willingness to try something new. Don’t miss Nick’s fantastic performance in our Midsummer of Love; the specificity that he brings to both characters is really a treat!

Join us at El Sobrante’s Kennedy Grove this Saturday and Sunday and back in Golden Gate Park 7/27-30. Tickets are going fast!
http://www.weplayers.org/midsummer-2017 

Photos: Lauren Matley

FLASH SALE

Here's a chance to experience Midsummer of Love this weekend at a very special price!

Adapted from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Midsummer of Love is a rib-tickling, frolicking, sexy adventure!

Photos: Lauren Matley

Photos: Lauren Matley

Hurry! Limited supply and this weekend only. Grab your flower crown and join Midsummer of Love in Golden Gate Park- Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. 
Buy opening weekend tickets now until 12 noon Saturday and get them for half price!

Be fleet of foot! 
Use code LoveLoveLove to claim this special price!

Join us in the Forest

Celebrate Summer Solstice with our sexy six-person adaptation of the steamy classic!

On the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, join us in Golden Gate Park where it all started. Revel in the power and ecstasy of nature with Shakespeare’s Lovers, the original flower children!

Photo: Lauren Matley

Photo: Lauren Matley

"Meet me in the palace wood...” - Quince

What happens in the woods,
stays in the woods.

Grab your ticket today for this forest tale of love, lust, and faerie mischief!

Join us for a performance at both sites and enjoy double the magic! 

Experience the transformation of the same show in a new setting, awaken your senses, and learn how the site informs the essence of the work.

Get your Passport to Love today and enjoy 20% off ticket prices!

Just 4 weeks away, make your Midsummer plans now

LET US RECOUNT OUR DREAMS

We Players presents an adaptation
of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

Five weeks only - don't miss out!

Join us for our version of this steamy favorite:
Midsummer of Love

Atop Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
6:30PM: June 22 - 25, July 6 - 9
6PM: July 27 - 30 

Under Kennedy Grove's Live Oaks, El Sobrante
6PM, July 15 & 16, July 22 & 23

In classic We Players style, we invite our audiences to engage with all of their senses. 

✿ Get your blood moving as you hike uphill, then rest in the shade of trees.

✿ Tune in to the faerie music wafting from the trees and the occasional hawk screeching overhead.

✿ Savor luscious and juicy summer fruits provided by the devilishly seductive pucks. 

Our Midsummer of Love is lush, effusive, bursting at the seams, like nature in the middle of summer.


 Join our circle of love on Kickstarter and celebrate the Summer of Love with We Players! 

We need your support to make the magic happen.
A gift of any amount, even just 5$ will help us cast the Midsummer spell. Celebrate the Summer of Love with We Players and share the love. We need your love!

Farewell to the mead hall...

BEOWULF marked the culmination of We Players' historic five year cooperative agreement with SF Maritime National Historical Park - the first of its kind in the all the land!  This production also served as the inaugural artistic residency in the chapel at Fort Mason Center - look out for upcoming visual art exhibits in our old Mead Hall in the months to come.  All of us at We Players extend sincerest thanks to SF Maritime and to Fort Mason for taking genuine artistic risks with us.  We are so grateful to all the audiences who joined us in the wind and weather along the northern waterfront of San Francisco and in the warm embrace of the mead hall - as we wrestled with the heroes and monsters that live among us, and within us all.

As we return our creation back to the shadows, I reflect on this process - a truly unique collaboration and a synthesis of diverse art forms. Our BEOWULF was a hybrid beast: an immersive sound experience and avant-garde saxophone concert, cum movement piece, cum site-integrated theatre production, all combined through a kaleidoscopic interpretation of the oldest surviving Anglo-Saxon poem.  

I recently revisited some of my earliest notes, written on the cusp of stepping into the rehearsal process back in late 2016. I dug up the following:

"I woke this morning with a new feeling, a trembling, a quivering, an uncomfortable, and yet familiar sensation…
The beginning feeling…
The feeling of standing at the edge, stunned at the prospect of stepping directly, purposefully, into the unknowable depths. Sending one foot and then the other into thin air to discover how falling down the rabbit hole feels this time…Some gears in my physical machinery resist the plunge, but others will overpower the resistance of vulnerability and hurdle me forward. I am poised briefly on this thin edge before the plunge…
We'll claw our way through dark forests where ferocious creatures lurk and into mead halls where blazing heroes recount feats of glory.  We'll search for the monsters lurking in the closet and under the bed..."

Now standing on the other side of that journey, I glance back at the tracks left in the mud....  The process of creating this BEOWULF has been a wild creature, an unfamiliar animal. As an ensemble of co-creators, we coaxed our work from out of the darkness through much improvisation and iteration. While theatre is always a collaborative sport - one where numerous artistic disciplines align to create a seamless whole - for me, this project has provided a dramatic shift in inter-disciplinary collaboration. Usually, I start with a script and a site. I cast to my vision of the script and what I’d like to call forth from it, with the site informing foundational directing and design choices.

This time we began instead by gathering the players first - each coming to the work with diverse training and processes. Each had their own artistic vernacular, so we had to develop a common language. A playful shorthand emerged for different episodes we created through our improvisations. “Death Commercial”, “Disco Inferno”, “Eye of the Storm”, “Bonecrushers” -  were written on index cards and arranged and rearranged. Content flowed in and out of these structures, changing the order of the piece. We left each rehearsal with composition assignments and came back with new scores or texts to share, to experiment with. What a joy, what an honor, to work with collaborators who are at once absolutely passionate about what they want to include, develop, or fight for - and who remain open to a relentless editing process, allowing their creations to be deconstructed or otherwise evolved by their fellow collaborators. 

In this cave of the unknown, we wielded our tools - our saxophones, our eager bodies, our crackling voices - to see if we could build a fire together. A creative blaze to warm the space around us and bring light into this unknown land we inhabit together, this realm of shadows, of possibilities, of unborn ideas. We wielded our artistic tools - our pens, our horns, our fluid spines. We used these tools like broadswords and claws to hew a new shape into being, where there wasn’t one before.

Through these efforts, a shape in the darkness began to emerge…
 
Our eyes adjusted to the light and the shape gradually became more clear. A new flame of inspiration would light up in another part of the cave. A new piece of music. A new image. A new bit of text. We adjusted to the new light. And the creature changed shape again. We coaxed this wild thing into being, out of the cave of shadows, and into the light. To share with you. Thank YOU for exploring new terrain with us dear audiences! And tremendous thanks to our esteemed colleagues and dear friends at Rova and inkBoat. WE love you. 

We're stepping now into the light of summer and the chaos of untamed love in a forest full of fairies with our Midsummer of Love. What dreams may come? Check back for updates from faerie-land soon! 

xoxox, ava

 

 

JOIN THE FINAL BEOWULF PERFORMANCE

The final 2 performances of BEOWULF draw nigh, and Saturday's is sold out!

Photo: Lauren Matley

Photo: Lauren Matley

Join us for this fever-dream of memory and forgetting, a ritual that will both include your participation and leave you suspended in the shadows...

Catch the final performance of BEOWULF this Sunday!

The journey begins at sunset
at the SF Maritime Museum.

Wrestle with humanity and monstrosity under the stunning expanse of the sky and in the warm embrace of our mead hall.